Roslindale a year away from new apartments, restaurant in the square

Site of new apartments, restaurants at old Roslindale substation

A groundbreaking image.

City officials joined Roslindale residents today in officially starting the Substation project that by next year will feature 43 apartments and a restaurant called the Third Rail.

Developer Peregrine Group is building the new apartments on what used to be the Higgins Funeral Home and its parking lot and renovating the long dormant old trolley substation built in 1911 by the Boston Elevated Railway (using a design from the same architect responsible for the Custom House tower). Peregrine is working with Roslindale Village Main Street and Historic Boston, which helped raise funds for the project.

What it will look like when done, assuming you were a bird or a drone:

Roslindale project

Dirt was shoveled:

Throwing dirt in Roslindale

Roslindale resident Adam Rogoff spent 12 years working to get something done with the substation:

Rogoff

Construction crews have actually been working on the site for a few weeks now, tearing down the funeral home and creating this large pile of dirt.

Dirt in Roslindale

All that's left of the old Higgins place:

Higgins in Roslindale

Roslindale pride was much in evidence:

Pride in Roslindale

Inside the substation (from a tour a couple years ago):

Pride in Roslindale

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    Comments

    Great more

    By on

    yuppies moving to rozie!

    Can't wait

    By on

    If we get enough yuppies here, maybe we can put that Dapper statue down in sewers where it belongs.

    Dapper O'Neil

    By on

    I was part of a large crowd that surrounded the entire city hall and JFK complex as an anti-war protest in 1971, After the demo broke up, I was walking past the rear of city hall and Dapper came storming out of the entrance to the garage entrance. He reached into his suit jacket and pulled out a gun. He said something like "I'll take care of these damned Commies." He toke off running toward the crowd. No gunfire was heard and everyone was excited about the demo. It got real time coverage on TV. The Dap could be a very scary person. Years later I worked with him to get a licence to open Kids Arts after school program in J.P. He was happy to support it. You never know what is going to come back around.

    If only

    By on

    If only

    A fantastic and long overdue

    A fantastic and long overdue upgrade to the Square. It looks like the Congretional Church on Cummins is gonna be dwarfed by the adjacent building; too bad they couldn't scale it back a little to allow for better views of the beautiful church building.

    Wonderful reception

    By on

    Residents will get wonderful cell and net reception too. Tower at the church has cell xmit/recv'ers. Sprint I believe.

    ROSLINDALE SQUARE

    By on

    Back in my day (1940's) I went down Cummings highway to the Washington Irving Junior High School and home again passing the Funeral Home. We called it the"Village." Nice to see further revitalization.

    Great.....

    By on

    So where are all the people who will be living in all those wonderful apartments and eating at that wonderful restaurant going to eat. Parking in Roslindale is horrible at its best. Not to mention traffic. Yes I agree something needs to be done with the eye sore of a substation. What are the solutions to the other problems?

    Did you go to any of the meetings on this?

    By on

    Whole lot of talk about "transit oriented development" these days, and you'd be hard pressedto find a project that better fits that than this one - which sits right atop a gazillion bus lines to Forest Hills and is a couple blocks from a commuter-rail station.

    In any case, there will be parking provided for 36 cars for residents. Assuming the sort of people who would want to live in a building like this are all lying and will all bring cars with them, we're not talking that many cars. Maybe I'm jaded from having lived in Allston/Brighton, but I've never found the parking in Roslindale Square horrible.

    Go to Rialto

    By on

    That guy will complain about parking all day long.

    Oh, hey, Bobby!

    By on

    Wouldn't surprise me in the least if a lot of the parking problems cleared up if the city started enforcing the two-hour limit on parking in the municipal lot (full disclosure: I have occasionally parked there for way more than two hours so I could hop on a bus and subway for long hearings downtown).

    ???

    By on

    I live off of cummins near the square - It's a Saturday night - prime going-out time - and I'm looking down the street RIGHT NOW and see exactly 4 cars parked there. It would be really nice seeing more activity out that direction of the square because I don't like getting home at 11pm and being the only person walking down cummins.

    Also - no one ever parks in the MBTA lot - the public lot over by the citizens is never full... can't people walk an entire block? Are people around here seriously that lazy???

    the traffic problems? maybe it's the NINE bus lines that run down washington street - or the school bus parade every morning... Let's get the orange line here - that would solve a lot of problems.

    Public lot

    By on

    As I recall, RVMS put out a graphic showing that the Taft Hill Lot is actually closer to the substation than some of Roche Brothers' parking spots are from its entrance. If people expect to be able to park directly in front of the restaurant, they'll be out of luck, but really, there is parking nearby.

    Oh, sure

    By on

    4 cars on a Saturday night, but let's be honest, no one goes out to eat on a Saturday night. Now Wednesday afternoons- there will be no parking for the diners then.

    Honestly, though, I've been checking out the commuter rail parking lot from time to time during the week. Perhaps if they charged less they would in fact get more revenue. The lower lot barely has cars in it.

    Born up here, still live here

    By on

    Born up here, still live here ( 45 years), my family has been living here since its been annexed. the last thing Roslindale needs is more housing. they could have found something better for the spot than that. and parking will be a problem. so lets say everyone thats lives there has a vehicle what will be done. I know people said they would live there with out a vehicle but you cant control that. I avoid the square now at all costs because it is so hard to get through.

    No need for more housing?!

    By on

    Sure, you and I didn't flee to Walpole when the first family darker than a Scicilian showed up, but if you don't know people who have been priced out by the JP invaders, I will start to doubt your credentials (and I think we went to school together, assuming you went to school with the late Pat McGovern). The traffic in the Square ain't from more housing. It's from more people using the Square to get from point A to B, with neither of those points being in Rozzie. As far as those new condos go, remember that there is only 2 hour parking on Cummins Highway to Florence Street, so if the new residents are thinking on street parking, they will be disappointed.

    Parking in Roslindale

    By on

    It may not be a week know fact but.... there is plenty of parking in Roslindale. There is a free public parking lot that is never full. It is off of South street behind the row of stores on the right hand side before you get to Citizen's bank. Less than a 5 min walk to all of Roslindale village.

    If they took out the 30

    By on

    If they took out the 30 beauty salons in Rozzie square it may be worth something!!

    But...

    By on

    Where would you get your hair cut, my dear?

    As for Waquiot Manor, I paid an overdue visit to Sebastian's on Friday, the Missus got the reminder of her Centre Cuts appointment today, and Junior is not quite there yet, but there's a few guys at Sebastian's who are great with kids.

    Sad.

    By on

    Sad.
    They are just giving the place away to any developer that comes along.

    No, they're not

    By on

    It's OK if you don't know the history of the project; it's been going on for such a long time now.

    A few years before this project came together, the MBTA solicited bids for the building and some guy in Hyde Park who had no experience whatsoever with projects of this size won the bid. Then the T rescinded the award under protest from the community, sold the building to the BRA, which then actually worked with the community to come up with this project. Unlike the guy in Hyde Park, the developer actually has experience rehabbing old industrial buildings.

    History older than the Internet

    By on

    The Commonwealth first worked on selling off this building back in the 1980s, but there was no traction until this past decade.

    As for Higgins, they can sell to whomever they wish. If they wanted to give the property away, fair play to them, though they didn't.

    The guy without the hard hat

    ..in the shovel jockey ceremony looks like he knows his way around a ditch digging job. But he probably isn't progressive enough.

    The rest forgot their suits.

    My wife and I bought a house

    By on

    My wife and I bought a house in Rossie in the late 70's and raise our 3 children there. I delivered mail in Rossie for 20 years, working out of the Post Office across the street from the MBTA substation.

    That corner has always been congested. The substation makes it a dark corner too. The corner is a 90 degree angle. If the substation had been torn down after it became obsolete, the corner could have been made more of a gentle curve than a sharp right angle. The angle is often hard for buses to negotiate, especially with cars in the opposite lane waiting for the light to change.

    Higgins Funeral Home was a good neighbor in Rossie. They let people use their parking lot. People parked there to go to the PO, or other places. The Registry was in the basement of the municipal building, and people parked at Higgins to go there too. Postal employees also parked their cars in Higgins before they drove to deliver their routes. That lot will be lost, now, and people will notice the difference. The only time Higgins blocked access to their lot was the times when they were actually setting up for a funeral.

    So, my point is that the intersection there has always been congested. The new plans for it will just add to the congestion. The substation is really an ugly building, a big monstrosity, I don't care who drew the plans for it originally. It wasn't built to be decorative, but useful. Others felt this way, too, but were brushed aside. It should have been taken down to allow for the corner to be made easier to navigate, especially for buses. There has always been a bus stop right beside the substation. People just stand with their backs to its wall. They could have made a more comfortable bus stop, and perhaps a little green space. Who knows, maybe the restaurant owners will open the substation up with some big windows or a balcony or two. At least that would make it less of an eye-sore.

    Windows

    By on

    Yes, all the boarded up giant windows are supposed to be re-opened as, well, windows.

    Yeah, looking at the

    By on

    Yeah, looking at the substation, I realize that there are massive windows in the building, but the way they were boarded up, it had seemed to me that there were no windows in the building at all. I'm going to be optimistic and assume that when the restaurant owner is finished restoring the building, it will be an attractive and awesome edifice.

    Third Rail

    By on

    Sort of disturbing that they are calling the restaurant the "Third Rail" considering Higgins Funeral Home that was at that location buried many loved ones from Roslindale and the Boston area that were killed by the 3rd rail or by the trains on the tracks in Rozzie ! Who comes up with these names ?? SMH