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Developer files plans for 124-unit apartment building where it once proposed a charter school on Belgrade Avenue in Roslindale

Rendering of proposed new Belgrade Avenue building

Two people gaze in wonder from other side of Belgrade in rendering by Arrowstreet.

The Dedham developer that once would have built a charter school at the old Clay car dealership and garage on Belgrade Avenue yesterday filed detailed plans with the BPDA for a five-story residential building with 124 units and 86 parking spaces - and green space on what is now a parking lot.

In its filing, Upton+Partners of Dedham says its new proposal, for a much larger building than had been proposed for the Roxbury Prep high school that a group of nearby residents successfully blocked, comes "in response to the preference and community sentiment previously expressed and in direct response to community input on the prior charter school proposal."

The new building on the almost acre lot would be 129,000 square feet, compared to the 50,000-square-foot school plan

The apartments will be split between 25 studios, 65 one-bedroom units and 34 two-bedroom apartments. Of those units, 18 would be rented as affordable, or 14.5% of the total units, compared to the city requirement of 13%.

The company says it doesn't need to supply a one-to-one ratio of parking spaces because Belgrade Avenue is served by several bus lines and there's a Needham Line train stop right next to the proposed building. The proposal also calls for dedicated bike lanes in front of the building along Belgrade Avenue. Upton+Partners says it will set aside space - and pay $49,000 - for a Bluebikes station on West Roxbury Parkway.

To help the building fit into the neighborhood, the Belgrade-facing side of the building will included "porches, stoops and other exterior spaces that activate the street edge and public realm along Belgrade Avenue."

Proposed street level porch

Also, the proposed residential building will "reduce the existing site’s vast industrial curb-cut openings and provide much-needed upgrades in pedestrian connectivity and new public realm," and construction will include creation of roughly 7,200 square feet of publicly accessible greenspace right next to the green sward along West Roxbury Parkway, mostly by ripping up and replanting what is now a parking lot along West Roxbury Parkway.

Proposed view along West Roxbury Parkway

The company says the new building will be all electric - no gas mains and no gas ovens or heating systems.

The proposed pedestrian entrance would be at the corner of Belgrade Avenue and Belgrade Terrace, the dead end that leads to the train station. Residents with cars would enter and exit an underground garage off the dead end.

361 Belgrade Ave. filings and calendar.

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Comments

First and foremost, this is going to lead to an incredible uptick in traffic in the area. I envision gridlock traffic along the whole length of Belgrade Avenue and West Roxbury Parkway for probably 10 hours a day.

Moreover, the tenants will be at risk of getting hit by a car any time they decided to get a slice from Stash's or heaven forbit venture over to West on Centre.

Oh, and let's not forget that none of the people who will be living there live at the parcel right now. We don't need those people in the neighborhood at all. They can just live where they live right now.

They should just scrap this idea of housing. A better use would be a public amenity, like a school or something. A school would make a great addition to the area.

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Voting closed 62

Housing and a school!

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Voting closed 18

Just a school. In fact, a high school. That would be the best and only use for the parcel.

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There are plenty of empty and half empty schools in boston already. What we need is more housing.

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Remind us the names of the public (traditional or charter) high schools in Roslindale and West Roxbury, please.

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Westie did have a pretty large BPS high school. It was plagued by poor construction problems since the 80s and the building finally condemned in 2018, but I don't think I can really hold against Westie the incompetence of the BPS.

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Voting closed 19

There's a huge high school in Roslindale, right behind the library.

It is however, full of old people these days.

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You're right, but BPS already has a massive parcel to work with - the former West Roxbury HS. It's really upsetting that they've been so slow to do anything with it given the need for more quality BPS schools.

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Voting closed 7

But 361 Belgrade Avenue should be a high school.

(Btw, read up on the history of the parcel and you’ll get what I’m doing here.)

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Voting closed 33

school buildings are only occupied 20% of the time. The city needs to do something with all of the space dedicated to schools in declining enrollment before they build another school. 361 Belgrade is a city address. We should move all the tents here if you selfishly refuse to help with the housing crisis.

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Voting closed 13

First, you’re not from the area, and second, you were saying the same thing when Roxbury Prep was trying to get in.

Still, you do kind of come off as one of those Roxbury Prep haters.

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If you can't get tuition, then my taxes are not the consolation prize. Roxbury Prep is ok for cherry pickers.

You already gave up on winning the argument on the merits by excluding anyone that doesn't live within a mile of the site. All of our neighborhoods should share the density required for this city. You grew up during the exodus. Multistory buildings were pulled down all over that neighborhood.

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With my first comment.

You, as always, are just being argumentative because it’s what you love to do. What that makes you is another story.

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I care about the housing crisis and homeless people.

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You are the greatest concern troll out there.

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Perfect plan. This is what is needed housing. Waquiot is just wanting to fan the flames. Typical whiner about the school. Two entirely difficult scopes. And you don’t have 500 people coming and going at the same time 5 days a week. And if you read the parking is located off the dead end street away from Belgrade. Plus you pick up park space.

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You've got a lot more licensed drivers entering and leaving at all different times than a high school would bring. Add to that the lack of spaces for every unit and the area will surely not have any parking issues.

But hey, at least their skin won't be any darker than a Sicilian's, no?

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which is easier on traffic. And more housing will be filled up with people that look like the rest of boston.

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Oh, that’s a rich one.

You should visit the area sometime.

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What is funny about that?

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Because the complexion of this building will be very, very light. It’s not a nice fact, but as I’ve seen the residents of newly constructed apartments in the area, I can guarantee it will be true.

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Why don't you take responsibility for how welcome people of color feel in Roslindale? Are you saying that they can't afford it? Those school kids don't feel welcome either. Perhaps instead of a fake argument to cover your yimby attack on any high unit apartment building near you should work on ending racism in your neighborhood.

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But let’s not pretend that these apartments are going to lead to any kind of “diversity” in the area. They’re not, so how about putting that strawman back in the barn.

Conversely, Roxbury Prep would indeed have made the area more diverse, if only for 10 hours a day.

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Its your strawman not mine, you brought your race "concern" into this. That is the definition of concern troll. Take something positive and bring up your smarmy "concerns".

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Like this time, when you bring up race first only to claim I was the one who brought race first.

Oh, you keep on being you.

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But hey, at least their skin won't be any darker than a Sicilian's, no?

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Your dog whistle is so loud I can almost hear it.

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I appreciate your good satire here!

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I was wondering how quickly NIMBYs in the area would speak. Perfectly content with the ridiculous numbers of rundown buildings that just need to go away already. I’m sure the reply will be something like “I’m not against smart planning of the space.”
or some nonsense thing.

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HA HA HA

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Attn: Everyone mad about the above comment:

They're being satirical.

It took me till paragraph 3 to understand that too, but that's what's happening.

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but Waquoit hasn't gotten to s in the dictionary yet.

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Despite Adam's bitchy crowing, this actually seems pretty great. It's a nice design and includes public green space and new pedestrian walkways. Residential traffic is a lot different than school traffic since it tends to be more spread out throughout the day. I guess I'll be surprised if the neighborhood objects.

What will be interesting is how all this added housing along Belgrade shapes the neighborhood. I'm really hopeful that more young professionals will bring new restaurants, bars, shops, etc, though I'm not exactly sure where they'll move in. It doesn't feel like the city is giving enough thought to that. Also wondering if it'll add momentum to movements to make Boston's Needham line stops Zone 1A or add an Orange line stop at Rozzie Village. The Better Bus project plans for more frequent buses along Belgrade to Forest Hills, but that's really inefficient. Overall though it's really exciting to see Roslindale adding more and more housing.

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What did I say negative about this proposal? If you had gone after me for bitchy crowing about the recent history of that parcel, I'd have something to crow about.

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If it’s in west Roxbury, and the traditional people who live there didn’t want it, Adam is crowing about it. He’s a Shute stirrer of the first order!!

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Can you elaborate on what you meant there?

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I think you (and I) know exactly who he means. The same kind of people who somehow could not attend Roxbury Prep, a public charter school.

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NIMBYS ASSEMBLE! THIS IS NOT A DRILL!

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Looking at this view of Belgrade Avenue, they're already quite vocal against it.

A high school would have been a better choice.

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I would probably be a bit against this, as it has no ground floor retail, would love to see the developer help out with upgrades to the T station/etc. But, you know what, having already personally seen the instant NIMBY reaction to this after the same with the high school (I also wasn't particularly sold on, either), just out of spite I'd like to see this built as-is - maybe even add an extra story.

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I love it.

I'd love to see ground floor retail, indoor bike parking for residents, rooftop solar or a green roof too but it's not my approval they need.

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It really should have retail on the ground floor for activation - or at least commercial space like the other new-ish building across the street. That said Bellevue has a pretty bad track record for businesses, so, maybe there just isn't the demand.

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A lot of the new ground floor retail on Belngrade is vacant. Nobody wants a bar or restaurant underneath them.

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Why how could people live so near train tracks! Also this will impact her ability to drive to Roche Brothers so it is not a good fit for her neighborhood.

I don"t know if I'm more disappointed that Biden has fired Dejoy or that Wu hasn't gotten rid of Arujo yet.

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But DeJoy is still around and has plenty of bipartisan support, hard to tell by the crap news we’re feed.

Here A LONGGGGG but good read. The USPS is in the dump and losing Billion each year as our consumer patterns change.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2022/04/08/usps-dejoy-crisis/

Ps, Wu is a clown for NOT forcing ArapeO out. To busy taking selfies I guess.

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How much money does the US interstate system lose every year? How about the armed forces, do they turn a profit? Applying commercial views about profit and loss to a public service just means you're a Koch bros simp like Will.

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the Post Office loses money because they're forced by Congress to fund their pension to a level that no private company is. Without that, they'd be profitable.

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n/t.

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I live next to train tracks now in HP, it is not really an issue.

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It was just another fake reason Araujo threw out about why a development that might impact her parking situation here in the square.

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Voting closed 9

Save our neighborhood!

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That's gotta be bad for the lungs and nerves.

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This is an excellent proposal. What the world and the greater Boston area need is high-density, all-electric housing close to public transportation. More green space and less asphalt for parking are an added benefit. Now how about using native plants in the landscaping and adding solar panels and/or green roof?

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I wish it were 300 units and 300 parking spaces. Exactly what they wanted.

Who doesn't want a school in their neighborhood. Bunch of Bozos.

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Bummer!

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