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In face of neighborhood opposition, group reduces number of apartments in proposed affordable buildings in Grove Hall, adds more parking

Rendering of Cheney Street proposal

Rendering of smaller Cheney Street apartment building by Icon Architecture.

A non-profit group that originally proposed building 59 affordable and assisted-living apartments for senior citizens and 15 affordable condos on and near Cheney Street in Roxbury has filed revised plans with the BPDA that decrease the number of apartments to 48 and the number of condos to 12.

In a filing this week, the Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Development Corp. also increased the total amount of proposed parking from 34 to 37 spaces for its plans for apartments at 4-18 Cheney St., and condos at 20-28 Cheney St. and 3 Schuyler St. A covered 25-space parking lot that was originally meant to be shared by residents of the two Cheney Street buildings will instead be designated just for the apartment building; a separate parking lot will be built for the nine-unit condo building next door.

The group said it made the changes after being unable to convince two neighborhood groups the original plans were not too dense for the neighborhood. The BPDA board approved the original plans in September, 2021.

The largest of the three buildings, the four-story apartment building, is aimed at seniors who need some help with their daily living. A third of the units will be rented to people making no more than 30% and 50% of the Boston area median income; the rest will be rented as "affordable" as well, but to people making more than that.

Cheney Homes will be designed, managed and operated to meet the goal of an independent living community where seniors can truly age in place. ... They unit mix includes 46 one-bedroom units and 2 two-bedroom units to accommodate the individual needs of senior households. The team has paid special attention to accessibility and flexible spaces that allow residents with varying levels of mobility to remain self-sufficient and maintain their independence within their homes. Beyond the design of each unit, Cheney Homes features an array of social programming spaces in the courtyard, rooftop deck/amenity room, and ground level community room with PACE services to truly nurture a community amongst residents.

PACE is a program, funded by Medicare and Medicaid, that provides services to senior citizens that lets them stay in their own homes rather than being forced into nursing homes.

The condos, to be split between the other two sites, would be sold to families making between 80% and 100% of the Boston area median income.

Rendering of Cheney Street condos by J. Garland Enterprises:

Proposed condos on Cheney Street

Cheney Street Apartments filings.

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Comments

That particular mix of senior housing is much needed in the Boston area, especially for assisted living. Here's hoping that it gets all needed approvals.

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They are not a city department. They are not elected representatives of their neighborhood. They sure as hell are not representative of the neighborhoods they purport to represent. It’s just a bunch of homeowner busybodies with too much free time.

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The people on this board should have to go to 14 separate people on affordable housing waitlists and tell them "we're very sorry, but you won't be able to have an affordable place to live because it was going to be too dense."

Seriously, make them look them—and their families—straight in the eye and say this. That should be the only way you can cut down the number of houses.

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It’s easy to criticize when you don’t live in the community where projects are proposed — all you see are numbers — we see people.

Associations ask important and relevant questions to help developers understand and consider factors they may have overlooked or been unaware existed.

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Parking is terrible for affordable housing. It makes housing more expensive and because lower income people often don’t own cars it then often ends up not being utilized.

Incredible how often projects move completely backwards by giving more space to cars and less to people even under a mayor who would clearly reject that on principle.

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I'd agree with you if they weren't planning for a large part of it to be for seniors. In the senior/assisted living portion of this project, there will be service providers coming and going so parking will be needed for them.

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Keep the original amount of parking, designate those spaces as limited time parking for the service providers who are coming by. Solves all problems nicely (except the real problem, which is that NIMBYs don't want any new housing near them).

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We need more spaces for cars!

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Parking BS developers have been slinging for the last 20 years.

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Not enough housing for people and cars continue to ruin cities. Sounds about right.

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NIMBY logic: 75 new people with 37 cars is fine, but 100 new people with 34 cars would totally destroy the neighborhood. If not for bad faith they'd have no faith at all.

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