The Board of Appeal today approved a 129-unit, six-story apartment building at Brighton Avenue and Linden Street after developers said they would rent no more than a third of the units to students - and not allow students to occupy any unit at a density greater than one student per bedroom.
Noah Maslan of Eden Properties agreed to take the steps - along with reducing the number of studio units - to keep the building from becoming an extension of the GAP - the area behind that stretch of Brighton Avenue that is loaded with BU students. Some 17 of the units will be rented to people who make no more than 70% of the area median income.
The building will have 79 parking spaces. Maslin said he will do a number of things to reduce residents' desire for cars, including giving out a CharlieCard for each unit, adding a Hubway station and installing a real-time alert board in the lobby for nearby bus lines and the Green Line.
The building's first floor will be rented for commercial uses.
The mayor's office and city councilors Mark Ciommo (Allston/Brighton), Annissa Essaibi-George (at large) and Michael Flaherty (at large) supported the project. Ciommo said the building is just a 13-minute walk - and an even shorter bike ride - to the new Boston Landing commuter-rail stop.
Carol Ridge Martinez, executive director of the Allston/Brighton Community Development Corp., noted that some residents wanted Maslan to increase Allston's small home-ownership supply by marketing the units as condos, but said that particular location, on a busy commercial street and bordered by a student-heavy area, just isn't ready for that. She added that Allston rents have begun to stabilize and that adding 129 more apartments would further help Allston become at least a bit less unaffordable.
Douglas Bacon, who owns the White Horse Tavern across the street, along with three other restaurants in Allston/Brighton, also praised the proposal. He said even his higher-paid workers can no longer afford to live in Allston. Scott Matalan, owner of Regeneration Tattoo and a member of the Allston Board of Trade, made a similar argument in supporting the project.
Also backing the proposal: Anabella Gomes, president of the Brighton-Allston Improvement Association.
But Paul Berkeley, president of the Allston Civic Association, said the building was simply too dense - three floors taller than the three-floor maximum residents and the city had set for the area several years ago.
Eva Webster, co-chair of the Homeowners Union of Allston-Brighton, said the low numbers of owner-occupied units in Allston is "outrageous" and "unconscionable" and said she did not understand how the board could allow Eden Properties to "create generational wealth for themselves on the back of Allston renters."