Imagine that: Developer with large piece of land in Boston proposes single-family homes

Willet Street extension in West Roxbury

Most of Willet Street looks like this today.

A Canton developer that owns 7 3/4 acres of land off Washington Street in West Roxbury has alerted the BPDA it will be filing plans to put 29 single-family homes on the land.

In a letter of intent filed with the agency this week, CAD Builders, LLC says it wants to put the land on what is technically a street, but in practical terms an unpaved pathway from Washington Street just south of the Speedy Market and Heron Street to where Willet Street Ts with Thrush Street.

CAD says it would build an actual road for the homes.

The filing is unusual in a city where developers have long scrambled for any piece of land on which to put apartments and condos.

The land, which CAD already owns as a series of small parcels, sits next to one of the few parts of Boston where developers have built new single-family homes in recent years - but also next to where a developer is currently building a 46-unit apartment building, where the Todesca garage used to be.



Free tagging: 


    Me first

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    I've always wanted to live on the same block as an active quarry with a regular blasting schedule. And when I get sick of it, I'm planning on becoming a NIMBY protester.

    Triple deckers would be nice,

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    Triple deckers would be nice, and offer familial apartments and/or rental income opportunities to the (hopefully) single-family owner occupants while sticking with the traditional New England landscape and still appearing as freestanding homes rather than townhouses or condos.

    Pulling up a map it is not

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    Pulling up a map it is not near any trains and leaving at 8am could take up to an hour and a half to get into Downtown by car and over an hour by transit... so it would seem to make sense that tucked into a neighborhood like this they would not go big. People are willing to travel for their little house but not for their luxury condo.

    e z p z

    22 min.walk to Needham Line, West Roxbury Station. 20 mins by bus. map

    23 mins to Forest Hill by bus. map

    17 mins to Stop & Ship by bus. map

    Exactly my original point...

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    Exactly my original point... thank you! Nobody is buying a luxury condo that is a 30 Rock episode away from the subway

    They're not condos

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    They're detached single-family homes. And you underestimate the lure of West Roxbury.

    You should drive around in the "bird" streets up there. The lots are smaller than you'd expect in a suburb, but it's a very suburban feel, and I suspect this development will appeal to people who want a home with a yard in West Roxbury.

    That was my point all along

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    That was my point all along when I said "People are willing to travel for their little house but not for their luxury condo." People will walk for a yard, they will not walk far for luxury condos.

    7 3/4 acres for 29 homes? It

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    7 3/4 acres for 29 homes? It's not like Boston has a major housing crisis with prices laughably unaffordable because of demand far outstripping supply. But sure, let's build a 1950s cul-de-sac.


    Google shows lots already demarcated on the street extension. zoom in


    The Government can try to lower prices via regulation or they can lower prices by solving the reasons why the demand is so high in the first place: People want safe neighborhoods that are not too far from work and recreation.

    If Boston plays wack a mole with regulation prices will never go down, they'll just shift around to other groups. Instead if Massachusetts gets serious about public transportation it will allow new development elsewhere without ignoring all the reasons why people want to live nearby in the first place.

    The snake is eating its tail

    Here's the problem:
    Housing is needed
    Transit is lacking in this area
    Car dependence causes a lot of headaches in the region

    So ... unless there is transit forthcoming, this area will be car dependent. But if it is car dependent, it will be developed as automotive habitat and not human habitat. And it if it developed as automotive habitat, it will never become human habitat.

    It isn't as simple as dropping a transit-oriented development here, and it is unreasonable to demand that it be fallowed until such time as transit magically materializes.

    Which is why we need regional master planning that includes the transit system expansion into areas which can then be developed around it. That seems to be the best model for getting the snake off and moving.

    In the meantime, we lose the opportunity to build more dense housing on this 7 acres. The need is to focus on the war here, not each little battle.

    Out there

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    "The need is to focus on the war here, not each little battle"

    So, we're at war with each other. That's just great. Nice.

    So, based on this "war" I assume it would never be OK to build single family homes within the 128 corridor. You admitted that there is no transit nearby and there is no way transit will touch this area in the lifetimes of the families who may occupy these homes. But fuck them, right, because they are the enemy! They want to LIVE here! What an outrage. Since it is a "war:" I guess they may be destroyed if these homes are built and they move in. Murder them, it's war not innocent!

    There's no chance that some individual with questionable mental capacity can take the Swirly War in the wrong way and end up killing these people, right? Oh, no, that never could happen. Oh wait, that does happen sometimes, doesn't it. Maybe we should consider it a debate rather than a war, no?

    There has never been an actual proposal for transit in this area. But the Swirl would leave fallow in order to deny families from having an option for new SFR housing. Best let them drive in to Boston from Southboro as I know some who do. Yes, that is better for everyone.

    Except for emissions. Maybe they will choose to bike to Boston form Southboro. No?


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    Do you know what one is?

    I guess not.

    Regional planning escapes you too.

    Slow down, there

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    She is basically saying that building these is not a bad thing, or at least I think she is saying that.

    The war is for sustainable development. The battles are massing housing near transit. There is not quality transit (subways, commuter rail, or even busways) anywhere near this area, so fighting single family housing here is not the battle worth fighting.

    Maybe not quality

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    But there are buses on Washington St. and the commuter rail is a little over a mile away, and plenty of people in the neighborhood commute in town via bus or commuter rail.

    I wonder what these houses will cost. The new houses built by that builder (and others) in that neighborhood are selling for over $900,000. I like the idea of new single family homes - Washington St. has lots of large apartment & condo buildings - but it would be nice to see some smaller, less expensive single family homes. I doubt that's what they have in mind though.

    20 minute bus ride to Forest Hills

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    Based on the 24 minute ride from the Dedham Line, and not even factoring the mode change once one gets to the Hills. Conversely, the typical estimate for walking is 30 minutes to a mile, so I would not consider this a ripe location for Transit Oriented Development (as opposed to Ye Olde Inhaler Factory which is right next door to the Commuter Rail station to which you refer.)

    As for cost, I'd be surprised if they go for under $750,000, but who knows.

    Webster sez

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    Habitat: the natural home or environment of an animal, plant, or other organism.

    Hmmm cars are people now too?

    Webster also sez

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    Metaphor: :a figure of speech in which a word or phrase literally denoting one kind of object or idea is used in place of another to suggest a likeness or analogy between them (as in drowning in money); broadly :figurative language

    (You might also want to look up the term "butthurt")

    The best hope for West

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    The best hope for West Roxbury is a replacement of the Needham Line with an Orange Line extension, which allows a dramatic re-imagining of all the bus routes and expands the catchment area of each station. When the 37 picks up at the West Rox stop and not all the way up at Forest Hills, it can go out further and run more often. Etc etc. Even then, this neighborhood wouldn't be directly impacted since it's fairly far from the tracks as is and it will take a while to change habits.

    The cost of single families in Roslindale and WX is off the chain insane - more so than condos and apartments - because there's a lot of pent up desire. I know two young families desperate to get out of their triple decker condos now that they've had their second kiddos. Their housing will become available when they do. The developer wants to take unused land and put in more housing, which is ultimately a good thing - don't let perfect be the enemy of good.

    When a 'consensus' achieved

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    When a 'consensus' achieved among the power elite, no further scrutiny is pursued or accepted. It is indeed easier to change the course of the Queen Elizabeth II than the judgment of "Boston's informed intelligentsia."

    Care to be more specific?

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    Can't really tell what point you're trying to make, other than to air a vague resentment people, I guess? And somehow equating them with the 'power elite', which is fairly hilarious all on its own.

    Not sure what the heck any of that has to do with this story though. Could uHub be getting visits from Putin's troll farms now?