Developer proposes replacing North End parking lot with five-story building with no parking

NorthEndWaterfront.com reports two neighborhood groups are supporting Collin Yip's plan for what is now a 13-space parking lot on Salem Street with a 9-unit condo building. Rather than put parking in, he'd offer more commercial space on the first floor.

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    Had to read a few times to get it...

    By on

    Sorry Adam, this headline is kind of confusing. It makes it sound like he wants to leave the parking spaces there, and not replace them with a building.

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    Added value

    By on

    What do realtors feel a bike rack spot is worth in Boston? I wouldn't buy a condo without one.

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    Check out street view

    There was, once upon a time, a slope-roofed 3-4 story building with a couple of big chimneys in that space. Windows in the adjacent buildings give some idea about how far it went into the lot.

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    Google street view?

    By on

    No there wasn't. I've lived in the North end for over 10 yrs and there has never been a building at that location.

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    Right, because as we all know

    By on

    Right, because as we all know the North End was constructed in 2004 and nothing existed there before you moved in.

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    The building's not there in street view.

    By on

    It's the outline of the former building on its neighboring building that she's talking about. (You could also see this just by walking over there in real life). I'm guessing that older building was demolished a lot longer than 10 years ago.

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    Looking at ancient maps

    Upper right hand corner of the 1898 map shows both properties as belonging to the Twigg family, but the building outline is somewhat amorphous: http://www.wardmaps.com/viewasset.php?aid=6085

    The 1874 Suffolk County Atlas gives an idea of three buildings of irregular shape on the two properties. 124 Salem is half filled with a jagged-edge building, and 126 seems to be split into two lots with two buildings and an interior courtyard. http://www.wardmaps.com/viewasset.php?aid=235

    I would imagine that the Building fronting on Salem Street at 126 is the one whose outline that we see on the neighboring building today.

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    Don't it always seem to go,

    By on

    Don't it always seem to go,
    That you don't know what you got till it's gone.
    They razed a parking lot ,
    and put up a condo tower..

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    Where am I going to park

    By on

    Where am I going to park while I wait 35 minutes in line at Mike's Pastries??? -disgruntled tourist

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    Why 9?

    By on

    I suspect that the decision to build nine condos instead of say, ten, has to do with the fact that ten is the minimum threshold that triggers the City's affordable housing requirement.

    I don't think this should halt what is probably a good project, but food for thought in an increasingly unaffordable neighborhood.

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    Affordability

    Not paying for a parking spot helps that, actually. So does living some place where you don't need to own a car.

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    I am not one of the rabid car haters, far from it

    I love driving and have a car because, while I take the T every day, I find it hideously unreliable. But seriously, why would you want a car if you live in the North End? I can't think of any neighborhood in Boston more suited for not having a car than the North End. Hell, they should close most of those streets to non-commercial traffic. The mere idea of driving there makes my blood pressure rise...isn't the whole point of living in a North End-style neighborhood to NOT have to deal with having a car?

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    Circumstances change

    I spent a lot of my childhood in the North End and moved back there in my late 20s. We had a car growing up, an ancient Olds my grandfather bought for cash and meticulously maintained for like 25 years. It functioned as a family car - and when I say family, I mean my grandparents owned it and garaged it, my dad and the two siblings that lived in the neighborhood washed it and took care of it and when a family member needed it, it was available.

    I didn't have a car when I moved back there in the early 2000s, but eventually I got a job that meant I had to travel outside the city frequently. The hours and the cost made using Zipcar or regular rentals a drain and eventually I broke down and bought a car. I keep it in the garage on Prince Street so that I always have a spot when coming home late or in bad weather and also so I can whip around and be in the tunnel, on my way out of the city, in a couple of minutes. I guess I could move, but the North End is my home. If at some point I no longer need the car for work, I probably will think about selling my it or at least not buying again if it ever dies. For now, I just deal with the cost of the garage and the shitty double parkers and idiots who drive the wrong way down a narrow, one-way street because living here is more important to me than some inconvenience.

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    Even in the North End

    By on

    Cars are the balls and are here to stay. Never going back to walking.

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    Weekends?

    Maybe someone regularly takes off on weekends, enough so that Zipcar costs too much. If you go skiing every weekend or something like that, owning a car is the only way to go. While camping up in the Whites one weekend this year, we met a couple from Boston that go camping up there almost every weekend. It just depends what you like to do. A number of people at UHub have told us they own cars, and don't touch them during the week.

    Like anything else, it comes down to what you like to do and how you want to spend your hard-earned bucks. Owning a car and living in the North End would be a royal PITA and costly, and is an individual choice as to whether it's worth it.

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    Right, just don't force me to pay for your parking

    By on

    Like anything else, it comes down to what you like to do and how you want to spend your hard-earned bucks. Owning a car and living in the North End would be a royal PITA and costly, and is an individual choice as to whether it's worth it.

    I agree, if you want to spend your money on a car, that's fine by me. I just ask that you do not force me to subsidize your car.

    Nobody is asking you or Nonymouse to give up your car. We are simply asking not to be forced to subsidize parking spaces.

    It should not be "big news" when someone develops a building with no amenity parking in the North End. The fact that it is speaks volumes about expectations. Many car owners in this city expect parking to be given to them for no cost. They feel entitled to it. The result is that the city subsidizes on-street curb parking, and the city also implicitly subsidizes off-street parking by forcing developers to build more of it than they want.

    These are all costs which are passed down and spread out among everyone who lives here, regardless of whether you own a car or not. That's not fair to people who are trying to save money by forgoing a car. It's not fair to the people who are just trying to walk down the street and have to deal with added danger and pollution because of pro-car subsidies. It's not fair to children who cannot enjoy simple, safe streets because the city has prioritized automobile storage and movement over their quality of life.

    All this can be fixed with a simple principle: If you want a car, pay the costs of it yourself, and parking is one of those costs.

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    Give it a break - please

    We hear you - really. After about 8000 times lecturing us about city parking, we've all heard you. Thank you for your input. Move on.

    Somebody asked a question and I offered one possible explanation. That's it. Very simple. No need to go off on a tangent and rant about your favorite subject.

    Once again, I don't live in the city. You can do whatever you want in your city. Charge $20/hour for parking? Fine. Remove all parking? Fine, also. Close down all roads to cars? Be my guest.

    Thanks.

    You repeated Nonymous's response, essentially

    By on

    I wasn't going to say anything, but after getting a duplicate response like that, I decided that maybe it's time to emphasize a few points.

    Does it cost you anything? Certainly much less than "free parking" costs the rest of us! :P

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