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BRA approves apartments, hotel for Melnea Cass Boulevard

The BRA board this week gave its nod to $75 million worth of development along Melnea Cass Boulevard.

The BRA board approved a 76-apartment proposal for Melnea Cass near Tremont Street. Madison Park Development Corp. will spend $37 million to erect the five-story building, which the BRA says will help turn Melnea Cass into a neighborhood street, rather than remaining as a bypass left over from the days when it was planned as part of an Interstate highway.

The board also approved, for the second time, a proposal for 108 hotel rooms and 50 apartments at Melnea Cass Boulevard and Washington Street, near Dudley Square.

The board first approved the $38-million Urbanica project in 2013, but the lot remained vacant as Urbanica and neighborhood groups tried to come to agreement on wages for workers at the hotel. The Globe reports they settled on wages of at least $18 an hour.

Melnea Hotel and Residences project notification form (21M PDF).

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A new hotel, since the other ones in the area are doing so well...

"BRA agrees to give up $3.5 million it's owed to help financially troubled hotel stay open"
http://www.universalhub.com/2015/bra-agrees-give-35-million-its-owed-help

"A landscaper working the grounds of a hotel in the area recently got pricked by a needle."
http://www.universalhub.com/2015/needles-everywhere-newmarket-square-bus...

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I realize how inconsequential this may seem, but those few blocks closer to Northeastern/Ruggles/St Caspians, and farther from Mass Ave, might make a big difference. Mass Ave seems to be the locus of the heroine hangout-- somewhere near Newmarket is a methadone clinic, closer to I-93 than to Washington Street.

If the sidewalks are repaired, then the location they want would be a pretty easy walk to the Orange line and the Northeastern playing fields, and not far to Symphony Hall and the MFA.

Two things, though...

Per the BRA proposal, this group, Urbanica, is behind D4. Now, I don't know if they're the same group of clowns developers who have been on D4 since Philippe Stark was involved with the project, but if they are, I shudder.

More seriously, the heroine tragedy in Boston cannot just be built around. I wish I had answers to offer, but helping people off smack and ending the traffic has to become a higher priority than it now is. Even before Long Island closed, outreach workers were overextended, rehab and detox programs were backed up, and the shelters were overflowing. Now, it's worse, and I don't know that we have even a quarter of the facilities and personnel to help. For the past two years, whenever I need to take the #10 bus during the day, it has been half filled with people on the nod. The numbers have definitely gone up from where it was 8 or so years ago that I started using this route semi-regularly.

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The advantage of treatment on Long Island is that it got addicts away from Boston streets for a little while. That is lost when the treatment centers are right smack dab where addicts, dealers, and drugs have a culture waiting to swallow up a fragile, newly recovering addict.

A friend who went to detox no longer goes to NA meetings because that's where the addicts are and the easiest way to connect with dealers others use. Addicts need to be isolated from all their druggie friends and contacts if they have a hope of staying clean.

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Nice place for tourists to stay and be scared away from what wasn't supposed to part of the lobster and chowda tour they read about in their tour guide book.

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Not all hotels are for tourists.

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Yes you're spot on, Adam, and even more so regarding the future guests of this hotel.

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before being turned into welfare hotels. Aren't these properties too new/expensive for that? Or is there no limit to the depth of Mass taxpayer pockets?

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