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Developer wants to replace closed Morrissey Boulevard restaurant with an apartment building

A New Jersey developer says it will soon file detailed plans to replace the old Phillips Old Colony House and Freeport Tavern at 780 Morrissey Blvd in Dorchester with a six-story, 207-unit apartment building.

In a letter of intent filed with the BPDA, the Michaels Organization, which also has projects in the works in Allston and Cambridge, says its plans for the 1.8-acre site also include a total of 143 parking spaces.

Some 92 of the apartments would be studios, 94 1-bedroom units and 21 two-bedroom units, the company says.

The site is located across Morrissey Boulevard from a Stop & Shop, a Lambert's and a Dunkin' Donuts by way of a pedestrian bridge.

The Phillips Old Colony House closed in 2017.

780 Morrissey Blvd. letter of intent (716k PDF).

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Comments

We need a Neponset Station, ideally two stations, on the Red Line. Charlie? Marty? Stevie?

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Voting closed 27

A station somewhere between Morrissey Blvd/Tenean Beach/Neponset Circle, yes.
I don't know about a second station. To be far enough away from one new station to be practical, you'd already be within walking distance of Fields Corner or Savin HIll.

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If you put one, say, on that island where the Dunkie's is right by the Murphy, it's a mile from there to Fields Corner or Ashmont and 1.5 miles to Savin Hill. So people would be walking 1/2-3/4 mile depending where exactly they're located in the various station radii. That's still a bit of a hike for elders, little kids, people with disabilities, and it makes the area still less served than other areas like the orange line corridor where stations are closer to half a mile apart. It's a dense residential area that could really use the transit, and there's already track there, so it would be much less costly than other options.

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There are (at least) two distance considerations. One is the distance between stations on the same line - logistics of accelerating a train only to stop it again, so they probably have a preferred minimum distance between stations. The other consideration is user access to a station
The line from Quincy through Neponset doesn't go to Fields Corner or Ashmont - but does go through a neighborhood that is a short walk to Fields Corner.
The area that could be served would be between Neponset Circle, Tenean Beach, the slope of Pope's Hill, etc.... I don't think it would be practical to have a station at, say, Neponset Circle and another behind (the former) National Wholesale Liquidators. Wouldn't that be too close together for "rapid" transit? Any stop further north of Victory Road would be serving residents already in short walking distance for Fields Corner or Savin Hill.
Cost-effectiveness - I don't think they'd build a station north of Victory Road or Freeport Street unless there was enough new higher-density development that wasn't too close along the line to another station. For example, if the IBEW and school bus and National Grid sites along Freeport were redeveloped into something high-density, it might justify a new station.

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There is a Transit Yard there with enough space for a plat form. There are 4 tracks and the east side is commuter rail. I always thought that was where people thought the Neponset station would go.

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That will never happen. That is an access point for maintenance. MBTA has said it for years.

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Call it the Clam Tram

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Development on this type of highway/strip-mall site seems preferable to tearing down historic buildings and putting high-rises in quiet walkable neighborhoods. My only concern is that these units with few bedrooms may likely be inhabited primarily by single folks who commute downtown and aren't so much a part of the neighborhood. Affordable units for families are needed too -- aside from the giant highway and crappy strip malls, most of this area is actually walkable family neighborhoods close to schools, parks, transit.

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"aren't so much a part of the neighborhood"?
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Is that new code for "don't fit MY idea of what the neighborhood should be"?

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New Construction should have supply of 3 bedroom units for inter-generational families and families with multiple children.

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The single professional types are transient, they dont use the schools, dont go to community meetings, dont shop at local stores, they dont do anything but sleep there.

That development should be family oriented and affordable housing IMO.

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How do you propose we make it affordable (i.e. under $350,000/unit) when each unit costs $500,000 to build?

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I'm talking about people who live in communities but don't actually spend money, volunteer, or otherwise contribute to them. And who displace existing folks who really need to remain in neighborhoods for reasons like raising kids with consistent schools/community resources and allowing elder to age in place.

So, the exact opposite of people showing up and deciding what the neighborhood should be.

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So this development won't displace anyone.

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But read up on how high-rises geared toward young professionals contribute to gentrification.

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Why don't you link some research? Lack of housing for young professionals causes them to out spend local families and displace them. Dorchester doesn't have many one bedrooms and studios.

We need to address the issues that prevents local families from owning their housing. We need to start first time buyer assistance much earlier and smaller than we do now. A local young professional could pay into a share of a housing co-op, and earn equity that give them stable housing throughout their lives. This would allow them to fairly compete in the housing market and raise their own children where they grew up.

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Voting closed 22

Didn't say anything about people showing up and deciding what the neighborhood should be - it applies at least as much (if not more so) to people who have been there "forever" and decide what the neighborhood should not be.
Displacing? Not as much in this case, since we're not talking about people converting single-family or three-deckers to condos or something. It's replacing a restaurant that closed and is being used as a storage lot for a car dealership. Those dreaded single commuters might be better assets to the neighborhood than a bunch of shrink-wrapped 2020 Rav4s.

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Lets not forget that a not insignificant number of 1 bedrooms are inhabited by childless couples and families with children that are too young to need their own bedroom yet.

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There are plenty of us single people who are part of our communities. Some are divorced or widowed with grown children. Some stay single all their lives. My nearest neighbors are all single and all very invested in our community.

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My apartment is five rooms and my mortgage is less then the last amount of rent I paid. I really worry about how any person starting out can own their own home. I think that the city and state have to provide more housing for people on assistance that integrated throughout the city and greater boston area. Studies shows that people that live in areas with high and low incomes have the best chance of improving their own income. Right now people are getting evicted from Sec 8 apartments so that slumlord can put 2 families in as scattered site shelter because it pays better. That doesn't help anyone.
My idea about cooperatives is like rent-to-own. You pay for building maintenance and insurance like any HOA, and the rest is equity. Your value grows at guaranteed predetermined rate (not as fast housing market but protected from bubbles). When you have enough equity, you can afford a down payment in your own home. You would get vested in a year. The monthly payment would be the same as market rent but part of that is your equity.

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Parts of Morrissey Boulevard further north are notorious for flooding, is this site also in a flood plain? Will it be built on stilts? Does TMO self-finance or is a bank willing to risk a mortgage on property this close to the coast? Don't they have a fiduciary responsibility to investors? How does this fit into the city's "sea level rise" plan and the 12 year doomsday scenario embraced by so many? Is the city telling developers and bond investors about a bright long term future while scaring voters into thinking the end is near? I hope some of the 97% of scientists and their followers show up to speak on this.

Meanwhile, stay warm! Ch.4's weather (and climate) forecaster Eric Fisher had a special segment last night predicting another harsh winter.

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I wouldn't have taken you for someone who acknowledges science.

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I also thought for a millisecond that Oafish might be serious with his concern about climate change. But he punctuates his remarks with prediction of cold winter. Just another fishy troll like almost all his comments

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The development must be built to evaluate living space and utility services above the projected sea rise. Possible, but quite expensive. The redline hasn't flooded because it is elevated. I don't see how it could work unless there was an elevated walk way from the building to the fantasy redline station on top of the rotary. To be fair, that site hasn't been flooding in the king tides. But Tenean beach floods.

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Did u say Morrissey Blvd? Will it be flood proof?

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Ok, let's hear it. This property is no where near any bus stops or train stations. Plus it's land locked by the Expressway and Morrisey Blvd, where you cannot walk, bike, or rollerblade anywhere Why should it not have more parking spots?

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Traffic, climate change, asthma, pedestrian deaths, credit woes, etc. and we should be pointing people towards alternatives.

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You'd know that the bike way is immediately adjacent and that there is a plan in the works to reimagine Morrissey Blvd.

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I will believe it when I see that bikeway actually usable between UMass and Tenean Beach. National Grid owns the land a path needs to traverse to make that section safe and not cross a highway exit ramp. So far they haven’t granted access.

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There's a pretty significant disconnect in the bike path around there.

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On this site it is good for the environment? You people can’t have it both ways. Dense development is not good for the city or the environment. Cars or no cars, putting this many people in what amounts to an expensive tenement does nothing for the environment.

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If you *don't* build dense, transit-accessible, infill development like this, the people that would live there don't just disappear, they have to live somewhere else. And that "somewhere else" ends up being in the distant suburbs where they have to drive to get anywhere. More driving means more traffic and more carbon dioxide in the air. Allowing dense development like this is one of the BEST things we can do for the environment hands down.

The UN IPCC even says so:

https://twitter.com/davidcying/status/1199372498967511040

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please do not fall for the BS that Southie was told by developers and the BPDA (and morons who don't even live in Boston), that you can have dense development with no parking. Same folks who are quick to say "build it" are the same who have no intentions of moving there. Parking and traffic is the worse it's ever been in South Boston

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I know this seems crazy but: You don't reduce traffic by giving people more places to store cars.

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