Developer unwraps replacement for South Boston Family Dollar

Family Dollar replacement on West Broadway

Architect's rendering.

Developer Michael Moore last week filed his detailed plans for replacing the Family Dollar, a pizza place and three other shops on West Broadway with a 44-unit apartment building and a 50-car garage that has room for stores on the first floor.

In plans filed with the BPDA, Moore said all of the units would have either one or two bedrooms.

He filed the plans just a few days after the zoning board approved his seven-story replacement for the Gulf station at West Broadway and A Street.

Moore's building would come with rooftop decks and a dog-walking area. Units facing Broadway would have balconies for "the tenants to watch and be part of the activity on West Broadway."

Six of the units would be marketed as affordable.

The retail space "will offer varied commercial opportunities bringing businesses back to the neighborhood," Moore's application states. It does not say whether the businesses being brought back will include the ones being displaced by the new building.

Moore hopes to begin construction in early 2019, with completion in late 2020.

The BPDA has scheduled a public meeting on the proposal for 6:30 p.m. on Dec. 11 at the Condon Community Center, 200 D Street in South Boston.

457-469a West Broadway project notification form (79M PDF).

The view from the square:

Another view of the building

The rear view:

Another view of the building

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Comments

OH BOY!

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MORE CHEAP SURFACES AND QUIRKY ASYMMETRY! HOW NEW! HOW REFRESHING! HOW... HOW... how will we ever explain this to future generations?

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Well ...

I believe the Boston area supports several schools of architectural design. Perhaps it is time for a career change?

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25

Yes

They mirror each other though, to the left and right, i.e., it's symmetrical.

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Yes, I can.

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That proposal is incredibly oooooogly. It does nothing to improve the neighborhood.

Hmm, let's see

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Shabby, Depressing As All Getout Dollar Store and Dime A Dozen Crappy Pizza Joint replaced by badly-needed housing units. Yeah. that's surely a detriment to the neighborhood.

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12

But, but

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It looks like every other building! (Much like most buildings built in the '60's look alike, and the '40's, and the 20's.)

Thats rendered with Revit

Which is not by any means a cheap piece of software, aside from piracy.

However, they did decide to use the out of the box materials and generic rendering style, which I agree look like garbage.

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13

Fifty

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Fifty parking? Forty-nine too many

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13

No. More like No Families

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No. More like No Families Million Dollar. There's always Old Colony for families looking for "affordable" housing, right?

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Its a shame that Ken and

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Its a shame that Ken and Barbara Dollar and their children Kayden and Brayydyn Dollar are losing their Family Dollar home for this new construction.

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19

1s and 2s only?

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Moore said all of the units would have either one or two bedrooms.

That's frustrating. Working families need housing too, not just the 20-somethings.

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Shortage of 1 and 2s in Boston

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There is plenty of 3+ bedroom housing in Boston. It's just that a huge amount of it is being taken up by roommates instead of families. Most of my peers are in that situation. They desperately want to quit being roommates, but the available inventory is so low that they have little choice but to live with other people, often well into their 40s.

The more one and 2 bedroom units we build, the better. Eventually it will ease pressure on the existing stock of true family housing.

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27

Yes but

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What percentage of the 3+ bedroom houses are complaint with the lead law for children under age 6? I'm guessing not many.

Most families also can't spend three months living in limbo waiting for a landlord to delead a unit for them, as it states in the law.

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Work for it

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Either demand laws that all units be inspected and deleaded in order to get an occupancy certificate (it isn't good for adults either) or buy your own home and have the deleading done.

the best solution

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is to build 3+ bedroom condos or houses with a minimum of 2500 sq ft. (read: price out the bros).

no apartment rentals of any kind.
no 1 to 2 bedroom condos.

that will improve this neighborhood drastically.

the good news is that the bros are being priced out already...building smaller units may slow that down.

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Or developers can do what

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Or developers can do what they want with their land and people can choose to live where they want instead of enacting dumb laws to discriminate against certain type of people. People aren't more worthy than others just because they have crapped out a couple kids. And who can afford a brand new 2500 square foot condo?!? A tiny percentage of people.

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Yeabut...

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Three 1 BR apartments will always cost more, combined, than a single 3 BR apartment. There will always be pressure for young people to have roommates in order to afford housing. That won't go away anytime soon, if ever. Sure, the pressure will be reduced, but it won't be eliminated.

We need to build new for all family units -- singles, pairs, families, multi-generational, disabled, senior, etc. I'm not arguing that every building must cater to every group, but it's important that every neighborhood be accessible to all family types, and that means that our new buildings must contain this mix. The fact is, most singles and pairs are the most resilient -- they're the least likely to need an elevator, to suffer from problems with lead, to not need handicap features in bathrooms, and in general to be flexible enough to make things work. New housing isn't just about stainless steel to those other groups -- it's often about accessibility and safety.

(to reiterate, I'm not arguing for a massive top-down program; merely arguing that existing housing stock is often inadequate for households and that new housing solves their challenges)

Take a drive through

Take a drive through literally any neighborhood outside of downtown.

See all those hundreds and hundreds of triple-deckers? Lining nearly every street? Along with some 2-floors and single families? Nearly all of them are 3+ bedrooms.

A lot of them are not occupied by families, they're occupied by young people with roommates. many of whom would enjoy having their own place, a 1-bedroom or studio. But they can't find that type of housing, because people fight housing that isn't entirely 3+ bedroom.

As stated in the document,

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As stated in the document, maximum height per the code for this project would be 40ft. The proposed structure is 55ft, so it would require a variance.

More units would require more parking. They are proposing the use of CityLift Puzzles to meet the requirements: https://vimeo.com/147893158 . It seems like the parking supply is pretty much maxed-out for the space.

You could fit a lot of units in the space to be used for the 50-car garage.

Our zoning codes ensure we have enough housing for cars, but prevent us from having enough housing for people.

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Exterior Stair?

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I didn't think exterior egress stairs as depicted were allowed? Unless they're not part of the egress plan and are for convenience only?

Fancy Fire Escape?

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I am sure that would be the back of the unit with the front door opening onto an interior hall.

Yes

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I got it - and I still thought new ones (exterior egress = fire escape) had become disallowed in the current code.

Will it have a new Family Dollar

as one of the retail tenants?

They have been leaving our region. The Davis Square one closed and is still vacant, the Somerville Avenue one became a Dollar Tree, the Cambridge one closed and then recently reopened as Dollar General, and the Medford one also closed (and I think also reopened as Dollar General).

Dollar Tree is Family Dollar.

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Dollar Tree is Family Dollar. Given that DT is the parent company (they bought them two years ago), you're more likely to see stores become DT than FD.

i see pacman

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can we call it the pacman building? the little windows are the ghosts

[pac man sound effects: wonka-wonka-wonka]

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