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Affordable housing, artist space approved for Uphams Corner

New apartment building and Glow Box

New apartment building fronted by "Glow Box," in rendering by Stull & Lee.

The Zoning Board of Appeal today approved two projects for two parcels on Columbia Road that will mean 113 new affordable apartments, artist space and the preservation of two historic buildings across from the Strand Theatre in Uphams Corner.

One of the projects will mean the elimination of 15 SRO apartments, but the current tenants will be guaranteed new, larger units in the building to be erected behind the one housing their current rooms.

The board approved plans by the Dorchester Bay Economic Development Corporation and Preservation of Affordable Housing to renovate the old Dorchester Savings Bank and put a new "Glow Box" next to it to highlight the work of artists living in the 48-unit apartment building behind the old bank building and provide some commercial space.

All of the apartments in the "Columbia Crossing" complex will be rented to people making between 30% and 80% of the Boston area-median income. Some 20% of the units will be aimed at artists. The building will have 19 parking spaces.

The old bank building will have commercial space.

One resident living behind the parcel said he isn't opposed to the project in general, but asked that a couple floors be lopped off because it would be higher than any other building around and come right up to his and his neighbors property lines. A Columbia Road landlord said she is concerned the project would mean the loss of three or four parking spaces along the road.

In a separate hearing, JLCD Development of Hingham won approval to build a six-story apartment building on what is now a parking lot behind the Fox Building, a couple doors down from Columbia Crossing, at 554-562 Columbia Rd., and to renovate the Fox Building for commercial use.

Once the new apartment building, which will have 24 parking spaces and rooftop solar panels, is finished, residents of the SRO units in the Fox Building will be move into new units. All of the apartments will be rented to people making between 30% and 100% of the Boston area-median income, JLCD attorney Joe Hanley told the board.

Rendering of Fox Building project by the Architecture Team:

Rendering of proposed new building

554-562 Columbia Rd. filings.
Columbia Crossing filings.



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Just an ugly box building plunked down in a Victorian neighborhood. " Affordable" means no one will demand anything better in design. These are as bad, as really bad brutalist buildings, without the concept. Boston was charming once upon a time wasn't it?

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Also, Bulfinch - A "Greedy Developer" of his time.

Victorian neighborhood?

Have you ever noticed the Strand, the Municipal Building, the old St. Kevin's, the Dorchester Savings Bank, the Dublin House, the Comfort Station?

Not exactly late Queen Anne style.

Besides, in Victorian times, there was a church built by a little old racist's generosity to the left of what is now the BOA. She stated that it had to be used as a stable for 10 years before it could be a Catholic Church. Hussah Victoria Rex!

More housing is being added in a parking lot and building that is in need of a real do over is being added to steps from a T station.

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The neighbors all like it. It's a really nice step forward and preserves the two buildings that sit on Columbia Road. Glad to see this is moving forward!

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These look like great projects, and as John notes, it is adjacent to rail transit, offering 11 minute rides to South Station. Imagine how great things will be for this area when the Fairmont line gets to 4 or 5 electric powered trains per hour.

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