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All-affordable apartment building approved on Blue Hill Avenue in Mattapan

Rendering of 1471 Blue Hill Ave.

Rendering by Arrowstreet.

The Zoning Board of Appeal today approved plans for a 41-unit, five-story apartment building at 1471 Blue Hill Ave. at Culbert Street in Mattapan.

Eight of the units would be rented to people making no more than 30% of the Boston-area median income. The rest would be rented to people making no more than 60% of that level, according to Scott Shaw, overseeing the project for developer Lincoln Avenue Capital of Santa Monica, CA.

The building would have ten parking spaces for residents with two additional spaces for Zipcar-managed cars for building residents to rent.

Culbert Street residents and the Greater Mattapan Neighborhood Council opposed the project, saying it was too dense for the street of single-family homes. Residents and the council said it would only further aggravate existing problems on the street with churchgoers and people attending events at Almont Park who already take up the narrow dead-end street. Culbert Street residents said they were also worried about a possible increase in crime; they said people who commit crimes in the park already flee on foot down their street to Blue Hill Avenue.

"We're not saying we don't want something [on the site], but it needs not be this massive," Culbert Street resident Tiffany Vassell said.

Shaw's zoning attorney, Nicholas Zozula, however, said that the building would have its own on-site loading zone, which should alleviate any issues from the building on Culbert, and that, if anything, adding residents and so more "eyes on the street" would make the area safer.

Shaw said his company's experience has been that 25% to 30% of its affordable-apartment tenants have cars. He added that the company would look to lease spaces in nearby parking lots should this building prove an exception. Zozula added that the city's new affordable-housing regulations say that all-affordable buildings do not need to have any parking.

The board approved the project unanimously - a month after it won BPDA approval. Board member Katie Whewhell said she appreciates the neighbors' concerns, but said the project just had too many public benefits, in particular the addition of all those new affordable units. She added that a residential building would mean less traffic to and from the site than a commercial building that could be built there.

1471 Blue Hill Ave. filings.



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I can say without a doubt, no where near enough parking. Even for “affordable” you don’t think these people will own a vehicle?

Voting closed 10

It's green!

Voting closed 7

Or is it Copper...
paging T. Michael Thomas


Voting closed 5

One small step towards addressing our housing shortage.

Voting closed 25

I'm all for more affordable housing but it does seem to big for the area. I'm pretty sure the largest apartment buildings in the area are 4 stories tall.

Voting closed 7

I am always impressed by the inanity of nimby arguments. “It seems too big for the area“ is right up there.

Voting closed 14

Is this sarcastic? It’s only 5 stories.

Voting closed 3

What's that bottom floor for? It looks like retail space but being less than four blocks from Mattapan Square it seems superfluous.

Another bodega, liquor store or barbershop/beauty parlor, beauty supply store stripmall is not needed in that area. Should I read the whole proposal to find out, or can someone here clue me in? Now if the space was for another supermarket, something like Downtown Crossing's underground Whole Foods I could get behind that! (hopefully something less pricey though)

Voting closed 6