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Allston might get its post office back, along with 170 apartments atop and behind it

Rendering of new buildings in Allston

Allston's changing face in rendering by Embarc (newest proposed building in baby blue). See it larger.

A developer this week filed detailed plans with the BPDA to replace the condemned former post office on Harvard Avenue in Allston and three neighboring lots with a six-story, 170-unit apartment building.

The building, to be called Allston Post, would have 5,000 square feet of ground-floor commercial space for the Postal Service to move back into. The filing says the USPS has expressed interest in the idea, although it's yet to sign off on it. In the meantime, Allston residents have to keep trudging to Brighton or Western Avenue for postal services. The Postal Service closed its Harvard Avenue location in December, 2019 due to structural problems.

The apartments would range from studios to a total of five three-bedroom units under the plans submitted by Eden Properties of Allston. Some 25 of the units, or almost 15%, would be rented as affordable.

The proposal would also include removal of several other small buildings and parking lots on the 1.1-acre site for the building, which would have roughly 58 car parking spaces for residents in a rear parking lot and room for 170 bicycles. The plan does not say where postal vehicles would park.

The Project seeks to ensure an overall holistic approach to the public realm and ground floor plan that transforms Harvard Avenue from the car-centric uses of today, to an active streetscape that promotes pedestrian activity. The Project's approach is one that maximizes accessible open space opportunities for building residents, particularly the ground-level open space, and one that encourages multi-modal site access, including increasing walkability, enhancing the main street and neighborhood street experience, and improving bike facilities, which are all goals and recommendations in the Allston Brighton Mobility Plan.

Eden says it will work with the city to install a Bluebikes station out front, along the new, widened sidewalk it's also proposing, along with that rarest of Harvard Avenue things - street trees.

Eden adds that the residential part of the building will be all electric - no natural gas hookups.

25-39 Harvard Ave. filings and meeting schedule.

Renderings by Embarc showing the view towards Cambridge Street and towards Brighton Avenue:

View of proposed building towards Cambridge Street
View of proposed building towards Brighton Avenue
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There are no birds in the renderings. These architects are clearly incompetent.


I got it on good authority that the Allston PO won't be using that site, nor any site as a full-service Post Office.
The developer proposed it to USPS, but the PO won't return there.
The operation they've been doing since Dec. of 2019 is working out fine for them - from a delivery standpoint - but the logistics don't work for resuming as a Post Office for the community, and that's the downfall for the folks who live there.

Not this building. Adding the post office is just a way to camouflage greed. No space for post office trucks? And staff parking? Maybe the designers forgot that Amazon uses the USPS quite a bit.

Find a space, NOW. And pay for it. That is why we pay taxes, and for stamps. Postal service is a constitutional right. Look it up, thank you, Ben Franklin.

Props to whoever the rapacious developers hired to write this screed, they sure know how to scribble in ways that stimulate in the ways that excite the erogenous zones of the planning elites. Condemning the "car-centric." Bluebikes! Renderings with trees that will never be planted. No one will have a car, since the Mass Pike and Storrow Drive do not exist, and the high income residents will not want one.

The building is at odds with the scale of Brighton Avenue. More than five stories is rare in the area, despite the revisionism of real estate interests.

The neighborhood is being aggressively gentrified and exploited.

Funny how an active streetscape looks like pretty much every other project being crammed into Boston - cookie-cutter building right up to the sidewalk, only this one has a fortress-style overhang. The sidewalks are already narrow - why plant trees where there is no room for them to thrive? When I think of "active streetscape" I think of something more like Harvard Sq before the remake of the Holyoke Center. Yes the outdoor seating attracted homeless but it was a place people could hang out. Developers' idea of an "active streetscape" seems to be just a conduit from cars into buildings. Heaven forbid someone - especially a homeless person! - should want a place to eat lunch or play a game of chess outdoors.

Glad to see density increasing in Allston! If BU won't build dorms the least we can do is not get in the way of developers.


The BDPA chart on affordable housing is the most out of touch document I’ve seen in a while… do they know what “non-affordable” rent looks like in this city. I miss the AMI % cutoff by a few dollars, and now I’m suddenly supposed to be able to afford $3000 a month. Shucks.