New zoning board approves Roslindale Square apartment building that previous board rejected
The Zoning Board of Appeal today unanimously approved a developer's plans to replace a block of stores next to the Roslindale Square municipal building with a 31-unit apartment building with room for two of the current businesses.
Arx Urban's proposal calls for 19 of the apartments to be rented to people making no more than 70% of the Boston area median income. That's 61% of all the units, compared to the city's affordable requirement of 13% of units.
The Rozzie Square Theater and Delicious Yogurt would return to the building, with below-market rents, while Dragon Chef and Bob's Pita would get subsidies to move to new locations elsewhere. Arx Urban says it will work with the theater and yogurt place to find and help pay for alternate spaces during roughly 18 months of construction.
The building would have one parking space, for a short-term rental electric vehicle for use by residents.
In 2021, the zoning board rejected the proposal over parking concerns.
At today's hearing, Arx Urban's Benjie Moll said the building, located on the dedicated bus lane to Forest Hills and near the Roslindale Village commuter-rail stop, would prove attractive to people who want to live "a car-free lifestyle," but said his company is looking to lease up to 20 spaces in parking lots within a half mile should people with cars decide they want to live there.
Moll said that providing the on-site parking required by the lot's zoning would be costly enough that his company could not afford to provide subsidies for the theater and yogurt place
Supporters of the project, including Steve Gag, long active in Roslindale Square improvement work, praised the large number of affordable units, said the one thing Roslindale Square businesses need is more foot traffic.
"A lot of people think we have a parking problem and we don't have one," he said, pointing to, among other things, the municipal parking lot and two lots at the commuter-rail station.
Opponents, however, said supporters had no idea what they're talking about, that they should visit Roslindale Square during the day to see just what sort of parking issues the area has and that the building would mean a flood of Uber, Lyft, food-delivery and Amazon trucks onto the narrow, one-way Basile Street for the driveway planned for the building, disrupting activities at the neighboring Sumner School and sending all those trucks into other neighborhood streets as the drivers - many of whom would speed - try to get back to Washington Street.
Arx Urban attorney Johanna Schneider said the company is currently talking to BTD about possibly designating space in front of the building on Washington Street for deliveries. Although that's right where the bus/bike lane to Forest Hills is, she noted that's only in use for two hours in the morning, so a drop-off area the rest of the day could be a possibility.
Another resident said the "affordable" building wouldn't really be affordable for many residents. "I for one would love to see more people who live in Archdale move into this project," she said.
The BPDA board approved the project in 2021.
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Excellent. Nice work Mayor &
Excellent. Nice work Mayor & Rozzie community.
can always be depended upon to deliver generic plans evocative of the fruit crate school.
I think it's nice to see something like this with a larger percentage of "affordable" units. You certainly don't need a car for living on the square. With Forest Hills, the commuter rail, and about 10 bus routes running around the square, you can get around pretty well. Perhaps one of these decades we'll actually get a north south connection between North Station and South Station.
Edit: I forgot to include my original point! The people with traffic concerns say that it will be awful but they don't have any evidence to actually support their position.
I think it's even funnier
I think it's even funnier considering their concerns are largely non-issues in places that have reduced or eliminated car-dependency. If less people live in places cars can go, then that just means there will be more delivery drivers on bikes. We don't have a parking problem, we have a car problem that no amount of parking can fix.
Looks good, but...
... sad to see Bob's Pita (now a grocery store -- no fresh baked pita at this location) displaced. I can't imagine where it can possibly move in the near vicinity of the Square,
FYI, Bob's Pita hasn't had a bakery for pita bread, or their excellent middle eastern desserts, since before they moved from their old location on South Street to the current location on Washington Street. It still offers much of the same produce, spices, fresh herbs, Phyllo dough, Feta cheeses, Lebnah, and some delicious offerings at the register as they used to have. They have the best fresh pita bread delivered multiple times per week. (Not sure of exact schedule.) It's a wonderful jewel in Roslindale and I hope they can afford and secure the best location possible.
I always try to get my pita bread there. When the farmer's market rolls around, Habibi has some great pita and the best jalepeño hummus around!
that old unleashed building
that old unleashed building next to 753 is vacant and would be a good fit.
Could Bob’s end up in the
Could Bob’s end up in the Petco Unleashed space?
Will anything ever be there?
I understand that most likely
I understand that most likely it's a placeholder, but I hope they keep the "Signage" name for the building.
Where are the mandatory birds
How can I know what a place will look like in a rendering without seeing some birds flying by?
don't block the bike lane, thx
"Arx Urban attorney Johanna Schneider said the company is currently talking to BTD about possibly designating space in front of the building on Washington Street for deliveries. Although that's right where the bus/bike lane to Forest Hills is, she noted that's only in use for two hours in the morning, so a drop-off area the rest of the day could be a possibility."
Nope. No blocking the bike lane for Uber eats. Hope lawyer Schneider will hop on a bike sometime and refrain from making wack suggestions about infrastructure until then.
It's bad enough we've got buses and bikes sharing a lane at the most stressful time of day (and even worse that the rest of the time the City allows people to park their cars in it!!!).