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Developer proposes turning old Chinatown office building into 24 affordable apartments

A developer yesterday showed off preliminary plans to convert 17-23 Beach St. - home to the Pho Hoa restaurant and the 1970's-style Mass. Medical Office sign - into apartments aimed at working-class Chinatown residents.

The developer, Beach Street Trust, showed some early renderings to the Chinatown Resident Association, said he hoped to be able to make the units affordable by using the existing building structure and by avoiding the tonier accoutrements that are common in new construction downtown, such as granite countertops and stainless-steel appliances.

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Could it be a nosmoking building and no smoking outside around the building?

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... that is enforced would be even better.

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Does anyone have any stories/memories of that Mass. Medical Office building? I have been intrigued by it for years - especially because it looks like some of the offices have not been touched since it was closed and they are slowly falling apart. Do people live in the higher floors?

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as in 'Who', 'What', 'When', 'Where', 'Why', and their backward cousin 'hoW'.

And 'Who' just called to complain that he's not getting the exposure he expects.

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Affordable for their wealthy friends who will then turn around and sell these units for premium costs to 1%ers who desire a pied-a-terre. Per usual, total BS.

Also, there is nothing luxury about stainless steel appliances. That this is continuously repeated by people who have never done a simple google search drives me nuts. You can purchase a stainless steel fridge at Home Depot for as low as $435. Look it up.
Granite countertops: also not a luxury amenity, though certainly more than stainless steel appliances. We picked out a a granite remnant at a place on the Lowell/Chelmsford line and paid about $800 for the slab, edging, backsplash and installion. We saved money by demo'ing the existing countertop ourselves. It's not that difficult. If you don't want to do that yourself, then yes you will have to pay more. And of course, like anything else, if you want to pick a fancy granite or you have a McMansion kitchen then it's going to cost you much more.

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That's interesting, thanks, but to your first point, are you aware of the difference between apartments and condos?

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Maybe Adam meant that these will be rentals. But in my dialect of English, you can buy or rent an apartment, and a condo can be part of a multi-unit building or an entire free-standing house. One of them is the physical configuration, and the other is the legal arrangement, and they don't contradict.

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Because in my world, there are apartments, which you rent, and condos, which you buy (or sell). That's the same basic definition the BRA, elected officials and the sort of people who attend neighborhood meetings on new development around here use as well (yes, as a recovering New Yorker, I am aware there is a third option, co-ops, which are more akin to buying shares in a corporation, but they're not common in Boston and I've yet to hear of anybody proposing to build all new co-op units here).

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demo'ing the existing countertop ourselves

Enjoy the formaldehyde, PCBs, and asbestos exposure doing that?

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Affordable for their wealthy friends who will then turn around and sell these units for premium costs to 1%ers who desire a pied-a-terre. Per usual, total BS.

Often there are restrictions in place that require you to sell to another buyer who is income qualified for the "affordable" units or you forfeit your profit back into a fund that buys more affordable housing.

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you can tell how clean they keep the kitchen by the condition of the blue awning outside.

this will be a big hit in chinatown where no one gets a W2 so everyone qualifies for affordable housing.

maybe I can adopt 4 kids to qualify then return them. you can return kids if you keep the receipt right?

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You can just drop them of at your local Fire Department.

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The building facade is dignified and worth preserving.
Granite countertops are hard and ugly and make a bad working surface.
Stainless steel appliances make kitchens look like operating rooms. I don't know why either are considered luxury features.

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Trendy isn't always great. Granite counter tops are a great way to chip and smash the hell out of your glassware, china, and cooking utensils. I love wood. And, it turns out, after the sanitary inspectors spent a decade or two trying to get everyone to switch to polyethylene, it turns out that wood is actually somewhat bacteriostatic, and wood countertops, IIRC, have, in practice, a lower bacteria count than the plastic ones.

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