Developer shrinks size of proposed building on Brighton/Brookline line, adds T passes, ZipCar membership for new tenants
The Cambridge developer that wants to tear down the gas station and offices on the town line on Washington Street has submitted revised plans to the BRA that shrink the building from six to four floors - by reducing the number of units from 145 to 118 - and now plans to give tenants T passes for three months and a year's ZipCar membership to try to reduce the impact on local roads.
Urban Spaces LLC's latest plans for 5 Washington St., submitted after meetings with nearby residents, also calls for widening the sidewalk on Washington Street, adding a restaurant with an outdoor patio to "activate neighborhood greenspace" and a new "asymmetrical design breaking down the building massing into several different, smaller-scale components."
The proposal also calls for increasing the number of spaces in the building garage from 101 to 104, as well as a bike-storage room with a full bike repair station.
Original proposal, filed in 2014.
Revisions to original project-notification form.
Environmental summary for project.
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I don't see commercial/retail doing well here.
But I guess you never know, locations like Legacy Place, shops in Chestnut Hill, Foxboro, Westwood Station seem to be killing it.
It seems that bars/resturants have been hit or miss in this area of Brighton/Allston along the Comm Ave. corridor.
plenty of revenue in this
plenty of revenue in this area; the issue had along the Comm Ave corridor are primarily due to rents being set too high by landlords. Having the same landlord for the residential and commercial increase the incentive to set rents such that the space stays occupied.
Right next to the Whole Foods
Lot of apartments, too, so maybe not a club, but something more neighborhoody? Like a drug store (even though that might be the end of Melvin Drugs around the corner). Plus, the neighborhood cafe they're now planning.
There are many things in
There are many things in Washington/Comm Ave Cornor, but there isn't a Bar, I think the only Place that sells alcohol at all is Tasca. The rest of the bars involve walking up and down that hill.
is roughly a 7 minute walk from this building, if that.
Whole Foods has a huge parking lot.
That always, and I mean always has spaces to park. Parking isn't too bad around there on the street either, as it is kind of a no mans land inbetween Comm Ave. and Beacon St. Maybe it will do well since there will be more places to park.
Then Brookline can ban non resident parking from 8pm to 12pm and ruin it for everyone.
But yea, a café would work but rent is going to be high no matter what, and sometimes national chains are the only ones that can withstand it. Panera or Chipolte will probably go in there.
The size of that parking lot
The size of that parking lot always annoyed me when I lived there, because that Whole Foods is especially cramped even for a Whole Foods.
Wasn't always WF
That one was a Bread & Circus before WF bought them out and rebranded the store. That's why it's not your normal WF in size/shape.
Stop & Shop
Before Bread and Circus, it was a Stop & Shop (like the one in the Fenway). I don't think the footprint has changed much, if at all.
It was a purity supreme before bread and circus, the parking lot had some two families with nice rose bushes, change........
Those gas stations need to go, been a rip off for 30 years, contaminating the ground and the Air of the Baldwin Elementary school
Stop & Shop, actually
Which I know because I briefly lived across from the parking lot on Allston St. - and met my wife because of the way she'd get to her apartment after shopping there.
Don't park in WF if you're not going to WF
I don't recall if it's Roberts or some other tow company but if you're in that lot after WF closes, you're boned and QUICKLY. They do some scanning during the day too I think, but I've had friends not listen to me when meeting me at Tasca and had to drive them into Allston to get their car back.
Leave the gas station there instead
That intersection is already pretty bad with the Whole Foods there, Washington street being a major thoroughfare between Brookline and Brighton, lots of cross traffic on Corey Road. I believe there are a couple of senior-oriented living centers there too and there is almost always one ambulance leaving/arriving constantly as a result. Adding 118 apartment right at the intersection will make that worse.
That rendering should show the traffic lights and what traffic looks like between 3 - 8 PM on almost any day.
my, what an original, beautiful and inspiring building.
How about, instead of whining under every post with a new building, we just assume that someone doesn't like it. This is how design looks this decade. Get over it already.
The point is less that I don't like it and more that these things are all EXACTLY the same. It's getting comical at this point. Even if they proposed a Stata Center bit of wankery (which I wouldn't care for either), I wouldn't be complaining because it doesn't look like they took a drag 'n' drop template from an Autocadd program and plopped it on the corner. (Who am I kidding, I'd still be whinging but it would be a different complaint, not the usual crapitechture one.)
I'm not over it. Design this decade is apparently in the hand of douchebags. I'm going to whine. Get over it already.
Plenty of previous eras' residential architecture was equally uniform. It's almost like the people commissioning the designs tend to be both fiscally and stylistically conservative.
But hey I found a clipping of you in the local newspaper:
Are you implying that every
Are you implying that every decade's architecture is good and thus no one should complain about it? Case brutalism would beg to differ.
I can dress myself!!!
Seems more like an argument that "everyone sucks, so why fight it." I actually think brutalism stands up to time better than this crap both literally and stylistically. One of the best arguments to not taking down City Hall is that you would probably have to jack hammer the entire structure. That thing is not going to collapse with explosives. Not engineered to look pretty, to allow people to hear anything spoken in public meetings (an error...?), or to keep water out, but damnit it's like a cockroach - it'll still be here after the apocalypse.
As far as the style goes, I'm not that much of a brutalist (a brute?) but having grown up in the 70s I guess I have some nostalgia for this ugly shit. Maybe children growing up today will have nostalgia for the playmobile shit-shacks going up on every corner, but I tell you this - by the time these rugrats are in their 40s these buildings are all going to be falling down or already be taken out. They are not built to last, and maybe that's a good thing.
And anoter ting, I've gone way past newsprint...
Don't worry.. in about 20-30 years, all this construction from today is going to be hideously ugly to us. Just as some 1950s-60s construction is now hideously ugly. (Gov't Center/City Hall, Pru Tower, FBI Building, etc... )
You just described the South End!
You can apply that line to any number of Boston's architectural eras.
Kind of like Dorchester?
Dorchester and Somerville and parts of Cambridge and Arlington and Medford ... and ...
To this comment and the one about the South End -- are you truly equating the architecture of triple deckers and brownstones to what is going up today?
Sameness is not bad, provided the similarities are in the quality of the construction, the attention to detail, the general form that allows for a wealth of different adornments, lay-outs and styles within the general template. Sorry, but the proposals that are going up all over are alike in the sense that they all suck. They follow the same boxy format with no real detail, the illusion of complexity through adding boxing bump-outs that are supposed to simulate bays and forms of past buildings (like brownstones and triple deckers) but without the expense of anything more than some different colored plastic wood panels and trim. Maybe in 40 years you will look at these buildings and think how swell they are. I will not (hopefully not because I'll be dead).
Don't blame the designer...
Blame the cheap Owner attempting to value-engineer every 'cool' aspect of designs for the sake of the bottom line
Blame the Zoning Ordinance restricting what can happen and what can't happen with designs.
Blame community groups who belly-ache about every tiny aspect of designs so that it is reduced to a vanilla, cookie-cutter, least offensive to the most common denominator version of its former self.
Go look at some work from students in some of the great schools of architecture in this area. Architecturally interesting stuff is capable of being designed and realized, except bureaucracy and public opinion tend to water it down and temper it into these derivative metal and glass boxes we get.
Interesting architecture can exist. But not in a climate that attempts to squeeze every last drop of interesting experience out of the architect's vision in the name of public acceptance.
Those things will be falling apart...
In the next decade. Local colleges are already dealing with dorms from the past ten-fifteen years coming apart at the seams. These buildings are built and look no different. I am really impressed with Boston College's new building. The bay windows and brick really suit that area and the campus' ascetic.
There's quite a bit
of neighborhood opposition, and a few businesses that will be displaced from the offices behind the station.
-A guy that works in one of said buildings.
Regardless the gas station had to go. In its heyday they were charging $2,453.99 per gallon and it was probably a front, based on how surly they got when anyone actually tried to patronize them, despite the price.
There's a driving school, software company, and a few others in 167 Corey. There's also a 3rd building of office space on the lot that isn't part of the plans, but will surely be affected.
From who? I went to a bunch
From who? I went to a bunch of meetings and the only person who had anything against it was the woman on the IAG who opposes every new building in Allston Brighton.
There's plenty of office space available in the neighborhood. There are two or three entirely vacant buildings on Lincoln St (not counting the Tech Center Harvard's been sitting on).
As for traffic, I say to hell with the intersection. If driving is made easy, convenient, fast and cheap, and parking is made commodious, plentiful and free, then it only encourages more people to drive. With the B Line, the C Line and the 65 right there I don't know why anyone would want to have a car in that neighborhood.
Recognizing that not every apt unit has same number of BRs
The old ratio:
0.697 parking spaces per apartment
The new ratio:
0.881 parking spaces per apartment.
That's a pretty significant difference: more than a 25 percent increase in number of spaces per apartment. And living in that 'hood without a car is easy. I do, and I have kids.
Here's the problem
Whoever leases the units in this building will always play up the fact that it has parking, and what will happen is it will get oversold.
I used to live in a building like that in Belmont. 35 units, 20 spaces. I was young and stupid so I signed a 2yr lease on the apartment and a month-to-month on the parking space. Half way in, I get booted from the space because a higher bidder bought it, and I have to find one somewhere else to keep my car.
What's the lesson? Just because the building only has N spaces where N < number of driving-age adults expected to live there doesn't mean there won't be more than N cars owned by the residents and the overflow will eat into on-street slots or create a more demand for the fixed number of for other off-street spots.
When my space got yanked, I found one at a gas station down the block. Looking around, it looks like lots of gas station owners make a side income renting out off-street spots. Tearing down the gas station potentially lowers that available pool even further.
And before the nonsense about people getting rid of their cars starts up again, please recognize that just because you don't drive your car often doesn't mean you drive it never, like when you need to go out of town or if you have an irregular schedule that means you need to drive in at odd hours even if you take the T 80% of the time. Just because you want people to not have cars doesn't mean they'll agree to throw caution to the wind and get rid of them.
Why are you assuming that everyone must have a car?
I think you are failing to read what people who live in that area have to say about not needing a car. This is not built for people with cars, necessarily. People may want to have cars, sure, but that doesn't mean each and every unit needs one.
Also, note the address. It isn't Belmont. This is a vastly more transit rich area.
Cities need to be built for people, first. Not cars with people attached.
You've made that clear
What you haven't made clear is how that sentiment translates into preventing people with cars attached from moving into the area and taking up spaces.
And come to think of it, you also haven't made clear how you should be's turn into are's beyond railing against cars and declining to recognize the fact that Boston is too spread out and too poorly connected with transit for cars to be optional in all but a few neighborhoods, of which honestly Brighton isn't one except for BU students and a small (judging by the number of cars clogging the street spaces and building lots) number of committed urbanites.
Also, Belmont was pretty transit friendly and for the short time that I had a regular schedule, I'd take the bus in and leave the car in a--you guessed it--parking space.
Preventing nobody from anything
Why does every development have to cater to everyone's whims? Choices?
If you want to have a car, fine. Find a place where that car can go. It is the height of narcissism to demand that every single building built in a place where you don't live must accommodate your choices.
I have an idea for how to
I have an idea for how to prevent more people with cars from moving into the neighborhood: Make parking scarce.
But oh, wait, I forgot. Any such plan has to penalize newcomers while protecting existing residents' god-given right to own a car in the city at no cost.
The fact is that there are lots of very efficient ways to manage this problem, but they are all undermined by the sentiment that parking should be free and copious for the people who already live here and expensive for everyone else.
It's very simple, actually
You don't build spaces for cars, and nobody will park there. Congestion is caused by cars, which are enabled by plentiful parking. Reduce parking supply, and the result is fewer cars, less congestion.
I don't think it's all that bad. The lines are broken up a bit. It's not just a big cube. I don't claim to be an expert or critic, but am glad there's a bit of variety there. It would be weird if every building was the Stata at MIT.
What I really appreciate is moving the top floor(s) in. I hate the urban canyon effect and the inset penthouse helps soften that quite a bit. (See the Mandarin on Boylston for a tall building that crowds the sidewalk badly).
It's good to see that we're
It's good to see that we're all doing our part to address the city's critical housing shortage by...building fewer units. Good grief.