Developers release detailed plans for proposed Kilmarnock Street housing
Cabot, Cabot and Forbes and CIM Group of Los Angeles yesterday filed plans with the BPDA to replace a taxi garage and a second building on Kilmarnock and Queensberry streets in the Fenway with two eight-story buildings housing 443 residential units.
The two developers say their buildings would have 250 parking spaces and roughly 7,800 square feet of ground-floor space for a restaurant or stores.
The bulk of the units would be in an eight-story building on the east side of Kilmarnock and running along Queensberry Street:
Rather than included affordable units in the buildings, the companies say they will contribute to a BPDA affordable-housing fund, with the money specifically going to "the acquisition (and corresponding preservation) of affordable housing units within
the Newcastle/Saranac Apartments, located approximately 0.75 miles from the Project Site."
The developers point to what they say will be benefits for the surrounding neighborhood:
The Project will further the ongoing revitalization of the Fenway neighborhood by replacing surface parking, aging parking garages, and single-story buildings with quality transit-oriented housing at a scale and density that compliments the existing and established neighborhood. The Project Site offers neighborhood scale amenities that residents desire within easy access to public transportation, universities, cultural institutions, and qualityopen spaces.
60 Kilmarnock St. project-notification form (30M PDF).
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The Newcastle/Saranac Apartments are in the South End on the Lower Roxbury Line. W-T-F is the city thinking to allow the Fenway to lose affordable housing units to another neighborhood?
The site has no affordable housing right now...
So it's not as if the Fenway is losing affordable housing as a result of this project. The City's inclusionary housing rules allow this as long as the developer makes a large enough payment to the inclusionary development fund which produces and preserves affordable housing in the City, although generally not in higher-income neighborhoods.
I have mixed feelings about the whole process in that I see the argument about having socioeconomic diversity in neighborhoods, but it also feels very unfair to middle-class folks who make too much money to win an affordable unit in a lottery but can't afford to live anywhere closer than West Roxbury.
8 stories = way too high
The large majority that neighborhood consists of 4-story multi-unit buildings. 8 stories is way too high.
Agreed. No character. Just
Agreed. No character. Just more Walmart-ization of urban neighborhoods aimed at wealthy yuppies who want to live in the city. Kicking out residents and students has to stop.
I ... I have never seen an 8-story Walmart. Never heard of one. Never seen one in an urban (actually urban) area. Never heard of "wealthy yuppies" being their target demographic....
Literally no one lives there now. There are no housing units. Zero. Zilch. If you stop this project you're the one preventing 443 families from living here. Essentially kicking out 443 families. Because you personally don't like the architecture. You don't even say what you don't like about it, you just don't. So you're going to kick out 443 families.
Personally I think it looks nice.
Natick Mall condos are
Natick Mall condos are calling... chain stores, it all looks the same, don't be scared... there's no diversity... Walmart is whispering, beckoning....
Nope it's not too high
Actually right across the street is a 7 story building, as well as another 7 story building next to the West site of this proposal. Other buildings within a block of the site have 6 stories. The only 4 story buildings nearby are two that are adjacent to the sites, but they're the oddity rather than the norm. 8 stories will be just fine there.
The only real concern here is how developers are allowed to off-site the affordable housing to a location completely outside the neighborhood.
The real question
Is why they have these stupid "affordable" housing requirements in the first place.
Someone has to do it
Real estate in the city used to be readily obtainable for a very small amount of savings towards a down payment. So when you could get a studio in the Fenway area for under $100K you might only need $10-20K as a down payment saved, and could afford the subsequent mortgage payments with a modest income.
Now, and pretty much since 2001, that same location would require one to have saved over 100K for a down payment, and 6 times that mortgage payment each month. And the wages of those people buying the $60K units available then have not increased 6 fold in the same time period.
It would be ridiculous if people with lower incomes could only afford to live far away, when prior to 2001 there were no neighborhoods that were out of reach anywhere in the city. Even Beacon Hill had cheaper apartments and condos available on the Cambridge St side of the hill.
Drive down any major road like Beacon, Comm, Centre, Washington and look at all the one story retail stores. Zone them all for 4-6 stories - put the retail back in and watch prices come down very fast (or at least stabilize for years until inflation catches up with affordability).
Affordable housing makes a tiny number of lottery winners and raises the cost of housing for others. Boston is mostly out of space. The solution is to invest in better public transportation so that living 40 miles outside the city doesn't involve a 90 minute commute. There's affordable housing along most of the commuter rail but the schedules and cost are too high to make it feasible for as many people.
Only the Koch bros have that money.
A subway ride from JP to the Seaport easily takes 45 minutes on the subway.
Only billionaires have the money to improve the public transportation system to a point where living far outside the city is realistically supported by transportation.
Even then the politics against "those people" living in places such as Wellesley would stop improved transportation to many towns and cities.
It also doesn't work.
It also doesn't work.
In my building the folks that bought affordable condominiums pay much lower fees than everyone else (their utilities are subsidized by everyone else), and yet they manage to drive brand new 5 series BMW's.
A few of these owners also violate the BRA rules and rent out their units... at market prices. Making well over $1000 on rental income.
Now, this isn't true for all of them. But over half.
Preach! I wish more developers would take public transportation into greater consideration than just building.
7 stories is the zoning
7 stories is the zoning height established after a length community process in 2004. Most of the buildings in that part of the neighborhood are 4 or 5 stories.
"Right across the street" where?
I used to live about 200 feet from this proposed development (maybe less). Where is there a 7 story building right across the street from it?
See street views of the intersections and streets around it
All of the 7-8 story buildings, at the linked locations below, directly abut the parcels for this project.
Unreal how afraid people are of height in Boston. We need all the housing we can get, and 8 stories is not out of line for this neighborhood. This is in the heart of the city for crying out loud! If 8 stories freaks you out, I think it's time to pack your bags for the suburbs.
Coyote, if I could click "like" on your comment a million times I would!
IBB does live in the suburbs
From previous posts, I believe that poster is not a city resident so there you go. They've moved out and believe the city should be like it was when they used to live here, sort of like all the folks from the North and South Shores who are very invested in preserving the North End and Southie of their parents childhoods.
That's lbb to you
Not IBB, not 1BB...lbb. And yes, I do live outside the city, and used to live adjacent to this proposed development, so I know a thing or two about what made it a great neighborhood. What's your background?
(edit: and I DON'T live in "the suburbs", ya donkey)
My point is that you don't live in the city and therefore your opinion about this neighborhood is exactly as relevant as when a Southie expat from Weymouth gets mad about developments in Southie. Nothing personal.
I lived in the Fenway like 15 years ago and it's nowhere near the same but I can't look at Boylston St now where there are high rise apartments with hundreds of residents where there were parking lots, fast food restaurants and the Goodyear Service Center and not see that as a huge, huge improvement. Would I personally want to live there now? Eh, maybe not so much but I don't presume dictate how people who do want to live in denser neighborhoods in the center of the city near public transport should live.
NIMBY from the exurbs then - yes, please tell me more about how we should live in the city.
Nah, you're wrong
You're wrong, son, because I'm not mad. As you keep pointing out, I don't live there any more.
I don't either. Stop projecting.
Wrong again, cupcake. You done namecalling yet?
Aaaaand you win the quiniella!
Feel better now that you've got that out of your system? Good. Now let's get back to the point:
Your core point then is that the Fenway was 'small and quiet with trees and a park nearby' which was nice and therefore should preserved with limited new development so either:
a) rent will keep skyrocketing up for the current inventory (supply and demand 101) See the Back Bay and Beacon Hill where there are nice small streets with trees and parks nearby.
b) rent would need to be controlled so lottery winners with modest incomes could have stayed there.
c) we should all just wish real hard that everything stay the way it was back in the day. Man, remember the Rat? Let's get that reopened along with Super Socks. Bring back the 'Wood.
The 'problem' being what, people want to live here? Building thousands of new units of housing help the costs in the city go down. If the Fenway still looked like it did in 2008 then housing would be more even more expensive here.
Sorry I misread the words you wrote '8 stories is way too high.' as being you stating what your opinion was. I guess it was just prose poetry.
People are afraid of density.
High rises = high density
But we can't have that.
Not that I like the look, but imagine if we had some West End Like high rises (i.e Amy Lowell Apts) allover the city to provide more density... Makes me wonder if some of our housing issues would go away.
There is a 30 story building
There is a 30 story building a few blocks away! This is a city. Cities have tall buildings. Housing for people is more important than some weird fetish for short buildings. If you want short buildings there then buy the property from them.
Boston has to be more like North Korea.
There's nothing wrong
with not wanting Boston to look like New York City (which has plenty of high rises and yet still has exorbitant real estate prices). It would be nice if the powers that be in Boston cared more about the current residents and their quality of life than wanting the city to grow to be more like NYC which is a nice place to visit but I definitely don't want to live there or anyplace like it (too big, too crowded, too dirty...).
A few blocks away != next door
Is it really hard to understand the difference between a 30 story building "a few blocks away" and an 8 story building going next door to your 4 story building? People, this really isn't hard unless you're being deliberately obtuse.
You wanted Vermont
You moved to Vermont.
Stop trying to make Boston in to Vermont, too.
Bwaha! Kenmore Sq. and
Bwaha! Kenmore Sq. and several blocks beyond was never like Vermont! Actually, if anything it's more like the yuppie version on VT now with all of the gentrification and the loss of live music clubs and cool indie mom and pop stores. You don't know what you're talking about -- have you even ever been to this part of Boston? Quit whining and take a deep breath.
I think the commenter was referring to how lbb lives in Vermont and not Boston, and wants Boston to be more like Vermont now that he/she has left.
Although there are Deli Haus like places in Burlington.
That would describe the kind of person who lives in the sticks and can't go look at street view to see all the surrounding tall buildings to save his life.
The lack of affordable units
The lack of affordable units in this project - in any proposed project in the Boston area, really - is infuriating.
Make more money and these
Make more money and these units will become affordable for you.
This city is staffed largely
This city is staffed largely by middle and lower income people. Teachers, bus drivers, daycare workers, cooks, etc. They all need a place to live, and the city needs them, hence why we need affordable housing.
Otherwise, Who Will Empty My Wastebasket For Me!
Or wipe down my keyboard while I'm out brewpub-crawling with the boys tonight? We need these people nearby so that they'll be readily available to wipe the asses of the Boston Elite. It's for 'the city'!
Why can’t you guys get a better job kissing ass or fucking people daily like this idiot here?
So the Fenway would get more posh, unaffordable housing...
...with the mandated "affordable" component shunted off to Roxbury? Somehow that seems wrong.
Hasn’t Fenway been gentrified
Hasn’t Fenway been gentrified enough already? It’s not even recognizable from how it looked 8 years ago
You say that like it's a bad thing!
Exactly - and it's not going
Exactly - and it's not going back, so we might as well just finish the job, get some more units in there, see if it delays the inevitable march of the wealthy into other still-affordable neighborhoods.
Fenway began as a highly gentrified space
It fell on rough times, but it is coming back for much the same reasons that the entire Back Bay and Fenway were originally places for rich people: convenience.
They should build bigger
They should build bigger/taller and fit in more units. Doesnt matter than the nearby places are 4 stories and the zoning laws are just based on the whims of bureaucrats.
The Fenway is the new Uptown Boston
I lived at 95 Park Drive in 1974, and at 125 Queensberry in 1991, and I also worked in the Boston Cab offices for 18 years until 2015. When I first moved to Park Drive, the West Fenway seemed like the outskirts of Boston, because it was. The stretch of Boylston St. from Ipswich was full of gas stations and car repair joints, fast food restaurants and one sleazy motel. I'm glad that Boston Cab is finally moving, as I never thought it really belonged in a residential neighborhood anyway. The office I worked in (72 Kilmarnock) was the former Star Ocean Chinese restaurant. It is a horrible building, it smells, the sewer backs up on a regular basis, it has been infested with rodents a few times. I welcome the changes over on Boylston St. because now it's like a real city, and now this development, (while I don't care for the architecture much) I think will go a long way to improving the neighborhood even more. These buildings being built are not forcing anyone to move out, they are replacing a parking lot, a dilapidated parking garage, the cab garage, and 2 or 3 retail businesses. Times change and shit happens folks. You can either work to change it or move on, I moved on...
60 Kilmarnock Street
The report is partially in error in that the Newcastle/Saranac constitutes ONLY A PORTION OF THE AFFORDABLE UNITS PLANNED FOR THE KILMARNOCK STREET PROJECT. Newcastle Saranac is comprised of 97 affordable apartment units, and those units have been in jeopardy of becoming market rate units. Cabot, Cabot & Forbes (CC&F) and its partner, CIM, worked with the Fenway Community Development Corporation (CDC) to provide financial assistance to be able to maintain Newcastle Saranac units as affordable. The funding need was urgent, so we had to proceed quickly, but, again, the units at Newcastle that we receive "credit" for will be only a portion of what the project provides.
If you have questions, the best way to get the quickest, more accurate details is to talk with the CC&F Senior Project Manager, Jacob Vance (617) 603-4000 ([email protected]) or Associate Michelle Bleu (617) 603-4000 ([email protected]), though I am happy to answer questions as well.
I believe we will have our first public meetings to discuss the project shortly.
Jay Doherty, CEO
Thanks for the correction
I was going by what was in the BPDA filing, which only mentioned Newcastle Saranac (or I completely missed the Kilmarnock numbers, which is possible). So there are affordable units planned for the Kilmarnock project itself? About how many.
We will fully comply with the City's Inclusionary Development Policy (IDP) and the specifics of that will be part of our discussions with the neighborhood and the project's Impact Advisory Group.