Just as neighbors requested; plans show four buildings housing residential units and stores, arranged in four buildings designed to look like "an authentic city block" and called the Ink Block.
ZOMG! After 50 years of suburbanization of the city people actually wanted more density? Yay!
I can't begin to explain how fabulous this is.
The vast parking lot is exiled to the interior; buildings are brought up to the sidewalk, to directly engage the street. The development now has sufficient density to anchor the area, and to provide a customer base adequate to support street-front retail. The plan embraces height. There are no windswept courtyards or delusional plans for 'open spaces' that materialize as vacant lots.
It's as if the city has decided that it wants to be...a city. And best of all? The pressure came from the neighbors and community groups. It's PIMBY - Please! In My Back Yard!
I want to see the actual plans before I get too excited. Might be some assembly square style parking monstrosities hidden within. I can't find them anywhere on the web, though. Anyone know?
The Globe said they got a special sneak preview and that the plans would be filed with the BRA soon (by which I would hope the developers really meant they've already met with the BRA informally, because the last guy to really go to the press before going to the BRA was Don Chiofaro, and that didn't work out so well for him).