Encore Properties of Newton, which owns several buildings on Washington Street at Langley Road, has filed plans to replace them with a five-story, 37-unit condo building that would include ground-floor retail space.
In a filing with the BPDA, Encore says it would provide 37 parking spaces for the building's residents.
Encore, which has owned the land since 2011, says it has figured out the challenge of putting up a building on land that starts on the largely commercial strip of Washington Street and slopes upward to the two- and three-family homes of Langley Road:
The project appropriately concentrates height and density along Washington street and incorporates smaller scale, duplex townhome style units along Langley Road. This innovative approach to massing is made possible by constructing below-grade parking which connects the different structures and provides a building platform that addresses the significant grade change along Langley Road. The project’s townhome component along Langley Road echoes the scale of the adjacent single-family homes, while porch-like entry terraces reinforce neighborhood architectural cues and allow accessible entrances to these units. Importantly, the project locates the mass of its fivestory portion beyond the rear property line of any Langley Road abutter. The impact of the building is further relieved by a significant planted green space, creating a courtyard for outside activity and a buffer between the differing scales of the structure within the development. ...
The footprint of the fifth-floor units is 50% smaller than the floors below, and these units are recessed significantly back from the Langley side so that they are not visible from the street level. This design feature also makes it possible to provide both private and common outdoor roof deck spaces for the residents.
The proposed view from Langley Road:
Access to parking will be on Washington Street only, the company says.
Encore had originally proposed to build apartments, but switched to condos after residents said those would encourage the arrival of people with a vested interest in the neighborhood and would serve as a bulwark against growing student encroachment in Oak Square. The company also reduced the number of units from 47 to 37.
Encore hopes to break ground next spring and anticipates construction would take 18 months.
544 Washington St. small-project review application (31M PDF).