A British developer wants to replace one of the last remaining low-rise buildings on the south side of Boylston Street with 500 apartments and support services aimed at the city's burgeoning population of graduate students.
In a letter of intent filed with the BPDA yesterday, Scape says it would replace the two-story building at 1252-1268 Boylston St. that stretches from what will soon be the street's last gas station to the Baseball Tavern with a building "purpose-built" and staffed 24/7 to provide for the needs of 21st-century students, with "a consistent focus on student health and wellness" and "environments to serve the graduate-level scholars driving the City's research and intellectual exploration."
In its fully buzzword-compliant letter of intent, it avers:
Scape focuses on the power of placemaking and endeavors to deliver an integrated onsite ecosystem which allows students - graduate and undergraduate - to participate in a positive way in the neighborhoods in which they live.
The current building includes Machine and the Domino's best known for being where an off-duty New Jersey cop allegedly beat up a BC hockey player, as well as a GNC and a bed store. The Baseball Tavern, at 1270 Boylston, is a separate building.
Scape, which said it will file more detailed plans within a month, said the need for such housing is particularly acute in the Fenway, which is home to several institutions of higher learning.
The company promised its building will both respect the new architecture that has arisen along Boylston Street in recent years and pay homage to the neighborhood's "architectural heritage through a distinct masonry facade."
If approved, this would be Scape's first US project. The company, which also set Boston as its US headquarters, said it chose Boston, because, well, it's pretty bloody obvious we're the "epicenter of American education," isn't it?
In addition to the student ecosystem, the building will have ground-floor retail space.
1252-1268 Boylston St. letter of intent (1M PDF).