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Auto-glass garage in Andrew Square could be replaced by six-story apartment building

Proposed 603 Dorchester Ave.

Architect's rendering.

Two developers have filed plans with the BPDA to replace the two-story Andrew Square Auto Glass garage on Dorchester Avenue where it runs into Boston Street with a 25-unit apartment building.

Because the $7-million building would sit across the street from the Andrew Square T stop, developers Christopher Roche and Thomas Falcucci have proposed no parking, saying it would make more sense to use the ground-floor space where that might go for a new restaurant or cafe.

All the units would have one bedroom and one bathroom; four of the units would be rented as affordable.

Roche and Falcucci hope to begin construction by the end of this year and be finished a year later.

603 Dorchester Ave. small-project review application (18.3M PDF).

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Comments

That's 25 units more than what is there now. I like the rounded prow facing towards that square that is there owing to property lines but also mimics the building on the opposite corner of Dorchester Ave. and Dorchester Street.

Let's hear it for a good plan. Just apartments, no parking. Hope it gets built.

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Voting closed 12

I'd like to second that.

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Voting closed 69

More people who don’t give a shit about the neighborhood and not an inch of open space in the plan yaaayyyy (those umbrellas and bushes on land they don’t own in the middle of the busiest intersection in Southie don’t count)

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Voting closed 26

It's an auto glass repair facility, not a park.

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Voting closed 32

Joe Moakley Park and Carson Beach are also only a 7 minute walk away down Preble Street.

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Voting closed 21

Not an inch? You could have at least tried to look at the proposal. Adjacent to the existing site is a triangle park that fronts the intersection. The umbrellas and bushes on the left of the rendering suggest that this open space will remain.

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Voting closed 34

If you look at the proposal, you'll see that the building will come all the way out to the giant planter that is on the corner of the intersection. It's not a park, and certainly doesn't have room to add that many umbrellas.

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Voting closed 13

Look one more time at pages 9 and 16 in the PNF. Clearly, that open space remains and the building will not "come all the way out" to the planter.

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Voting closed 37

Buy a piece of land, clear it, and make it a park.

We would have a lot more open space if we didn't give so much of it away to private vehicle storage, too.

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Voting closed 30

Anddddddd we found the classic Southie Community Bulletin Board commentor. There are some of the largest parks in the city just a few minutes away in walking distance.

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Voting closed 32

This is the exact type of new housing we should be building: next to the T and in a walkable neighborhood.

Next target: the close by South Bay Center with its acres of surface parking lots and no homes.

If you're worried about traffic (and/or affordable housing), then surely you don't love having all those people drive to those stores when they could just take the T.

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Voting closed 22

Who do you call when your windshield’s busted?

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I got a window replaced there once. Good folk. But if they are moving, this sounds like a great proposal.

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No business should ever be replaced if you used it once? Once in how many years?

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It has value.

But yes, I do understand the idea of supply and demand and how the free market works. I'm merely pointing out that there is a useful business occupying the site.

Boston's real estate imbalance stems from too much office construction in the 1990s and 2000s at the expense of residential construction (office parks providing more tax revenue without those pesky kids needing public schools to educate them.) On the flipside, taking out businesses people need could also hurt the area in the long run.

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Voting closed 38

These days, auto glass trucks often come to you and pop in a new windshield. Sure they need a garage to hold inventory and park the truck at night, but the need for such a garage in the middle of a city is nearly obsolete.

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I mean, it would be weird, I suppose, to have a "go to" auto glass company, but perhaps that Safelite ad I saw on Saturday Night Live has me a bit spooked.

In the end, whoever owns the parcel can do with it what they see fit within zoning guidelines. I'm just mourning the passing of the service.

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Voting closed 29

Maybe you shouldn't be taking life advice from SNL.

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You win.

Happy?

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Voting closed 64

More of these everywhere. They restore urban fabric and streetwalls, add retail, subtract from traffic, and make the City more affordable.

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Voting closed 35

Just curious, how does this subtract from traffic? More people in the city will undoubitly create more traffic.

As an owner in the triangle of nearly 10 years I am in favor but don’t understand the move to no parking. I don’t think the city will approve.

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Voting closed 29

Presumably customers and employees of the auto-glass shop enter and exit the shop's lot at the curb cut on Dorchester Ave. Subtracting these vehicles from the site, would improve traffic by reducing the number of cars entering and exiting the avenue right before the intersection.

More people in the city does not undoubtedly lead to more traffic. For example, "Seattle added about 20,000 new residents in 2016, a population increase of about 3 percent. But traffic volumes didn’t increase at all. Driving mileage stayed flat in 2016."

One big way to ensure a growing population does not lead to worse traffic is to ensure that new homes go by existing transit and are in walkable areas. If, instead, the developer built these 25 homes nowhere near the T, traffic would undoubtedly increase.

Source: https://usa.streetsblog.org/2017/12/18/seattle-adds-people-without-addin...

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If people live in the city near a T stop and don't have a car, that's less traffic than if they were driving through the city from the 'burbs to get to their city jobs.

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4 of 25 are “affordable” the rest will be anything but...

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Guess what, they'll be affordable to someone...or they won't be sold/rented.

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Better to have the people in those 24 market rate apartments rent in this new building versus going down the street to out-bid others on cheaper apartments.

The people and demand for new housing does not disappear if these homes are not built, they just move over to the next street and home.

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of Boston becoming more affordable due to building?

We'll wait. Take your time.

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of any product or service, anywhere, at any time where limiting supply increased affordability?

We'll wait. Take your time.

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"Data released Thursday show that apartment rental prices fell slightly at the end of 2016 — the first drop since 2010 — amid a surge of new buildings that have opened in Boston and neighboring cities such as Cambridge, Chelsea, and Somerville."

The laws of supply and demand apply to housing. From a January 2017 Boston Globe article:

https://www.bostonglobe.com/business/2017/01/05/average-boston-area-rent...

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...the key context missing here is that in the United States, we have almost never built new market-rate housing for low-income households. New housing—rental and owner-occupied—overwhelmingly tends to get built for middle- and upper-income households. So how do affordable market-rate housing units get created? As new housing ages, it depreciates, and prices and rents decline, relative to newer houses.

from
http://cityobservatory.org/urban-myth-busting-new-rental-housing-and-med...

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If we're going to build buildings with zero parking, doing so next to a T station makes good sense.

But before we get overly excited about "no new traffic", think about how many Uber/Lyft/Taxi's will be pulling up to this building. And if there's no drop-off space to pull over, they'll double-park and block some traffic.

Again, I think the idea generally makes sense, but the T doesn't work for everyone, all the time. (insert T joke here).

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Voting closed 42

You just hit on a fantastic idea! All new developments should be made to have a dedicated rideshare drop off and pickup point cut into the parcel. Maybe like 2 spaces worth. Outside of the street flow, to prevent double-parking and blocking traffic. Bike racks on the curb part, and a short lane dedicated and marked for rideshare. Kinda like airports are doing.

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Is a pretty damn tough case to make for anyone but idealogues, but bang center of Andrew Square makes sense. Of course, it'll mean a lot more pedestrians hung out to dry in the vast deserts that are the crosswalks from one side to the other there, but join the party!

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The same dumb people who will be posting on FB: I have friends/relatives coming to visit me this weekend where can they park?
Tell them to take the T.

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I visit my sister in NYC. I look for a garage on the outskirts, hop on the transit and ditch the car all weekend.

Plenty of places have cheap weekend overnight rates.

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This is not New York. We don't pretend to be nor do we want to be like New York.

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Where we will do stupid things like drive around an unfamiliar area with no advance planning for parking to avoid ditching the vehicle and not using it all weekend because NEW YORK IS DIFFERENT.

Whatever.

Look, I live here and I ditch my car to pick up later. Like stowing it at Alewife Station, heading to work, and then picking it up later to head out to Amherst. Avoids the horror and time waste of driving in the congested part of the city.

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That's brilliant! If only others would part near train stations and take public transportation into the city. Then after work they could commute back to their cars and go anywhere they please! Oh wait, people do this everyday without thinking they're special in any way.

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Count me out. I don’t care how close to Andre Station it is. I’m not one that needs transportation subsidies. I work, I bought s nice car, I like to drive myself around.

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If you exist, then by definition you are benefiting from subsidies for literally everyone form of transportation--including driving!

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You are subsidized.

I think we have gone through this a dozen times - you can use the search function to find all the links on this.

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So find another place with parking. Not every option is ideal for every person. So now, someone without a car won't be competing with you for that 1br condo that comes with a parking space. Everyone wins.

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If you don't want to avail yourself of subsidies you better drive to Antarctica (somehow without using any public ways) cause literally every single other place in the entire world subsidizes roads. My taxes make it possible for you to drive your nice car.

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The current streetview

https://goo.gl/maps/sV5vKbYq2Tt

Previous poster was correct that the new design does mimic a similar looking style across the square.

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I love the idea and think it would like nice but I wish the Red Line would also improve in time for the potential residents of the building.

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The first new red line trains will go into service in December 2019, with the entire fleet replaced by September 2023.

Source: https://www.boston.com/news/local-news/2017/12/20/mbta-changes

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The Dorchester Ave corridor from Andrew Square to the Intersection with Old Colony is going to see a much needed re-vitalization over the next 5-10 years and this appears to be one of the first developments in that re-vitalization. More residents means more patrons for local business's and incentive for potentially more diverse business's to open. To me it seems like a great design and the perfect solution to replace a vacant business in one of the most high profile locations in the square plus a restaurant addition would be really nice to have.

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Voting closed 69

Live right across the street from this proposed building site. The andrew square area is in desperate need of renovation and restoration. This building might finally drive away some of the homeless/addicts that beg you for money on the corner every day (im looking at you “Too ugly Too strip” sign guy). That being said there is only street parking in this neighborhood and very little at that! Not too mention if there is a snow emergency, Dot Ave, Dot St, Boston St, Southhampton St AND Prevble St, are all evacuation routes. You think its tough to park in the neighborhood now? Try adding another 20 cars. And forget about snow storms. Would love to see the building go up, but would also love too see some parking added to it, underneath it, or a lot somewhere within walking distance.

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Just because the developer doesn't provide parking doesn't mean buyers won't bring cars with them. Wealthy Air BnB investors will probably love this, unfortunately.

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They will have to pay to put them somewhere.

"Bring cars with them". From where?

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Medford. Happy now?

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I love it!!!! I understand the parking issue, but it's only 25 units and they're all one bedroom units. Hopefully this will get the area more cleaned up. I love how Andrew is getting better and better - the location is just amazing. And I think this is the first building news where I don't see comments about yuppies - because no one lived there, ha! No "residents" are getting kicked out.

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As someone who was born and raised in Southie, this is exactly what this area needs! A building that will be THE focal point of turning around for that area of town. This building will be the epicenter for other homes/businesses to build around and grow on. Anyone remember how run down the lower end and West Broadway was? Can anyone even argue it’s not better down there now than it ever was? Sure maybe the people who moved in suck but it’s a way better improvement than what was there! That’s not even debatable! This building will be the revitalization of Andrew square!

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Design keeps to the square history and don’t necessarily mind them all being 1 br. I do believe parking is necessary, even people in 1 bedroom apartments will have cars that will take up space on the already crowded streets.

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