Hey, there! Log in / Register

21 apartments, retail space proposed for site next to commuter-rail station on Roslindale/West Roxbury line

317 Belgrade proposal

Possible look for proposed new building in Roslindale.

Developers today showed off a proposal to replace a ramshackle commercial building at Belgrade Avenue and McCraw Street with a new four-story structure with first-floor retail space and 21 apartments above that.

The plans show more apartments than developers John Morrissey and Michael Forde originally proposed to nearby residents; they said they needed extra units to make up the cost of adding the extra parking residents had asked for in an earlier meeting.

They've proposed increasing the parking by using the existing building's basement for 24 parking spaces - double what they originally planned - and said that could prove expensive because they'll probably have to pay to clean up all the chemicals left behind by a former dry cleaner on the site. The earlier plan showed 12 above-ground spaces.

At a meeting at the E-5 police station, residents generally favored the proposal, but some said they were concerned that that 21 apartments was too dense and that the 24 spaces still not enough, because tenants would probably have two cars per unit and they'd wind up parking on nearby streets already overburdened by commuter-rail users trying to cheap out and not pay for parking. One resident asked if Forde and Morrissey would only be willing to rent to people with no more than 1 car per unit.

Forde, Morrissey and their architect said they doubted the building would prove a neighborhood parking menace, because it's right next to a commuter-rail station, several bus lines go down Belgrade, and the sort of people who'd want to live there might not even want a car at all.

Morrissey and Forde said the bulk of the units in the building would be 950-square-foot two bedrooms, with three 780-square-foot one bedrooms. All would be market rate - which they estimated at $2,600 to $2,700 a month for two bedrooms - except for three affordable units.

The building is next to the old catering concern that Exodus Bagels recently agreed to rent for a bagel bakery and, possibly, a full fledged diner - which would have no parking at all. Morrissey said it might be cool to talk to Exodus owner Adam Hirsh about opening a bagel-oriented coffee shop in one of the retail spaces in his building.

The developers have yet to file formal plans with the BRA; they said they wanted to meet with residents first. In addition to the BRA, the proposal would also need zoning-board approval because it is denser and taller than allowed by the current zoning for the site. It is slightly shorter than another mixed-use building a couple doors closer to West Roxbury Parkway.

Neighborhoods: 
Topics: 
Free tagging: 

Ad:
Like the job UHub is doing? Consider a contribution. Thanks!

Comments

...the new Roslindalians find out how bad the commute is: Lousy traffic in Rosi Square for the bus riders, and insufficient/infrequent/sometimes horrifying commuter rail service.

Even now, transportation around Rosi is nearly unbearable, especially in the rush hours of 3-7 M-F.

up
Voting closed 0

21 more apartments worth of DMU customers.

In 2025

up
Voting closed 0

It's the cumulative affect of many of these projects. Obviously a single project isn't a major contribute to numbers.

up
Voting closed 0

DMUs will never happen on the Needham line due to the constraints on the NEC/South Station/Back Bay - just not feasible. There is barely enough room as it is for the current CR schedule (also why we will never see a more frequent CR schedule either). The real hope would be an Orange Line extension to West Roxbury Station (or maybe end in a new station by the VFW).

up
Voting closed 0

What about from Needham in to FH and back?

Nothing else running there but CR trains.

up
Voting closed 0

to be extended. There are some cascading effects, but basically the NEC has a limited number of slots, and Needham trains take up a lot of them. Railroad signaling does not allow trains to run very close to each other, especially when there are higher speed trains in the mix (and yes, Amtrak runs 150 territory in Massachusetts). Step 1.0 is to electrify the fucking Providence Line (and the T could buy off-the shelf M8s that ConnDOT is purchasing, they've been running for years and have a good track record). Those trains would run faster than currently (100+ versus current top speed of 80) with much faster acceleration, so they'd clear the line sooner and free up some slots.

But that only buys you so much room (especially if taking 10 to 15 minutes of a run to Providence results in higher ridership). The obvious thing to do is to extend the Orange Line to Needham Junction. There are two tracks (and no grade crossings) to West Roxbury, although you would have to build some modifications for ADA accessibility at stations. Should be plenty of traction power with a major substation adjacent to the tracks in West Roxbury. A new station and turnback could be built by the VFW parkway, with the added benefit that this is only about 1000 feet (4 minute walk) from the VFW hospital there.

From there, you could use the existing single track to Needham, and run one train every 10-15 minutes. It's about 3 miles from VFW Parkway to Needham Junction. With a stop at Hersey, that's about 5 minutes (assuming you could run the new trains there at more than 40 mph). The right-of-way would allow for two tracks well to the east of Hersey, I think, so you could minimize this. Needham would have a slower ride in to Boston, but much more frequency. The single track would have to remain through Cutler Park, since widening the bridges there would be expensive, and widening the embankment through wetlands would be politically and technically infeasible. At rush hour, one in every four trains could run to Needham (perhaps even running express from Ruggles to Forest Hills), at other times, one in every two or three trains would run through.

As for Needham Center and Heights, a spur of the Green Line from Newton Highlands would suffice for service there (and could turn at Needham Heights). Grade crossings there make the Orange Line less feasible, although in theory it could be equipped with pans and run under the wire there. But that hook back makes more sense to run as Green Line from the D Line.

This is not a short-term project: you wouldn't want to think about it until after you get the new cars online in 2020ish and have a few years to break them in. But it's the kind of long-term planning the T and the state should be doing, but don't.

up
Voting closed 0

Thanks for this. Very informative.

up
Voting closed 0

And because it isn't doing that kind of long term planning, and there isn't exactly a bunch of funding, that means we shouldn't build a bunch of projects on the assumption that there's enough room for them.

up
Voting closed 0

Sorry...

2-track from Forest Hills to just outside of Roslindale Sq, then 1-track from there all the way to Baker Street.

At Baker you have a 2-track "passing track" that allows trains to pass each other.

From just west of Millennium park it is one track again till just west of Hersey where there is another passing track just before you get to Needham Jct.

From there its single track the rest of the way.

Any thoughts of double track are not possible especially in Needham. Many building back right up to the single track on both sides fo the rail bed. If you want double track you need to take land and buildings by eminent domain. Also we don't know if existing bridges and remaining single track bed can handle modern train requirements, i.e. width and height. Trains may pass now but modern standard is 17.5 meters to allow for electrification and some other specialty rail vehicles. Most bridges might have to be raised quite a bit.

Last time this was 2-track was back in the steam days.

up
Voting closed 0

But constructing the stations would be a tough thing.

up
Voting closed 0

1) There are no manufacturers of diesel multi-units (DMU) in the USA.
2) Any foreign manufacturer would have to ramp up a factory in the USA to fulfill the "Buy America Act.
3) No rail company is interested in making DMU trains for the USA because no other rail systems are interested in buying them. Any company ramping up just for the MBTA would loose money and would be betting on hope and faith that other rail companies would be interested to eventually turn a profit.
4) DMUs are only fuel efficient up to 1 power car and 2 blind coaches - total of 3, maybe 4 max.
5) MBTA has no place to store DMU trainsets. They are out of space now and rely on "layover" facilities at the end of train branches already.
6) DMUs face maintenance schedule issues. Power car (locomotive) has to be inspected on a combo locomotive and coach schedule.
7) Ramp up of MBTA staff on how to repair them would take time.
8) No facility dedicated to DMU repair.

In short, DMU service is years away

That said... DMU trains would be awesome. They are the workhorse in many European rail systems. However for the USA, we missed the boat when we (as a nation) ceased using DMU trains back in the 1960s and 70s. They used to be called RDC units or "rail diesel cars." They were workhorse of the Boston & Main RR for decades.

up
Voting closed 0

Walk.

It's a 15 minute walk to the Square from this proposed housing. Of course, for some reason people do utilize one of the 3 bus lines (12 buses an hour rush hours) or the train (15 minutes to Back Bay), but to each their own.

up
Voting closed 0

Or just don't build too much when there's not enough transit already, speaking about many of these projects.

up
Voting closed 0

start commuting by bike, the busted knuckle is just down the street.

up
Voting closed 0

Its almost a mile from here to the other side of the square (to by pass the square's traffic). That would probably be another 20 minute walk. Then wait for the bus and deal with the Washington St traffic to Forest hills - easily another 20+ minutes. Taking the bus from Belgrade to Forest hills takes ~40 minutes. Really not gaining much by the walk, and you still end up with ~40 minutes to Forest Hills, and then another 20-30 minutes to Downtown. The commuter rail is a much better option to Back Bay/South Station - just if you miss it the next is probably in an hour (which is almost worth waiting for given the bus/subway time). Plus, the commuter rail doesn't run late and barely on the weekends. Luckily, the evening traffic at least from the bus on Forest Hills isn't that bad (and its about a 5-10$ Uber/Lyft/Fasten).

Moral of the story: Transportation does kind of suck out there, especially for actual neighborhoods of Boston. We should have extended the Orange line out there decades ago.

up
Voting closed 0

40 Minutes is a bit long. I take the bus from across the street from this proposal to FH several times a week and it has taken 40 minutes maybe once. That is not to say it is not a longer ride than it should be. It is the traffic after the Sq/Village on Washington that is the "problem".From this street to the Sq is maybe 10 minutes (only because there are bus stops what seems like every 5 feet on Belgrade). I would love to see the OLX come out to the Sq at least.

I think the area is serviced by public transit very well (35,36,37,38 right around the corner and the CR). I do think that something more in line with a "rapid" transit would be much better than the current situation. I know the stretch from FH to the Sq has many many bus routes helping to clog that stretch and adds to the traffic considerably. I feel that better public transportation option would really help to alleviate the traffic along that stretch of Washington.

up
Voting closed 0

Well, when ever I had to take it, during rush hour, it was easily 40 minutes from Belgrade and the West Roxbury Parkway (35/36/37) - suppose that also include the time waiting at the stop for one of them to actually show up. Admittedly next bus has at least made that portion at bit better. Throw the Orange line on top, and you are looking at an hour of transit time that the commuter rail takes 15-20 minutes to do. Also that is what I meant - its the traffic of the Square an up Washington St that sucks - its fast to get to the square, takes forever to get through it, and then... forever again up Washington.

up
Voting closed 0

It is an hour into town on bus/Orange line from Belgrade when it should be 25-30 minutes max. I would love better options than we have now,such as the OLX. With the Orange Line to at least the Sq I could see Roslindale Sq becoming something of a Davis Sq on this side of the river.

up
Voting closed 0

If you don't want to sit on bus for 40 mins, WALK. The walk to Forest Hills from Roslindale Square = 25 mins tops. I will never understand why people would rather stand around waiting for 10-30 minutes, then pack into a packed bus in the middle of Rozzie Square to crawl for another 20-25 minutes to the station. Walking is vastly more pleasant.

If you are taking the bus, though, here is a tip: if you wait for the bus at the Cummins Hwy community center stop (or even the stop after that) instead of in front of Romano's, you will have a better experience, plus the addition of the #30 bus. Safer, too, because you don't have to run across the street from Romano's to try & catch the 34/40/50 because ALL the buses stop in front of the community center. And you don't have to sit in the bus in traffic in the middle of the square.

Even when there is a bus at Romano's available right when I get there, these days I just skip it and head to Cummins Hwy, because making the turn from Corinth onto Washington takes forever. I have left the 36 or 37 bus standing in front of Romano's at the light, and walked all the way to the Cummins Highway stop and then caught the same bus I'd just left at Romano's. And got a little 5-minute walk in to start the day.

If Track the T tells me no bus is imminent, I just walk down to the next stop, past Ron's Automotive at Healy Field. After that the ride is usually pretty quick to Forest Hills. The ride through the Square can take 15 minutes just by itself. Get on AFTER the square and it's a lot nicer.

up
Voting closed 0

Sure, by all means! As long, that is, as you don't have a medical condition that precludes you from walking 25 minutes straight. Or it's some day in February after a snow storm.

up
Voting closed 0

Or as long as you don't have a stroller or small kids. Or a heavy backpack. Or other baggage.

I totally agree that more people should walk, IF THEY CAN (especially when buses leaving Forest Hills turn people away and then ten people get off at Tollgate Way and Archdale.)

However, "Just walk" is not really a productive addition to the conversation about traffic/transit inefficiencies in the area.

up
Voting closed 0

It may not be an option for everyone or every day, but 20 minutes of walking becomes 5-10 of biking, and that's completely reasonable.

up
Voting closed 0

I am really excited for that new arboretum bike path for this exact reason - I'd love to shave a bunch of time off my commute but am just not a strong / confident enough biker to do it on Washington st with all that chaos.

up
Voting closed 0

It's possible now to ride through the Arboretum to reach Forest Hills, though you need to be good at hill climbing.

up
Voting closed 0

I love that ride but on an upright three-speed bike I do a LOT of walking. Looking forward to an option that's not quite so hilly OR the potholed/speeding-drivered/crazy-pedestrian/roaring-buses option that is riding along Washington St.

up
Voting closed 0

I visually default to that so accurately described Washington St. option, mostly for the sake of speed. But I know there are a lot of people not comfortable with that ride, but also not prepared to handle riding up Peter's Hill. Gateway Path will make a huge difference for cycling.

up
Voting closed 0

n/t

up
Voting closed 0

Lets be clear: You may have a medical condition that prevents you from being able to walk 25 minutes (a stroller does NOT count), but if everyone who WAS physically capable of walking this distance actually did so, there would be hardly any traffic for those disabled to worry about.

up
Voting closed 0

I walked every day during the February from hell a few winters back, so a few flakes shouldn't daunt people. In anything, a hot and humid day would be a better reason. Well, that and medical issues like you mentioned. And heavy rain. That just blows.

Of course, those people who have to climb steep hills beyond the Square might not want to walk either.

up
Voting closed 0

Sure, the walk from the Square is maybe 20-25 minutes (its 1.25 miles). Then its another mile to the Belgrade T stop, so 2.25ish mile walk is rather limiting for most people - and that is just to get to Forest Hills to then get the Orange Line. Kind of the point - walk to the Square to wait for a bus to then still have it in traffic up Washington St to Forest Hills, or maybe you are saying wait for the bus at Belgrade/West Roxbury Parkway, then get off in the Square and walk? I don't see how that is faster, either, since you are already on the bus - although I suppose a bit healthier.

up
Voting closed 0

Take the 38 instead and avoid Roslindale Square entirely.

up
Voting closed 0

Plans had Orange line looking at extending out there back in the 1970s and 80s but NIMBY stopped it, just as much as a desire for transit wants it now.

Orange would need a DC power station booster someplace to keep going beyond Forest Hills.

MBTA will not build it unless there is a current passenger-per-mile stat that suggests people would move from the bus to the train. They also will not build a station without attached parking these days, especially for subway-transit.

Those stations that do not have parking (and there are a lot) pre-date modern standards.

up
Voting closed 0

All of the Needham Line stations have parking, often under-utilized.

up
Voting closed 0

Actually the Needham line is pretty good. I'll give you "infrequent" but I'd say it's ontime or close to it 90% of the time. That's not bad

up
Voting closed 0

Maybe it will have a feline spa or cat cookie bakery?

Seriously though, why hasn't this city figured out zoning and parking requirements? When will the code be rewritten such that it's actually followed and that everything isn't a negotiation/surprise?

up
Voting closed 0

The building has a more appropriate look to it for Boston not like the crap they're putting up in Southie (90% window).

up
Voting closed 0

The architect specifically mentioned going for a Boston look, or, as he put it, relying on "the Boston vernacular," as exemplified by certain blocks in the South End

up
Voting closed 0

Build it yesterday, and ten more elsewhere in Roslindale.

up
Voting closed 0

Not without improving transit, and many of them will still use cars. Building too much just so some transplants (or anyone else) can think it will drive down rents isn't the solution.

up
Voting closed 0

Isn't that the brand new home of Exodus Bagels?

up
Voting closed 0

Is around the corner from this building, the brick building at the end of Mcgraw. The developer wondered if maybe they might be interested in one of the commercial spots on the first floor of the new building.

up
Voting closed 0

"We can't have density because it will create too much traffic!"

"That building doesn't have enough parking!"

These are the same goddamn people.

up
Voting closed 0

This is why the code should be redone and adhered to. The terms and requirements should be clear and every project shouldn't be designed by the BRA behind closed doors or in the court of (armchair) public opinion.

up
Voting closed 0

Code doesn't cover this topic.

Unless you meant Zoning which is completely different from Building. And when you shorthand the terms, Code stands for Building and Zoning stands for ... well ... Zoning.

up
Voting closed 0

Fewer units means there will be less parking anyway, so they are right. More units means there will be more people looking for parking, and still more cars.

up
Voting closed 0

You have absolutely zero evidence that "these are the same people". Density will add more traffic whether you do or do not include parking . The real problem is that there is no plan in the city of Boston to account for or mitigate the increased traffic as a result of increased population and development.
And yeah I know there are some studies out there that show some younger people don''t have or don't want to have a car and want to rely on public transportation. But young people grow up and eventually buy a car.
I don't pretend to know anything about this particular development, but there are other developments that I do know something about, like Dot Block in Dorchester. Located in the middle of a current traffic nightmare, the only reference to traffic in the plan is to make it worse by building a rotary, to "slow down" the traffic.
We need to stop pretending that no on will buy cars, and everyone will walk, bike, or take the T. Development can be good for Boston, but unless there is a transportation master plan that accounts for increased traffic, parking, and reliable public transportation, the situation will just get worse and worse.

up
Voting closed 0

Let's keep density in Boston low, so prices stay high, and people's only choice is to buy houses in Pepperell or Billerica or Marshfield and clog the roads to get in to the city. Then we get just as much traffic in any given point (if not more) with more traffic on top of it!

These are the same people, or their ilk. NIMBYism at its finest. Good riddance.

up
Voting closed 0

Zoning doesn't change just because you want to lower your rents. That's not how that works.

Those other towns have their own density restrictions and won't get too much density either without changes.

Then you end your comment with name calling.

No, not every transplant or anyone else that wants to whine about rents is going to be able move to whatever location that want at the price they want, and zoning doesn't get changed just to make room for all of them.

up
Voting closed 0

I know that i am dealing with some yutz who lived with his or her parents until they died and then inherited far more house than their lacking work ethic could ever pay for.

Hence their juvenile and and bizarre territorial antisocial behavior.

up
Voting closed 0

You "know" incorrectly, and it speaks more to your own insecurities about moving here and not being able to afford it, but not wanting to leave.

It's resentment.

Locals who save can afford to buy here.

There are countless people who grew up here and stay here because there's little reason to leave. The schools and economy are good.

It's the transplants that usually moved for these improvements. There are some exceptions.

Keep saving and you will afford a place.

up
Voting closed 0

We know we are dealing with resentful transplants who most likely moved here from a state has schools and an economy that aren't as good as the state they they moved to. The reason our state has better schools and economy is arguably because the work ethic of the people here is good. It's to a large amount the education, and culture the work of the people in the state that made the real estate more desirable.

This reality sows resentment, so they rationalize it by saying that everyone must have inherited their house, when in reality, it's the aforementioned local education, economy, and culture that allowed them to be able to stay here.

Locals just have fewer reasons to leave. It's the transplants, after all, who moved here because of what the locals here created that the locals back home didn't.

There are certainly some places that transplants come to that are about equal as here, but there are many more that aren't.

Hence their resentful and insecure behavior.

up
Voting closed 0

What's up with the angry attacking sarcasm? Traffic and parking are huge and real issues and your dismissal of those who disagree with you doesn't do anything to advance your views.

Plus your angry response does not answer my point. There is no transportation/parking master plan that addressed population growth and traffic congestion. Your arguments make little sense. I seriously doubt that someone living in Pepperell is going to have any impact on traffic and parking in Roslindale or Dorchester. And furthermore, you imply that density will keep housing costs lower, but so far , the opposite is happening. We have explosive growth and more density, but housing costs are also growing explosively.

So there are many complex moving parts here. But unfettered growth and development without a transportation and parking plan is choking the city, despite your dismal of all of us that continue to experience it and talk about it.

up
Voting closed 0

I agree, this also needs to happen. The city is actually working on this through Vision Zero and other initiatives. The thing is, we have to do all this simultaneously. Waiting on transportation reform before we build the projects that require the effort leads to no reform happening. We have pressures on housing and need to respond. If the city drops the ball on transportation pressures, that does not mean we suddenly no longer need housing.

up
Voting closed 0

I seriously doubt that someone living in Pepperell is going to have any impact on traffic and parking in Roslindale or Dorchester.

If not those exurbs, then try Brockton, Ashland, Marlborough or even Clinton. Drivers from exurbs do impact traffic do and they will drive through urban neighborhoods and not give a shit when they do - because, like everybody else, they need to get to work and will cut through to their jobs any way they can.

If you are incapable of understanding this extremely simple concept, you need to do some reading and some self-education before you comment again.

up
Voting closed 0

There is no transportation/parking master plan that addressed population growth and traffic congestion.

I'm not sure if you intend it this way but this is actually a straw man argument. There is no silver bullet that will allow more people to own and use cars in the city without traffic getting worse. The two thing that is known to work among city planners around the world are building less parking and charging people a fee for driving their car through the city. If parking is scarce, fewer people will own cars. The UNAVOIDABLE caveat is that many of the people who already live here are going to find it much harder to park (but that's a good thing, because hopefully then some of them will choose to get rid of their cars, too).

There are some things we can do to streamline the process, like charging a LOT more for parking so that those who truly need to own a car are still able to find a parking space, but there is NO WAY to have copious free parking in a prospering, walkable city without either discouraging car ownership (through cost and scarcity of parking) or pricing out all but the richest people.

up
Voting closed 0

There is no plan on earth that will accommodate everyone in Boston driving to work--that way lies complete and utter misery, as well as environmental disaster. The notion that we can design--or redesign--this city to handle an onslaught of car traffic is sheer folly. The more convenient, clean, and timely public transportation, biking and walking options are, the fewer people will choose to take their car on the road. We should be designing city life to make the car the option of last resort, not a "necessity."

up
Voting closed 0

Looks great!! Though pretty much anything that would replace all those grated/shuttered empty buildings would look great, IMO.

People flipping out about the parking are ridiculous. They're sub-1000 square feet 2-bed rentals. It's going to be DINKs and downsizers. I live on Belgrade a couple blocks further down and my wife and I have one car for our family. It (mostly) works out just fine; I take the bus and she drives to work (no service where she works). It's easy enough to walk to the square for essentials, or catch the 35/36/37 to get into town, so if her office ever moves we might even get rid of the one. Or, instead of throwing a fit about parking, leading to a vicious cycle of more parking -> more apartments to make up costs -> more parking -> etc etc, these panicked neighbors could ask our community organizations to think about advocating for better transit options (dedicated bus lanes, more commuter rail frequency, actual goddamn t service)

Rozzie will never get transit improvements if we can't supply the density to justify them. OLX 2025, baby.

up
Voting closed 0

..Happens to the Exodus bagel money that people pledged on Kickstarter?? SCAM!

up
Voting closed 0

What are you talking about? Exodus is still opening in the building next door.

up
Voting closed 0

Breath deeply. Again. Maybe once more.

Feel better?

OK, first, this was an offhand comment by a couple of developers, in response to a question. They didn't say Exodus WILL be taking space in their building, they said they thought that would be a nice idea.

Second, even if Exodus did agree to the idea, they would still have the same issues they were raising money for in the first place: It costs money to outfit a diner and to go through all the regulatory hurdles that would involve (they'd have to go before both the licensing and the zoning boards). So they'd gain some street visibility with a storefront right on Belgrade but would still have to pay to turn that empty space into a restaurant.

Are you always this quick to accuse people of things?

up
Voting closed 0

Are you always this quick to accuse people of things?

Come here often, Adam?

up
Voting closed 0

Developers underestimate how many cars people bring, the neighbors are right to speak about how many units they think are appropriate.

up
Voting closed 0

That there is nothing on the roof.

Can't wait to see the RTUs, vents, exhaust fans, and all the other paraphernalia that lives on a building of this size's roof.

up
Voting closed 0

Why are you all so intend on getting more apartments, more buildings, more density in Roslindale!
The Reason Roslindale has been so attractive to live in - IS BECAUSE it's a neighborhood not a high rise over crowded downtown city block of apartment building after apartment building - ENOUGH already.

up
Voting closed 0

Really? One of the things I personally found interesting about this tower proposal on Tremont Street is that the lot is exactly the same size as our lot in Roslindale. Nobody's proposing towers in Roslindale.

up
Voting closed 0

Why are you all so intend on getting more apartments, more buildings, more density in Roslindale!

It's happening whether people like it or not. It's basic economics. Demand to live in all parts of the city is at its highest points in eons. Better to steer the change in a positive direction than stand there yelling at clouds while stuff happens anyway.

up
Voting closed 0

Uh, not it's not, because zoning exists to prevent "basic economics" from overdeveloping things where people don't want them. Every project that wants to exceed zoning by definition needs exceptions.

Demand doesn't mean people throw out zoning.

up
Voting closed 0

If you make the zoning so restrictive, as most of Roslindale's is save for the Square, you end up with the current situation - existing homes rising quickly to very high price points that only the wealthy can afford. So pick which you prefer.

up
Voting closed 0

You operate from the presumption that every location needs to be affordable to large numbers people. There's so many potential buyers it doesn't matter how much you build. If the residents there don't want more density, then that should be considered. You are acting like everyone there is currently wealthy. That's not the case at all.

up
Voting closed 0

It is always in the best economic interest of incumbents to prevent infill development. If we actually allow everyone who wants to to prevent new development in their neighborhood, then the only way population growth can be accommodated is by building housing further and further into the exurbs (and in fact that is exactly what we've been doing for the last fifty years).

up
Voting closed 0

Nothing you said gives a valid reason why zoning that locals created shouldn't be adhered to. New residents that simply want more affordable real estate isn't an actual argument for getting rid of that zoning. Yes, often there's more demand than there is housing stock, and that means some locations are less affordable. No, not all of this new demand needs to have new construction.

up
Voting closed 0

Yes, often there's more demand than there is housing stock, and that means some locations are less affordable.

It also means that some people are going to be homeless, and many more are not going to be able to live where they can find work, which creates a huge drag on our economy. Both of these things are more serious problems than neighbors' desires to preserve the "feel" of the neighborhood and are excellent reasons why local zoning should not be adhered to.

up
Voting closed 0

People need a place to live, unless you're going to suggest shutting down immigration and reproduction. Roslindale has infrastructure and businesses. I'd much rather see development that adds density to an existing resourced area than pushing it out to farmland, forests and otherwise undeveloped open or rural areas.

up
Voting closed 0

Only one of those things is the main increase of growth in this area, so reducing demand is relatively simple over the long term.

That is how you reduce expansion in farmland and less dense areas. They will just build there anyway.

Basically you are saying "it doesn't matter what the locals did, just build because some people want cheaper rents". That's just entitlement. Move to a cheaper location, and it's not exactly an extremely wealthy area at the moment anyway.

You are making an argument out of entitlement saying that zoning doesn't apply just because you feel people should have more housing where you want. By that argument, any zoning doesn't apply anywhere. Obviously, that's not true.

up
Voting closed 0

So, you're suggesting shutting down immigration - and you call me entitled? I've lived here 35 years, around the corner from this building's location, so I'm as local as anyone else (and lower rents have no bearing on me as my house is fully paid for). I'm pro-zoning, but I also think zoning has to be flexible enough to accommodate population changes and some growth. For important environmental reasons, we need density development in areas that already have roads, schools, stores, public transportation, sewers and other infrastructure. What's entitled is thinking that only your wants matter.

up
Voting closed 0

No, not completely shutting down, that's a strawman. You can take in a number without endlessly growing at the same time. It's not at all an all or nothing proposition. Currently, the growth is much larger than providing a stable number of the long term. If you only want "some growth" then the numbers currently are going to be a lot more than that and would require adjustment.

Your thinking is simplistic and naive, and you seem completely unaware of longer term trends. It's not entitled to suggest that endless growth isn't a viable long term solution.

up
Voting closed 0

You can take in a number without endlessly growing at the same time.

When you try to constrain growth by limiting the supply of housing, what you actually get is ridiculously high rents, and that means evictions and homelessness.

What's more, because new construction is subjected ADA requirements, minimum lot size requirements, setback requirements, and minimum parking ratios, the design of the proposed development is just what's required to maintain the current density level, not raise it, as you seem to be suggesting it would do.

up
Voting closed 0

I GOT MINE [email protected]#& YOU!

up
Voting closed 0

It's better than the shithole that is there now. Hopefully this will help clean up the other empty, deteriorating store fronts along Belgrade.

I am a tad worried about parking as well BUT if the streets start to get too congested (b/c of the other 5 story place they want to put up at the empty gas station) the we can always try for permit parking on the side streets, They also may be asking for 4 stories in hopes of getting 3.

As for the T - the Needham line has been better this spring/summer. Before that I agree it was crap and it wasn't on time 90% of the time. Fingers crossed it will continue to show up:)We also have the 35, 36, 37 and 38 (ppl forget about the Wren) that can get you to FH. You can walk to the Square in about 12-15 minutes.

up
Voting closed 0

I was at the meeting last night, and the main criticisms were parking, it's too tall/too dense, cost, and traffic.

Contrary to popular thinking, car ownership in Boston is on the decline. Not every renter will need space for two cars, and by only making one space available, you may be self-selecting your pool of potential renters to folks who need one or fewer spaces. People that need more space can rent from somewhere with sufficient on- or off-street parking -- there are a lot of options in Roslindale.

Another person there said that commuters already take up any available on-street parking on and near Belgrade -- "We're all parked up!" If a resident at the new development parks their car on the street and leaves it there during the day, that spot won't be available for that commuter. That's good! Also, the liaison from Mayor Walsh's office said if out-of-neighborhood commuters are an issue, he'd work with the community to add neighborhood-only parking around the area -- but that's not a problem for this building to solve.

The next complaint was that it's too tall or too dense. The architect put up a rendering that showed the proposed building on a Google Earth map. The top of new building up Belgrade (the one with the yoga studio, law office, and chiropractor) is clearly higher than the proposed building, and the triple deckers down Belgrade are only 7-8' shorter. It fits in well with the surrounding area. The same can't necessarily be said about another proposed development in the neighborhood.

IMAGE(https://scontent.xx.fbcdn.net/v/t1.0-9/14359174_10154070901792991_2715151129425717749_n.jpg?oh=f48bf690d267387c1c4e598568653e4e&oe=586E5FE9)

As for density, it's taking up exactly the same footprint as the old, single-story building it wants to replace. The number of units a.) need to make up for the increase in construction cost to make up for the additional parking, and b.) would be way more expensive if there were fewer units built.

Rental cost is partially derived from how much it costs to develop the building. By conceding to earlier community demands for more parking than the 12 they initially offered (smart in my book), they have to go down into the basement, which, as Adam said, means cleaning up whatever chemicals the old dry cleaner left behind. The developers said that could be anywhere from $500k-$1m, all before the foundation is poured. That will bump the rental price up.

Rental cost is also largely a function of supply and demand. There aren't enough units, so every available unit is more expensive. 21 apartments won't solve that problem, but it will help.

Traffic. Traffic! 24 cars will not make traffic discernibly worse. Not making our roads more suitable to pedestrians and bikes, or not running a reliable public transit system so that people feel the only option is to drive, is what makes traffic worse. That's not something this development will solve.

up
Voting closed 0

"We're all parked up!"

A quick walk down Belgrade Ave, South St, or adjoining side streets mid-day on any weekday will show how incorrect that statement is. Yes, you will not always find a spot directly in front of your home so if that's your gripe, well..... But otherwise, there is ample day-time parking even with the Bellevue commuter rail station - most people walk to that station anyway. Same thing with the Roslindale Village commuter rail parking lot, it's maybe 2/3 full at most on any given day. People consistently say they want this stretch of Belgrade Ave improved but God forbid someone come in and actually, ya know, seek to improve it.

up
Voting closed 0

That ownership is on the decline as a percentage is offset by ever more people in the city. You can have a lower percentage, but more owners because there's more in total.

Going to the meeting doesn't make developers points more or less credible, their merits or negatives can be just objectively either way.

That they need to add more units to make up for construction costs is irrelevant. It's well known that zoning exists when they buy a property.

Developers underestimate things all the time so their presentations look better.

No one is saying a single project makes traffic noticeably worse. When you have many projects like this adding more cars than it adds up. That is why careful consideration is needed for each project.

Oh right, that's why it's called planning.

Basically, your entire post is just an apology for developers that want to squeeze more money out, it's almost as if you work for them or something.

up
Voting closed 0

The anonymity of the Internet sure helps you feel smarter than everyone.

up
Voting closed 0

Shot:

No one is saying a single project makes traffic noticeably worse.

Chaser:

I don't pretend to know anything about this particular development, but there are other developments that I do know something about, like Dot Block in Dorchester. Located in the middle of a current traffic nightmare, the only reference to traffic in the plan is to make it worse by building a rotary, to "slow down" the traffic.

up
Voting closed 0

That ownership is on the decline as a percentage is offset by ever more people in the city. You can have a lower percentage, but more owners because there's more in total.

This means very little for the development of an individual building. If only 80% of households across the whole city own cars, but you build enough parking spaces in your transit-accessible building to accommodate every single unit, then assuming your building is similar to the rest of the city, those extra spaces are going to go to waste, it doesn't really matter what the overall car-owning population of Boston is.

up
Voting closed 0

People complain when you include even enough parking for each unit. They are debating if this is enough parking assuming residents bring more than one car per new apartment.

up
Voting closed 0

Perhaps I should be more clear about the car ownership statistic. What it says is that the average household in Boston owns 0.8 cars. So yes, some own 2, and others own none, but on average, there are 4 cars for every 5 households. This means that if you require developers to build 21 parking spaces for 21 units, some of those parking spaces (4.2, on average) will go unused.

up
Voting closed 0

I am all in favor of this kind of development, especially on Belgrade.

I am interested to see if we end up with a retail space glut which drives down rents for businesses. Already maybe 1/2 the spaces across the street from Seven Star Bistro are empty, plus this whole block. Now of course this was empty because they wanted to sell the building to a developer (which is what happened) but there are clearly more retail spaces in town than are 'needed' currently.

up
Voting closed 0

Right up the street from this and am in full support of this project. As has been stated, anything is better than what is currently there. This project looks to me to be the right size and design.

Is there a way I can get on a list of some sort to find out when the next meeting would be ?

up
Voting closed 0

Contact Daniel Murphy. I don't have his contact info handy right now (am in a humorous series of licensing board hearings right now), but you should be able to find it on www.boston.gov (if not, and nobody else here has it, let me know and I'll look it up).

up
Voting closed 0

[email protected]

617-635-3307

up
Voting closed 0

That's an interesting way to spend your time, effectively making sure developers get their extra profits. A building that is too large is not better than anything that's there before.

Anyway, this at least does not have a strange architectural style, but the number of units is debatable.

up
Voting closed 0

I'd certainly prefer he do that rather than fight to keep the housing supply in Roslindale scarce.

up
Voting closed 0

Yeah, that's just entitlement on your part, basically you are saying the residents of no location should be allowed to set a certain density. A desire for more housing in only the most desirable locations doesn't mean zoning just gets ignored everywhere.

up
Voting closed 0

I think this is a great addition to the neighborhood. Being right at the train stop its perfect for commuters. Let's face it, More people are using public transportation than ever...and with gridlocked city streets, it's about time we start promoting higher density buildings adjacent to train stations.

up
Voting closed 0

Because there's already so much extra capacity. Of course not. There's no way force people to not use cars.

up
Voting closed 0

Make people pay market rate for using public streets as private vehicle storage.

up
Voting closed 0

Or just provide enough parking with each new building and don't assume there's going to be enough transit later.

up
Voting closed 0

If you don't have as much parking as you demand of new buildings, shouldn't you be required to install it or procure it?

The public streets are the commons. The commons belong to all. If you want special parking, then you will have to pay for it. If there is not enough public parking, then there will be a need for those in previously built buildings to bring their parking availability up to zoning requirements of new buildings at their own expense.

You want free parking and you also want others to not have free parking, and yet it is public parking. That's ridiculous, undemocratic, and unfair.

up
Voting closed 0

Nowhere did the post you responded to say anything about a specific parking arrangement. It was speaking about a general trend.

Not being able to refute that, you decided to run with your baseless strawman to state that everyone thing must done entirely the same.

Your entire post is premised on a baseless assumption (not having private parking), then fabricating a red herring from that.

That barely even qualifies as an argument, it's more like fiction writing

up
Voting closed 0

Why are we constructing yet another building in our neighborhood and no green roof is part of the plan. Given the importance of stormwater and energy efficiency, the green roof would help to solve both issues and bring LEED points to the project. Please reconsider these plans. Thank you!

up
Voting closed 0