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New Brighton Avenue building would be geared to the carless

Proposed building at 89 Brighton Ave. in Allston

Architect's rendering.

A Cambridge developer this week submitted detailed plans to the BRA for replacing an existing car-rental place, small office building and large house at 89 Brighton Ave. with a 138-unit apartment building with 69 spaces for cars - and 142 for bicycles.

In his filing, Noah Maslan of Eden Properties says the building will be aimed at the growing number of small household who would rather ride a bike, rent a car or take a car service than deal with owning their own car in the city.

The 57 bus runs past the building and it's a short walk to the Green Line.

The Project will offer quality transit-oriented housing at moderate prices with the privacy and access to neighborhood amenities that residents desire. Furthering the goals of the Boston 2030 Housing Plan, the building offers professionally established neighborhood residents the opportunity to stay and put down roots, increasing neighborhood stability in Allston Village. 89 Brighton Avenue is oriented to this growing demographic of smaller households with low car ownership, predominately renters, who want to live in a vibrant, dynamic, and transit accessible neighborhood.

Maslan said 15% of the units will be rented to people making no more than 70% of the area's median household income.

The first floor of the building would be devoted to retail uses.

Maslan hopes to break ground in May, 2016, with construction taking about a year. The city recently announced an indoor skate park and vintage market in the larger of the three buildings until the building is torn down.

89 Brighton Ave. project notification form (33M PDF).

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Comments

Isn't this where the Int'l Bicycles is? Did they go out of business?

EDIT: yes they did. Strange, it's almost if you treat customers like dirt, they don't buy stuff from you anymore.

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They didn't go out of business. The owners cashed out for millions after being in business for 45 years. They were offered 6.5 million for the land their store was on, and they said "why not?"

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Word on the street is they owed Trek hundreds of thousands of dollars and it was part of a deal that they had to shut down or get taken to the cleaners by debt collectors. Landry's bought up most of their unused inventory and took over their second location.

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I heard this too, except they owed Trek millions, and had for a long time.

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IBC did owe a sizable amount to Trek from the early 00's, but that had been all but repaid at the time of the sell-off. Co-owners Joe and Harold Knochin had both been looking to get out of the business at least as far back as 2005 and were waiting for the right time to sell. I think Harold may have already bought Joe out a little ways back, but the shuttering of IBC was definitely profit, not debt, driven. In the end, it turns out that the best way to make money in the bike industry is to get lucky in your real estate dealings.

Though I will be sad to eventually see the forthcoming pop-up skatepark and community space in 89 Brighton go, the plans for the the lot look great. It's too bad that Hamid at Budget is being displaced, as he is a good guy. Still, it's a big step up in the utilization of a clearly valuable chunk of land.

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EXACTLY what the neighborhood needs and I hope to see more projects like it. Not being sarcastic.

Question: isn't the area's median household income pretty much zilch since it's all students?

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> isn't the area's median household income pretty much zilch since it's all students?

2013 numbers from the Census bureau are that 39% of Allston residents 18 and over are in college or grad school.

That leaves 61% of us not doing school. And many of the graduate students are in programs that pay the students (i.e. science and engineering). Side note here that graduate students are generally not eligible for affordable housing and their incomes generally do not factor into AMI calculations.

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Any decent PhD program pays its students, STEM or not. At Harvard, that stipend might cap out at about $30k.

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At Harvard, that stipend is $34,200 for newly admitted engineering students next year, so it definitely does not cap out at $30K.

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do have their pay cap out: many of them are paid according to national grant agencies' salary scales (PhD + 1, PhD + 2) etc., unless their university gives them a cost-of-living adjustment. For example, Brown gives a COLA adjustment for Providence, and Stanford gives out a gigantic one for San Francisco/Palo Alto, but many Boston schools do not.

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$70K or more in some places.

Medical residents don't make as much as they eventually will as fully-fledged doctors, but they make $80-100K plus.

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What do you have to study to get that as an academic post-doc?

https://hr.ucsf.edu/hr.php?B=2223&AT=cm&org=c

Medical residents are fairly well-compensated, minus their awful loans, I'll give you that.

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Those values are minima. The only cap for postdocs is currently $183,300. No postdoc makes that much, but it is allowed.

If you're a postdoc with an NRSA award at UCSF, some PIs will pay money on top of that. So, can be making $10-20k more than those values.

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I had a $55K and a $60K offer from Harvard for post-doc (but I took a different offer of equivalent money elsewhere).

I was also looking at similar positions paying $55-65K in the bay area.

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Most Boston institutions pay at NIH scale which is $42k. I think only MIT pays a little more. No Postdoc would be on more then $60k in Boston.

Source: on the Boston Postdoc Association and:

http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-15-048.html

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That might explain the discrepancies. Also, universities provide support for certain areas.

Like I said above, 42K was not even offered 10 years ago - the lowest I saw were $45K in 2005, and the lowest offer I got was $55K.

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Harvard Society of Fellows provides a salary of $72k to Junior Fellows (a 3-year appointment).

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"might cap out at about"

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So then how about a covenant making all tenants ineligible for resident parking stickers?

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I suppose this would also apply to anyone who rents or buys a condo in Boston without an off-street parking space?

Oh, wait.

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How about anyone with a driveway is ineligible? Or anyone who's lived at the same address for more than 5 years is ineligible since they've had their chance to have a car? Or anyone who drives a purple car is eligible, but they have to bake me some cookies first.

Arbitrary discrimination is fun. I can't see why your scheme is justified by any reasoning other than "screw the newcomers to benefit the oldtimers".

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According to the state supreme court arbitrary discrimination is defined as "suitability" in Massachusetts and perfectly acceptable as long as it's a state official doing it as part of an official opinion. The state can decide just how equal qual protection under law is and some are more equal than others. The only recourse residents have is to pay for a hearing, which the state supreme court has also ruled legal. Just pray imminent domain or civil forfeiture is never used against you by some official with an agenda!

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Your honorable legal opinion would have been a bit more persuasive if you had known that the phrase is eminent domain.

That is, eminent: clear, obvious, well-known. Not imminent: near, incipient, potential.

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methinks mobile autocorrect isn't good with legal jargon

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the house next door.

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It looks like every other soulless, anonymous hive built in Allston-Brighton over the past few years.

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into a quirky, asymmetrical pattern. Or would that be too D Street passe by now?

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honestly thought it said "geared toward the careless."

Which, I suppose, could also be one of our underserved demographics.

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I will not allow this neighborhood to be lost through carlessness.

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Great news! Streets are already congested enough and typically people with less money can't afford cars so it would make sense that these units will therefore be more affordable.

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Too bad the building will still actually add at least 69 cars to the neighborhood immediately in the vicinity of a train line.

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I'm far less concerned with 69 residential off-street spaces than I am with the massive new garage in the New Balance development.

Let's see: no subway, no Pike entrance, no commuter rail stop (yet, and once it does exist, it will only get you to Worcester slowly and infrequently). Just some slow and infrequent buses, and several miles of two-lane roads to get to the highway.

What exactly will that do to rush hour traffic in the neighborhood?

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That commuter rail stop will go to South Station, too.

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That's great for all the people living in Dewey Square.

Or you could transfer to the Red Line. 20 minutes to South Station, plus 20 minutes on the Red Line, and you're home in Cambridge or Quincy. So it will only take twice as long as driving. Unless the train originating in Worcester shows up late or breaks down, as the T commuter rail has been known to do.

And this is all theoretical. The giant garage exists today, and anyone who has a car will make use of it even when the train option exists.

The city should say no more giant office buildings in the middle of nowhere in Brighton until all vacant lots next to subway stations are developed.

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It is very, very odd for a project with support from the mayor's office, the BRA and local elected officials to be denied. It could be the union angle, not directly this project but perhaps because of this developer and/or another project. The Allston Civic isn't listed as taking a stand, which is interesting.

The parking doesn't bother me, but I do think that six stories is a little tall for that location. Five would be more a better fit. Even at five, it would be the tallest building in Brighton Avenue.

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