Old Roxbury hospital site could become apartments

45 Townsend St.

Rendering by Studio G Architects.

Kensington Investment Co. has filed a letter of intent with the BPDA to turn the former Radius hospital complex off Townsend and Harrishof streets into a 322-unit market-rate apartment complex with 217 parking spaces, a cafe and a billiards room.

In its filing, the Congress Street-based company says it would meet its affordable-housing requirements by building condos elsewhere in the neighborhood, "within walking distance" of the site.

Kensington says its project, which would rise up to 7 1/2 stories, would take two year to build, once demolition of the current five Radius buildings is finished and construction begins in 2019.

Other project amenities include 24 hour front desk and on-site security, gathering places for exhibitions, kitchen and dining area, games room with billiards, reading nooks and lending library, TVs, multiple sitting areas, with fireplace, access to outdoors, coffee and tea bar, fitness center and Yoga studio, outdoor pool, meeting spaces for study and work, computer area with printing and outdoor BBQs and sitting areas.

45 Townsend letter of intent (1.8M PDF).
More from Kensington.



Free tagging: 


Attention Real Estate Map Contortionists

I am trademarking the term East JP so you realtors can't use it for here.

It is Roxbury through and through.

Good luck to Kensington, despite denying some kid named John Costello a job back in 1998, they appear to be doing ok.

You blew it already

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I've already trademarked Fort Hill South and that's clearly the better name.

Also known colloquially

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as H-block, though there's some baggage given the eponymous gang.

This area of Roxbury is absolutely exploding with new development now, probably driven by developers who see 02130 prices half a mile up the road and want to be in on the next gentrification boom. Part of me wonders if this area is going to make the same turnaround, though... this is a MUCH rougher part of town than Egleston, and is further from a train line. It's a beautiful neighborhood, and my daughter's daycare is right there, but I am skeptical that they're going to be able to attract the same yuppies that JP is.

Wait For The Real Estate Magellans

Give it two or three years. They will DISCOVER!!!! all these great houses, that have been around for 130 years along Walnut Avenue.

I can't wait for the ads: "Beautiful Victorian! Ready for your touch. Close to the Zoo. It's the next Ashmont Hill!"

I feel sorry for all those hard working people on Homestead Street who have had to put up with years of H Block being nearby and now will have to deal with Whole Foods delivery trucks blocking the street.

Yeah, well,

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That is what gentrification does. Those who can't afford, must move. The problem is that there are fewer and fewer places for folks to move to (and, really, why should they have to?)

I am not sure what the develop means by "affordable" condos (again, affordable for whom?). It appears that most of the new housing being building in the city is up scale. And, unfortunately, there is still not much discussion about creating new housing that people can really afford (i.e. no more than 30 percent of their monthly income).

But, hey, we need more bike shops and spaces for art, right?

Plenty of folks

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including Tito Jackson have been enthusiastic about development in Roxbury, including the 25-story tower with off-site affordable housing. http://www.bostonmagazine.com/news/blog/2015/06/30/dudley-square-25-stor... Which sounds fine, I guess--a little tall for my taste--but I don't really get how you decry gentrification in one breath and then in the next tell us how Roxbury needs more upscale housing to retain professionals.

Parenthetically--you really think a bike shop is a sign of the end times, gentrification-wise? Pray tell me where all of these snooty bike shops are popping up? I think you're thinking of a dog bakery.

Bikes are affordable

Every time my car needs something, it costs as much as a couple good bikes.

Bike shops are a good thing in lower income areas - they provide support for inexpensive transportation - cheaper than the T even if you only use one 8 months of the year.

Why should they get amenities

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Why should they get amenities they don't pay for? I don't get to use my neighbor's swimming pool, and nor do I expect to watch their wide screen TV when the Patriots are on.

Because ...

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A person paying a lower rent which may still be a higher percentage of their income than their neighbor, should not be treated like a second class citizen. If the pool, gym, roof garden, etc are shared amenities, then they must be shared.

Office Needs

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Mixed bag here.

At the community center we have WB Mason deliver office supplies and sundries. Some of the area business may want to consider that. While we also have a Staples account, we only used them for the occasional fill-in item, or the occasional need for a cable or a school project item.

We found the prices comparable between the two. So with some planning we will be OK and WB Mason delivers to the door.

On the Target side we used to have a commercial business charge with them for the occasional need for something they carried but about 2 years ago they did away with their business charge model. We can still order on-line and pay by corporate debit card, but frankly speaking, we can get everything we need in the local business community.

We have accounts at the Village Market (great for the teen cooking classes or those rainy days when we take the after school kids down to the kitchen and make pizza), and at Roslindale Hardware for a lot of what they carry. It\s so good to walk in the door there and say "I need..." and the response is "Sure, how many." And they can deliver if needed on some items.

Mr. Sweeper in West Roxbury supplies our vacuums and does the repairs. Dollar Store has the kitchen needs and sundries. Dollar Tree has some of the stuff we use for party decor or seasonal decor. If you visit the Flaherty Pool you see the efforts of Corinne and her home-touch to the place.

So regardless of Target, we're covered for our needs with local business. Will we shop at Target? Probably, but frankly speaking we have it way too good with all of our other local business relationships, and local business has been very supportive of us. It's nice to walk into a local business and greet people by first name - and vice-versa.

PS - We have our own commercial copier that can slice, dice, and make julienne fries. It's not available tot he public however. It's also the scanner and fax unit. Big box, all in one.

And... we have fiber!

Bring it on

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As a Fort Hill resident and someone who once considered buying the house directly east of the property, and someone who has friends living directly across the street, I say bring it on. We need more housing of every type. The local residents sealed the deal when they rejected the plan to turn the former rehab hospital into (gasp!) another rehab hospital. With its original use now prohibited by nimby neighbors, there's no other alternative but housing for the site. And with a location close to the Washington St commercial corridor, it makes perfect sense to have a cafe, etc.

The only change I would ask for is more mixed use business space on the lower level. Roxbury, and especially that stretch of Washington, needs restaurants, cafes, bike shops, art spaces, and other nonresident uses almost as desperately as we need housing.


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When the bridge to Long Island was abruptly closed, the City tried to move its detox programs to the 45 Townsend site. DETOX not "another rehab hospital." The City attempted this after declaring in the Globe they had ruled out Roxbury for new sites for the Long Island programs. That's what first set neighbors off. At the City community meeting about it, nearly every political stripe and background of Roxbury testified against it, including people years into drug recovery themselves, young activists, elderly, renters, homeowners. Hell, some MBTA bus drivers who drive those routes came to the meeting in opposition as well.

You say you live on Fort Hill. How do you like the "sober houses" at the foot of the hill? Your neighbors sure as hell don't. We simply think that Roxbury has more than its fair share of such programs... it's fairness, not NIMBYism. Do your friends live in the gray pointy house? At least one person I know there is in opposition to this development. Or are your friends in the City Realty property... or the bearded hipsters a few doors down? None of them except for the guy in opposition have had any involvement in community issues like this at all. ZERO. They could've come to any number of meetings and supported this, but again, no connection with the community.

What Kensington proposes is 322 units. Bartlett Place - at the foot of Fort Hill - will be 323 units, but the Bartlett site is 373,980 sf and the Townsend site is 221,463. It is therefore 1.7 times more dense than Bartlett and almost 3x as dense as the standard in Roxbury's zoning code of 1 unit per 2,000 sf.

We're not opposed to housing. What we oppose is a development that is twice as dense as it should be. You probably like living on Fort Hill for the architecture and character. We like our Victorians, Queen Anne's and our character as well. Would you stand for the near-equivalent of two apartment towers being plunked down in the middle of Fort Hill?

Thank goodness you ended up on Fort Hill.

Some people are very

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Some people are very unreasonable when they call anything NIMBY that's larger than the density allowed.

Difference between sober house and rehab is massive

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The sober houses suck. But they suck because of the landlord, who is screwing not only the neighbors but also the residents. And they suck because we're using our court systems to try to deal with the medical problem of addiction. Properly run, those places could have been a benefit to the community in the same way that the Haley House, which helps another recovering population, is. I'd be fine with them if they were run professionally a different the residents were given the help and support they need.

And as for rehab vs detox... I don't even know where to start. Addiction is ruining lives all over New England. It's an equal opportunity killer. I'd be willing to bet you know more than a few people who are struggling with it or have died from it. So do I. A good friend's brother died six months ago after being denied rehab services for months due to a lack of available beds. A co-worker's nephew died last year. On the other hand, my next door neighbor, now clean, was lucky enough to get help and now lives a normal life. And our illustrious mayor is also a pretty good reminder that you can, with help, recover from addiction. We desperately need beds for people to recover. Those beds would have been long term and secure - minimal ambulances, no addicts hanging out in front, pretty much the same experience you had with Radius. I even wrote an open letter to the mayor suggesting that support be contingent on getting rid of the sober homes down the street.

But nope, the neighbors decided they'd rather move the drug problem to the corner of Melnea Cass and Washington than participate in a solution to the problem. And at the time, I publicly warned that this sealed the deal that the space would be converted to condos. And I also publicly warned that you hd spurned the mayor in trying to HELP SICK PEOPLE and that he would be entirely unsympathetic to your cause when the eventual condo developers made their pitch. And guess what... You chose the condos. Enjoy them. You had a decision, and you made it.


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You totally fail to get it. After years of failure by the city and state to plan for the bridge replacement, this one, under-served neighborhood is supposed to just accept becoming the epicenter of treatment for the region for the greater good with basically no notice. You're ignoring the specific points the other poster make this appear to be a simple binary choice, which it isn't.

I'm glad you explained that drug addiction is bad and that rehab and support is needed. We all totally missed that point.

35 Morton Street?

By the way, allowing the street in the replacement development in there to be called West Main Street could be one of the dumbest street names in a long time in Boston.

why is a delivery truck bad?

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This neighborhood has suffered from disinvestment for over 50 years. Gang violence is frequent, and many of the houses have fallen into disrepair. Why would it be bad for a Whole Foods delivery truck to stop here? How is that a problem? How is that worse than going outside your house at the risk of being shot? If someone wants to move here and have Whole Foods delivered, it seems to me that it is their right to do it. Are you saying only certain types of people are allowed to live here?

On the one hand people are criticizing the crime and poverty and saying, "Make it better." On the other hand people are criticizing the new development and saying, "Don't change it!"

Either things will stay the same, or things will change, and you can't have both at the same time. But you also can't deny both at the same time without seeming like it's asking for the impossible. Is that what is wanted?

Because the world doesn't

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Because the world doesn't need to be either extreme. The people who dealt with disinvestment for 50 years will be forced out in 5. Who gives a shit if there's nice stuff there now, they won't be able to reap the benefits even though they dealt with the hard times. This seems to be insanely obvious, except for idiotic transplants i.e. 90% of the scum on universalhub.

I know you are but what am I?

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You talk like that to people at parties? If so, you have any teeth left?

You were doing just fine making your point without the insult.


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No need for the insult . People take care of their own neighborhoods. So they dealt with " disinvestment " but when companies invest ala Bayside Expo Center , disaster. Hired people from the area , got tax relief, then the A&P had terrible " shrinkage " the center failed . Not the investors problem. No complaints about white flight from areas during the disaster of forced busing - Garrity you eejit - . Cant afford Catholic / Private schools ? Too bad " hit the bricks " Sully. ' Hello Weymouth . So bring on the Magellan's to scrape the trouble of our boots . Can't afford it , well hello Brockton and put to rest the foolish terms of " disinvestment "and the worst made up term , displacement . It is called gentrification.

How have they earned a right to "reap the benefits"?

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Just because a person has lived there 50 years doesn't "earn" them the right to "reap the benefits" unless they do something themselves to earn it (i.e., sell their house for a profit, or improve their investment, etc.) You're speaking as if they are supposed to get a handout just for having been there. What other neighborhood in this city gives people a prize just for having sat on their land or house for 50 years?

We live in a free market society. Properties are bought and sold according to their value on the market. If person A happens to sell their house for a million dollars, they do not owe person B next door anything. Even if person B lived there for 50 years, person A doesn't need to help them "reap the benefits." The way you put it sounds like someone seeking a handout.

If person B wants to "reap a benefit" they have the freedom to sell their house for any price they want to ask. It would be unfair to expect that person B sit in their house AND receive handouts on top of that because that would enrich person B without person B having done anything to earn it.

I live right down the street

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I live right down the street and I don't even take these back/side streets home. I hope potential residents do their homework before moving in. You know how many times I turn on the scanner after I hear gunshots to find out they were either in this area or the suspects fled in this direction? They can have it, lol.