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Developer to reconsider makeup of Brighton apartment complex aimed at post-graduate set

Proposed apartment complex in Brighton

Proposed complex layout. St. E's to left, Washington Street at bottom.

Cabot, Cabot & Forbes CEO Jay Doherty told Brighton residents last night he'll reevaluate his company's plans for a 680-unit apartment complex aimed at grad students, post docs and young researchers on the hill behind St. Elizabeth's Hospital after they told him it's too dense and that the last thing Brighton needs is more apartments for transients in a neighborhood already flooded with them.

Residents at a crowded Brighton Allston Improvement Association meeting asked him to look at reducing the density of the project on the site of the old St. Gabriel's Monastery and to consider building some of the units as condos to increase the number of people who would have better ties to the community.

And that was after residents tore into a 287-unit apartment complex another developer, Avalon Bay, wants to build right next door to the CCF project on land owned by the Archdiocese of Boston off Washington Street.

With developers these days only proposing rental projects in Brighton, which would put more transients in a neighborhood already suffering from a lack of stability, "we're looking at, and I'm not exagerating, the death of this neighborhood," resident Kevin Carragee said.

Before getting into a sometimes feisty exchange with residents, Doherty started by explaining the benefits of his proposed project on the 12-acre site the company bought last year from the owner of St. Elizabeth's Hospital: It would provide a safe haven for hundreds of young academics by giving them safe, efficient apartments - and remove them from the Brighton rental pool, which could help ease pressures on rents in the neighborhood. He estimated 8,200 such people now live in Brighton and Allston.

Doherty makes a point
Doherty makes a point.

He said Cabot, Cabot & Forbes would set up a shuttle-bus system - complete with mobile app for scheduling rides - to get the tenants to their campuses, something he said the company now routinely does at the new complexes it builds. Most of the units would be studios or one-bedroom units, with some two-bedroom and even three-bedroom units.

The company would spend $15 million to $20 million restoring the monastery on the site and another $4 million or so restoring a wooded area designed by the Olmsted Brothers - the landscaping company set up by the sons of Frederick Law Olmsted - and would keep roughly 60% of the parcel as green space. A spot near the top of the hill would be set aside as a vista, open to the public, with views of the Boston skyline, he said.

But residents were having little of it. They said the 400 proposed parking spaces was simply not enough and that they are tired of developers jawing about how grad students and their ilk don't drive, when the evidence from other Brighton projects suggests otherwise, snorted at the idea of shuttle buses crowding their streets and said Doherty's proposal could have been so much better given the majesty of the site his company is sitting on.

Doherty said his proposal has a density of just 50 units per acre and noted that, unlike the proposed Avalon Bay project, which would stick a building with two six-story wings right on Washington Street, his buildings, some of which would rise to seven stories, would be at least 150 feet away from the street.

Eva Webster, who has long complained about the corrosive effects of students on her neighborhood, even blasted Doherty for proposing something she said would screw local residents with large houses because he would suck the best tenants - quiet, studious grad students - away from them.

Webster, who accused Doherty of repeatedly blinking at her as she talked, said he should come back with a plan for condos, which tend to have residents who care more about the neighborhood since they own their own units. Doherty said he'd be willing to look at including some condos, but said the economics of a large project - built entirely with union labor, as CCF does - would make an all-condo project simply too expensive for Brighton.

"It actually isn't our problem that you can't make it work," BAIA Vice President Anabela Gomes told him.

Not everybody opposed the project. One former graduate student said he stayed in Brighton after he was finished with his studies.

All this was after residents fidgeted as David Gillespie of Avalon Bay discussed his company's plans for a 287-unit, two-building apartment complex along Washington Street between Fidelis Way and Monastery Road - right across from the CCF parcel.

Avalon Bay proposal
The new face of Washington Street?

Gillespie said the buildings would have a mix of units aimed at attracting both people who need to be in the neighborhood for a year or two to people who are there for the long haul - he said some tenants in the company's buildings downtown have been there for 20 years.

Although the main building, along Washington, would rise to six stories, Gillespie said it would have a large gap in the middle of just two stories, specifically to avoid a large "street wall" fronting Washington. The two-story structure would house the entrance to parking and support a courtyard-like green space, he said.

Avalon Bay proposed 230 parking spaces - most in a garage under the main building. Gillespie said he's counting on many residents commuting to work via the nearby Green Line, the new commuter-rail station New Balance is paying for way up off of Guest Street and bicycles - which brought considerable derision from the residents in the room, because, they said, the Green Line is already over capacity, nobody's going to walk to Guest Street and nobody's going to ride their bikes in the winter.

Webster accused him of showing residents plans for a massive project that would involve cutting down "majestic trees" to maximize the profits of corporate overlords living in "gorgeous mansions out of state." Another resident said the proposal was "unbelievable" on a parcel that was once a farm and that never had more than 50 people living on it.

Other residents noted the six-story wings would sit across from single-family homes. Gillespie acknowledged that, but said other buildings on his company's side of Washington already rise to six stories.

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Comments

But this one really does not compute:

They said the 400 proposed parking spaces was simply not enough and that they are tired of developers jawing about how grad students and their ilk don't drive, when the evidence from other Brighton projects suggests otherwise, snorted at the idea of shuttle buses crowding their streets

The neighborhood wants parking spaces for what, flying cars?

Street space for 60 graduate students, post docs, and young researchers

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I was beginning to think Lower Allston was the only area in A/B getting all the huge condos complexes.... enough is enough with all the new condos developments going up in every free space in the area! Just drive down Western Ave - three huge developments going up. What's next Smith's Park? Or all along the river? Does anyone else not see this? How do these developments add benefit to our community? Ads more traffic, not enough parking spaces.... how about putting some retail stores in - not establishments that serve alcohol? Why isn't the owner of Boston Burger adding a Boston Burger instead of a deli that serves booze? Or better yet just a deli with no booze?

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All the big developments you see are RENTALS, not condos, and they are mostly small units. If they were family-size owner occupied condos, it would at least stabilize the neighborhood and attract quality retail.

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Webster, who accused Doherty of repeatedly blinking at her as she talked,

For real? What was his response?

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OK, no, he ignored that part of her argument.

Reminded me of the time a Hyde Park apartment proponent was accused of smirking.

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Webster did not "accuse" the developer of blinking at her. You're supposedly an objective reporter, Adam - why choose the word "accuse"? She simply remarked that he was blinking his eyes a lot while she was talking to him - which he did, and it was baffling to her. She mentioned it because she was concerned that her comments were stressing him out.

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And maybe it's because pretty much everything she says sounds like an accusation, but it sounded like she was accusing him of blinking at him, at least to me. I didn't notice any excessive blinking on his part myself.

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You didn't notice because you may have been busy taking notes. Why do you insinuate she imagined that. He was blinking a lot when she was talking, especially when she came to the microphone the second time.

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I wasn't all that busy taking notes because the main points had already been made. I did jot down the phrase "fantastic paradise," which is what she claimed the hill could become if only Doherty would listen to her about turning the whole thing into condos by hiring non-union workers or making the unions accept lower pay for the privilege of working on the project, though.

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And this is what she posted to the neighborhood google group on this subject:

https://groups.google.com/forum/?hl=en#!topic/AllstonBrighton2006/zUZ4hL...

I think she has a point. If we care about housing affordability not every project can or should be built with union labor. High construction costs are simply shifted to homebuyers and renters. A union-built project can still be a success, but not if it also has a very expensive historic preservation component, as is the case with St. Gabriel's. You seem to be ignoring some aspects that Webster is aware of.

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Is not to cut at the bottom but at the top.

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Webster, who accused Doherty of repeatedly blinking at her as she talked

LOL. Sounds like an awesome meeting. Truly, a shining example of democracy in action.

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Oh, I'm sure they'd be happy to have those transients in their neighborhood as long as they keep driving up rents and house prices. The landowning classes just don't want any competition for providing housing, because they know that given enough new construction, their crappy old houses from the 19th century will start declining in value (i.e. getting more affordable) and they have far too much of their net worth tied up in a hundred year old pile of wood and plaster.

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It's not only landlords who speak out in opposition to these projects. People have the right to advocate for what they think is best for their area.

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Absolutely wrong conclusions. Their "crappy 19th century houses" will never go down in value, because their values automatically skyrocket whenever high density is allowed in the area. You don't understand the simple fact that anytime lots of apartment buildings are getting built, or can be built, free-standing older homes become extremely desirable either as possible torn-downs, or gut-rehab conversions, or for renovations for people who value having yards.

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When they have meetings at the Elks Club, so they sell alcohol? I've been wondering if it might be entertaining people watch AND drinking.

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I once went to a candidate's debate at some social club in South Boston where the bar served beer right up until the opening statements.

Alas for fans of civic discourse in Brighton, however, BAIA meetings are in a meeting room separate from the bar room.

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That is too bad.

I do know the the Briar has held Abutter's meetings, which I would assume since its inside the Bar you could drink at.

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If this became a thing, I would buy season tickets.

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Wanna know why Boston can't make inroads against its high housing prices? Bullshit like this. Plain and simple. Textbook NIMBY bullshit.

Let's stop catering to people who want to keep Boston as un-urban as possible.

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This is the normal planning process no matter how much you want to complain about it, most cities in the country have something similar. The city can't build for everyone that moves there wants to have lower rents. It's already one of the most built up cities in the country. People who live in an area can advocate for what they think is best.

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I could not agree more with this comment.

The readers of this blog who think that their rents will get lower if we only overbuild Allston-Brighton with large rental apartment buildings are delusional, and apparently never lived in other dense and expensive cities. In desirable urban areas high density and high costs go hand in hand - they feed of each other.

Also, you people misunderstand how the housing market works. The moment there is an indication that rents may start coming down (based on vacancy rates), developers stop building. They cannot afford the cost of land acquisition, permitting, and construction, and then hold the bag by giving you cheap rent. Adding supply only works for lowering prices if the demand goes down as well, but that is never the case in an attractive city such as Boston. As long as there are people willing to pay high rents, it's going to stay that way.

The issue is that lots of young renters in Boston are simply underpaid (thank the globalists for that), and cannot afford to live in what are fast becoming desirable locations, Allston-Brighton definitely being one of them. You would be willing to sacrifice this neighborhood's liveable character and all open space on private parcels just to pay maybe $50 less on rent. Isn't that selfish?

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This is the normal planning process no matter how much you want to complain about it, most cities in the country have something similar.

This is one of those things that would have my mother replying, "and if everyone else jumped off a cliff, would you do it too?" It's not a ringing endorsement of ANYTHING to just say that everyone else does it, so we should too.

It's already one of the most built up cities in the country.

This is always a bizarre claim. There are plenty of places that are more built up than Boston. And I'm not talking about the Hong Kong's of the world, but very livable low-rise cities filled with parks and open space and non-sardine apartments like London and Paris. There's no reason Boston can't aim for that level of density.

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Except that you have no right to constantly browbeat people who live in traditional homes with setbacks, driveways and yards that they should support losing that environment for having soulless, large, and transient apartment buildings everywhere, with not enough room among them even for trees. Allston-Brighton is not downtown. It has always been a neighborhood with some room to breathe.

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LOL. If that's what constitutes being browbeat to you, consider yourself lucky. Again, very pretty, livable cities with open space, parks, etc. like Paris and London, with neighborhoods that the majority of Brightonians would kill themselves to live in, are much denser than Brighton currently is. This vaguely defined sense of "browbeating" over development proposals in Boston that are vaguely defined as "too dense" is beyond absurd.

Not to mention the fact that I completely missed the section of the Constitution that outlines the right (as you put it) to "traditional homes with setbacks, driveways, and yards." And LOL again at your idea of what constitutes "traditional." My grandparents all grew up in a Jacob Riis book, not some Mayberry fantasy. Maybe these should all be cold water flats for tradition's sake?

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Your dismissive tone, lame arguments ("maybe there should be cold water flats for the sake of tradition), and refusal to see another perspective are most off-putting.

You apparently envision yourself as some superior world traveller who knows more than we simple country bumpkins living in Allston-Brighton. FYI, I used to live in, and also visited, several European capitals and major cities, including London. I know London very well. To compare Allston-Brighton to London, to suggest that we should emulate London, is simply laughable.

London is a huge, old, historic, and by now completely cosmopolitan city, and most of the places where one would want to live in London, are now prohibitively expensive (100s and 1000s times more than Allston-Brighton). Feel free to get drunk on seeing that city's wealth, opulence and elegance - but that in no way applies to what we have here, or what long-term A/B residents and homeowners value. Overbuilding Allston-Brighton will never make it into a London or Paris-like location. Atl least where I live in Brighton, I can sleep with an open window on a warm night, not hear any traffic, and be woken up by birds singing. I will do all I can to keep it that way. You can move to London or Paris, you snob. Good riddance.

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You apparently envision yourself as some superior world traveller who knows more than we simple country bumpkins living in Allston-Brighton.

You can move to London or Paris, you snob. Good riddance.

LOL. That's an ad hominem, but whatever.

Sorry, I thought you were making an argument about density. Now you're going off on some completely unrelated tangent and personal attack. The fact of the matter is that A/B could be denser without turning it into some kind of Hong Kong. In fact, it could be denser and still be very livable like London or even San Francisco if you want to keep it within the US. Those cities all have very nice residential neighborhoods with parks, open space, apartments that are completely livable, etc. That's the point. If you want to go off on some straw man tangent (and yes, price isn't related to density, sorry. If it was, India would be the most expensive place on earth), that's on you.

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You exasperate me with your half-baked argument comparing Allston-Brighton to London, and implying that Allston-Brighton could have more density and would be just as nice as London. Londoners cherish old architecture. London parks are almost always on private properties. Where is any room for a park, private or public, in Allston Village and vicinity? In fact the existing density of most of Allston is already comparable to some of the nice parts of London.

Over there, the attractive parts of the city don't have slumlords owning entire blocks like they do here. Today's developers of large rental buildings in Allston will be tomorrow's slumlords. The novelty of their new buildings will wear off fast, and you will be left with the same business model of squeezing tenants so much that they have to live with roommates, only in ever smaller units. This is not to insult you, but I think you are extremely green and oblivious to certain realities. Increasing density by itself does not solve the underlying problems.

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Not as exasperating as your straw man arguments, I can assure you.

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Forcing developers to build low-density single-family homes doesn't result in more green space for the rest of us. If public green space is what we want, we should ask the city to buy some land and use it for that. But for the places where we're going to build housing, building smaller houses really doesn't help with the green space problem.

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I see, if low density gives green space to others who can afford to live in low-density housing, you are against such housing. Got it.

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Err, right. It's called "snob zoning," and it means the housing is expensive BECAUSE it is low-density.

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You are basically advocating for no zoning than. That's generally not how any well planned city does things.

"This is always a bizarre claim."

It's not if you compare it to most in the country.

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You are basically advocating for no zoning than.

No I didn't. That's a straw man you've come up with yourself. If you think my counter examples of places that are denser than Boston but still incredibly nice and livable like London and Paris aren't planned, then I don't know what to tell you.

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Your unreasonable analogy about everyone doing something that's wrong was absurd.

Read what you posted. You implied that these hearings should not exist, which would give people the ability the build whatever they want effectively making existing zoning not mean anything.

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Sorry, only you implied that.

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You were complaining about the hearings, which implies you have an issue with them. The function to allow people to give input on developments.

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You were complaining about the hearings, which implies you have an issue with them.

You can insist that all you want, but it doesn't make it true. It just makes it a straw man.

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What you are saying doesn't make much sense at this point, and you don't seem to understand the definition of a strawman. You clearly did not like meetings.

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You clearly did not like meetings.

LOL. Not that it matters, but I love meetings.

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LOL. Not that it matters, but I love meetings actually.

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Those cities were built years before this one. You posted only 2 examples that are completely different.

If you actually look at the most livable cities list, they are not the largest generally.

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Not the densely populated, liveable areas were developed in the 19th century.

Some cities, like Barcelona, were only allowed to build outside of a small walled area well after most of Boston was built up - they created the densely populated, highly liveable areas between 1855-1900 or later.

Some, like Paris, were reorganized frequently, and were largely built in the same era in which Boston expanded to nearly a million people.

Please go back and do some homework on the history of urban design before you come back and make a further fool of yourself.

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You are the one posting on nearly week old topics with snarky posts, that appeared in the recent posting list.

You also posted only two examples. That does not make for a compelling argument. That something was reorganized over a century ago is hardly relevant to the construction and transit situation today.

Also, the point about the most desirable and livable cities not generally being the largest is still relavent.

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There's plenty of cities that are more dense and not better to live in.

You basically posted a logical fallacy.

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Lol. You made three separate comments and then liked them all. And that's not what a logical fallacy is.

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To assume that because some places are nice with very high density and therefore others will be as well is a logical fallacy. That is what your post said.

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Evidently many people liked those posts. At this point you aren't even addressing the arguments.

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LOL. Sure they did. Try registering an account so we can keep track of your anon posts. It takes 5 seconds.

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Also, there were multiple anons posting. Again, you would rather argue about pointless things such as likes.

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Also, there were multiple anons posting

Sure there were. So are you going to register an account or not?

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MattL - I replied to your postings anon, but I can assure you that I did not post all the anon replies. You assume that only one person disagreed with you, and it's not true. I was glad to see somebody else was pointing out your illogical thinking that higher density guarantees a better neighborhood or a city.

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You could, of course, get an actual account here, which, among other things, would lock your user name so only you could ever use it. But if you don't want to do that, even anons can change what their "user name" looks like so that you don't show up as one of 72,000 "anons" in the same discussion.

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You are talking about zoning. People who are invested advocate what they think is best for it.

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Can we create a page to organize supporters?!? I think redeveloping an abandoned property into something exciting is a great idea!

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Yeah, create a page and call yourselves Allston-Brighton Developers Sycophants, Future Slumlords Adoration Society.

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I'm sorry but what exactly are you even talking about? I cannot recall a single example built since about 1975 of a privately-funded, high-density building *anywhere* in Boston that could even remotely be described as a "slum." As far as I can tell almost everything that could (even remotely) be called a "slum" in Boston is in an old, relatively low-density building, usually built almost 100 years ago. Even at the height of the mortgage crisis we did not have slums in newly constructed buildings. And even if we did, they all seem to be gone by now.

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No, your rent is so high because you insist on living in an area where rents are high, and too many people who insist on the same.

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Rents are high "because rents are high." That makes sense.

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Not what the other poster said. It said there are other people who also want to rent there.

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It's hard to win when residents talk out of both sides of their mouths.

Eva, who often complains about too many students in the neighborhood taking up houses where families should live, is simultaneously saying that she doesn't want new development because it would take the "good" students out of those houses?

Also, just because a development is condos instead of rental does not guarantee that it will be owner occupied. I had a friend who owned and lived in a condo in Allston as part of a multi-family building. Most of the other units were not owner occupied. They were owned by people who don't live in the neighborhood and rented mostly to students.

Lastly, there is not a shortage of parking in Brighton. There is a perceived shortage because the free on-street resident parking is overused. If Eva is so concerned about people bringing in cars, she should be asking the developer to build less parking, not more, and also asking that they make residents of the development ineligible for on-street resident permits.

This is not rocket science. I feel terrible for anyone who tries to build in Allston/Brighton. Dealing with people like Eva is like hitting your head against a wall repeatedly.

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asking that they make residents of the development ineligible for on-street resident permits.

Why on Earth is that a reasonable request? Or, more precisely, is there any chance that Boston would consider such a request?

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One of the things Doherty said he would make a condition of leases: That residents NOT park on streets outside his complex. He said the company would keep a record of residents' registration numbers and any found parking on those streets would be judged in "default" of their rental agreements.

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Is that enforceable in court?

I mean, grad students include law students. That provision will last all of .003 seconds.

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Responding to Adam's statement "He [Doherty] said the company would keep a record of residents' registration numbers and any found parking on those streets would be judged in "default" of their rental agreements."

Reading things like that sends me through the roof. How naive can you be to believe everything, or anything, that developers say. They will say anything they think may turn you into a supporter of their gravy train project. Adam, you were not born yesterday, so I have no idea why you choose to believe it.

No rental complex management company has the ability to keep a record of their renters or visitors cars that they may choose to park on the street. And to think that the management company would shoot themselves in the foot by punishing rent-paying tenants for parking on the street is just silly.

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do DNA testing to see what dog pooped in the wrong spot...

https://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/regionals/south/2013/08/24/condos-brai...

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" And to think that the management company would shoot themselves in the foot by punishing rent-paying tenants for parking on the street is just silly."

Um, have you met the Boston rental market? The landlord has absolutely zero reason to concern themselves with the plight of their "rent-paying tenants" when there are 50 more lining up to rent the place.

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Boston has done it for other new developments throughout the city. In my opinion, it's not the BEST solution to the on-street parking crunch (a better solution would be for the city to charge residents market rate for a permit), but it's the most politically winnable solution currently.

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YES to the point about condos and owner occupancy. From what I can tell, A/B residents seem to think that studios = transients, whereas 2 and 3 bedroom condos will fill up with families/permanent residents. How they can believe this when simultaneously complaining about low owner occupancy in the area, an area currently filled almost entirely with 2-4 bedroom dwellings, is beyond me. What's to stop the new owners of multi-bedroom condos from renting them out to unrelated adults at around $1000 per bedroom like everyone else in the area?

I kind of like the idea of "grad lifestyle" (the developer's term) housing at the monastery, but they've got to lower their rates if they're going to draw young people away the aforementioned $1000 bedrooms. There were a lot of numbers thrown around last night so correct me if I'm wrong, but I think he said the studios might go for around $1800? He seemed to think the amenities would lead people to pay twice what they might for a bedroom in an old triple decker, but I highly doubt that will be the case.

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I liked your comment but only for what you wrote in the second paragraph. You're smart enough to realize that rents in new construction are significantly higher than in older homes/buildings, but contrary to what you think the developer cannot just make them lower to match the rents in the older structures.

The most affordable housing is living with roommates in older apartment buildings, or be a good tenant in an owner-occupied house, since people who share their homes do not want frequent disruptions of renters moving in and out.

Therefore the whole argument that building this complex for grad students (or for others who would live in efficiency apartments) will take such folks out of neighborhood housing is a red herring. Grad students do not want to add to their high student debt by paying more for housing than they have to.

On the issue of condos that are being rented out, it is true that many condos are purchased to be rented out, but at least the rents from those condos benefit a larger number of people (many small investors), which spreads wealth more equitably. Large rental buildings on the other hand only enrich extremely wealthy people who own them.

For people who care about having more owner-occupancy in Allston-Brighton, condos are preferable because at least some of them do attract owner-occupants. Having a condo building with some owner-occupants is better than having buildings with none.

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Even before the meeting, Eva started with her contradictions, saying the new development both would not lower rents and bankrupt the small landlords who would not be able to sustain the lower rental income after new developments open.

https://groups.google.com/forum/m/#!topic/allstonbrighton2006/yc3ymAFsTTk

Let us all remember that 75% of condos in Allston and 67% in Brighton are rentals (based on 2016 assessing data and whether the homeowner exemption is claimed for the condo). The eternal push for more condos seems to ignore the fact that there are already a ton of condos here and new ones will tend towards being rentals as well. When buying my condo in Allston, nearly every unit was also being advertised to investors and the fact that I could rent the unit out after living there a few years was pushed by most of the sellers agents.

The main routes toward less students are on-campus housing and for Eva and her ilk to stop trashing the neighborhood in the press. Why would anyone want to move here when they constantly claim it is a horrid place to live?

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People like Eva don't trash the neighborhood, they focus on things that they value about the neighborhood and fight for keeping or expanding those things. They want more neighbors like them, so the neighborhood/community would be stronger, more stable . Why do you blame them for that?

Condo documents if properly structured can ensure greater owner-occupancy. That's what many condo associations in better parts of the city have.

Your argument that 75% of condos in Allston and 67% in Brighton are rentals, and that is the reason why it makes no sense to favor condos over rentals, makes no sense. If it wasn't for those owner-occupied condos, the area would have no owner-occupants. Is this what you would want? Communities with a good percentage of owner occupants are usually better places to live in than areas that are mostly or completely transient.

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Every paragraph in your message simplifies the issues that you opine about, but people liked it anyway. Shows you how desperate some folks are for a confirmation of their preconceived notions.

1) Undergraduate student renters vs. graduate student renters.
Are you really unable to discern between those two groups, or comprehend why A/B long term residents and small mom & pop landlords, would prefer the latter from the former as neighbors next door?

2) Condos can be full of renters.
Just because you lived in some cramped house that was converted to condos, owners moved away and put renters in those units, does not mean that all condo buildings/houses are like that. It depends on where the building is. In parts of Brighton where there is not too much congestion, and there is a lot of greenery, there are many condo owners who live in the units they own.

3) "There is no shortage of parking in Brighton".
This is a totally untrue blanket statement. Streets that have mostly single-family houses with driveways (lesser density), or in poorer areas where many people can't afford the expense of owning a car, may not have a problem. But most streets that have multi-families and dense apartment buildings, and there the parking problem is definitely real.

4) "If Eva is so concerned about people bringing in cars, she should be asking the developer to build less parking, not more".
What makes you think that people who move into a new building without parking won't get a car anyway and compete for on-street parking with the existing population? Buildings without sufficient parking are notoriously transient, and that is what Eva and others like her don't want because Allston/Brighton has too much of it already. They want balance.

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"asking that they make residents of the development ineligible for on-street resident permits"

Nobody should be ineligible for any city services as a condition imposed on the construction of their home at some point in the past.

If your concern is people overusing street parking because it's underpriced, how does artificially making it easier for existing residents to park at the expense of future residents supposed to fix this problem?

Grandfathering city services to existing residents like this is a great way to unfairly discriminate and disenfranchise.

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The developer should explore its financing options with HUD, DND and MassHousing. Who wouldn't want 12 acres of new public housing? The residency requirements address the stated concern about "transient" neighbors. Level the Olmsted landscaping for 1 parking space per bedroom. All concerns have been addressed. Alternatively, the developer should enter into a land swap for parcels containing obsolete public housing in the South End and East Boston. New market rate and truly affordable housing gets built. Everyone wins.

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Wow - this was definitely written a transient, rootless person who doesn't give a crap about Brighton, or the historic nature of what's on that site. No true Brightonian or Allstonian would suggest we should bring East Boston's or South Boston's public housing to St. Gabriel's. Amazing that such Philistines even exist.

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""It actually isn't our problem that you can't make it work," BAIA Vice President Anabela Gomes told him."

If this isn't the community process in a nut shell, I don't know what is.

'It's not our jobs to think through our demands or discuss how feasible they are. It's our job to whine and shout with no regard to logic!"

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The original argument remains, that it's not the residents problem if people make investments that require significant approvals and wouldn't be good investments otherwise.

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I think taking an abandoned property, creating a few acres of open space and building some much needed housing is a great idea. The monastery looks like a very interesting building.

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