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East Boston waterfront could get luxury tower aimed at the childless

Proposed East Boston tower

The Boston Business Journal reports the BRA last night approved a 16-story replacement for an old 9-story industrial building on New Street, next to LoPresti Park.

A Portland developer who recently bought the nearly 4-acre parcel will give the BRA $7.8 million to build affordable housing somewhere else; the BRA approved that after the developer said the project would be financially unviable if it had to incorporate affordable units into the project.

In its filings with the BRA, Gerding Edlen says it will add seven stories to the existing tower and fill it with 231 studio and one- and two-bedroonm units. A shorter addition to the building will add 19 studios and one-bedroom unit as well as a rooftop pool and fitness center.

A shorter building will be torn down to make way for a parking garage; the project will include 135 to 155 total parking spaces. The exact number of spaces will depend on whether the developer installs mechanical "stackers" to stow cars on top of other cars.

Plans also call for a 12-foot-wide extension to the East Boston harborwalk and a new ferry dock.

The project will cost roughly $124 million.

This is the proposal's second go-round with the BRA. Gerding Edlen purchased the property from a Belmont family who had won BRA approval for a very similar plan in 2010.

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Comments

"Luxury living in the heart of the Machete District"

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Developers are hoping to change that. With the ferry dock being installed, the new "luxury" condos about to open on Marginal Street, they just broke ground for some more west of those, and this proposal. The neighborhood could evolve.

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Where does it mention that it's located in Eagle Hill? That's as close to the machete incident as the South End is to Dudley.

East Boston is tough because Bostonians would rather live next to white OC enthusiasts in Southie, and in the flight path to Logan, than near brown immigrants in Eastie. Keeps rent down in Jeffries Point, though.

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16 stories high, It will be the second tallest building in East Boston , second to the airport tower. I heard that a Jimmys Harborside might be at this location.This building will be rentals only. The building will have 360 degree views of the Tobin bridge, North End, Bunker Hill Monument and Bridge and the entire skyline of Boston..

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Yeah, when I was house shopping in late 2011/early 2012 I got sketchy vibes from certain parts of Eagle Hill, but settled in Jeffries Point and have honestly never felt safer. OK so the wheels got stolen off my car this spring, which sucked, but violent crime? Naw. Great neighbors, a couple distant pockets of acquaintance-crime (according to PD most of the recent issues around Maverick have been related to this one dude who keeps squatting in his mom's subsidized apt and drawing retaliation from his dealer frenemies or something)...

But the blue line is an immeasurable improvement over green, where people were getting stabbed all the time last time I lived here. Do not understand Eastie's poor reputation at all.

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until I saw the "Lobstah" restaurant in the lower corner, now I hate it.

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How about housing for childless working professionals that we can afford?

The luxury crowd has the entire fucking city. Stay out of Eastie.

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People will have more money to pay high rents because they won't have anywhere affordable to park (or insure) a car and thus have to get rid of it. Developers have the angles covered.

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Tired of seeing "Luxury" Condos or Apartments going up. Nothing for the rest of us. You either have to be dirt poor or rich to now get a place in many neighborhoods around the city.

I fear Chelsea is next. Good for my roommate (condo owner) but bad for everyone else.

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is already getting there. Regardless of how they market it, One North is not that affordable.

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One North, Mystic Brewery (my favorite), Silver Line expansion .. all the signs are there, but realistically it will take a while. I would imagine that the economy will tank again before Chelsea gets to a Somerville or Eastie state of affairs.

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Condo development in East Boston is continuing to heat up, they haven' t started the Hodge Boiler works development yet, (across from this building) don't know how much it wlll cost to live at the hodge Boiler works development, but it will be quite expensive. Plus all the available valuable vacant land throughout the East Boston neighborhood just waiting to be developed. Once Jefferies Point and Eagle hill become expensive to live in, people will start investing in the Central SQ area, future development on the old Seville theatre to 18 units condo complex on Saratoga street and lower Bennington street will be the next hot area for condo conversion development, and Porter street , the state should sell the releif station on porter street to developers..some much potential in Eastie!!

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I still prefer Broadway Village in SoBo.

- The Original SoBo Yuppie

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Sounds like Boston's version of the "poor door".

Anyone have any information on where this "affordable housing" money gets spent? I wonder if it is working out...

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that the BRA audit commissioned by Walsh concluded that the affordable housing payments collected from developers by the BRA were largely unspent and just sitting in the bank.

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And databases and cool stuff like that, they can track the money and actually get it spent, rather than just "losing" the paper records in some Indiana Jones giant warehouse.

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They'll just lose those computers in the warehouse soon enough

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"Beware of the Leopard"

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"But look, you found the notice, didn't you?"

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The developer gets to build 250 luxury units, and current city policy only requires that they pay for the equivalent of 15% of total units x $200,000 toward affordable housing, which is how they came up with the $7.8M payment. However, it's been many years since you can build a unit for $200,000 in the City of Boston. In fact, it's closer to $400,000, with land prices and construction costs going up like crazy. So of course it's cheaper for the developer to pay out and call it a day. I hope when the Mayor releases his grand housing plan it will call for higher per-unit pay-in amounts from developers that don't want to build affordable units on-site.

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And guess who those costs will get passed onto? Renters and potential homeowners making it even MORE EXPENSIVE to live in the city for those of us not subsidized by the government.

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I don't see anything in the BBJ article to support this statement. Where did it come from?

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I think it's more about the units all being studios and 1-beds, which aren't as family-friendly.

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It was a bit striking that there isn't a single three-bedroom apartment in the joint. I realize families these days are more likely to consist of just two parents and one child, for whom a second bedroom might be enough, but I also realize that the sort of people willing to pay for harbor views from a project like this are also more likely to want to use that second bedroom for some non-bedroom purpose.

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It wouldn't be legal to ban children from this complex, or evict people for creating or acquiring them.

On the other hand, the project won't likely have many kids there due to the size and configuration of the units. That said, I do know single parents who live in large 1 bedrooms and make creative use of partitioning screens, etc.

If you read the description, there will also be some two bedroom units in the building.

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The preferred term is child free, not childless. Childless makes those of us sans enfants feel lesser. Child free makes us feel like we're too good to waste our time and resources breeding.

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The developer (which everyone but the BBJ spells Gerding Edlen) is best known for their reuse of a brewery complex in Portland: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Weinhard_Brewery_Complex#Redevelopment

It's great to see the building be adapted rather than torn down - it's much more environmentally friendly, and reuse often results in weird, interesting buildings. But it's a shame that unlike their mixed use brewery project, this conversion apparently won't include any retail.

Incidentally, Gerding Edlen was recently a finalist for the role of master developer in Union Square, primarily because Somerville loved their brewery blocks project.

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...the Boston Housing Authority goes ahead and revitalizes Maverick Gardens for poor folks and the next thing you know, there goes the neighborhood!
(awesome site location)

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