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Brookline paves way for hundreds more apartments along Harvard Street

Brookline.News reports on a rezoning proposal approved by Town Meeting last night. The measure would, among other things, allow four-story residential buildings "as of right." The vote comes a week after voters in neighboring and even leafier Newton voted out city councilors who supported more residential development there.



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Obviously, the people already living in Brookline & Newton want to "protect" their towns but who do they think will be buying their houses? I read in the Globe that it's been a few decades of this, the result being the housing market keeps going up there - great if you already own but who can afford it now? Gen X is already planning on retirement, Millennials who can afford houses are buying in the burbs for their kids or condos in the city, and Gen Z isn't paid enough. There's going to be a reckoning in the real estate market when the rest of the Boomers retire.

one parking lane, one bike lane and one travel lane on each side of a busy street that has a lot of bus traffic and emergency vehicle traffic (37 and 26 use this street to get to Brighton) you'll hardly notice the construction vehicles. /S

They are to be congratulated.

But four stories by right on Harvard should be an absolute minimum, not something to be particularly proud of. It's kind of wacky that all of the buildings along Harvard and Beacon and especially at Coolidge are one or two stories tall. Four is fine, why not eight, or twelve? You don't have to go very far before finding that kind of density.

And, yes, this goes for other parts of town, like Mass Ave in Cambridge, the "villages" in Newton and pretty much anything near the T. You know a good way to keep the business districts vibrant there? Add new customers.


It won't change much anyway, at least not for a while. Construction costs are so high that developers have basically stopped breaking ground on most new projects. And it's not as if there are vacant lots along Harvard St so a developer needs to finance the construction and also need to give up whatever is currently in the spot for a while.

We're quickly getting to the point where finance costs are what's holding back new construction, not zoning. That's a big change from before the pandemic.

I'm not opposed to the zoning change, just noting it's going to be a while before anything substantial comes of it.


A proposal is one thing, construction is another.