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Owners of West Roxbury office building want to replace it with apartments

The owners of a three-story office building at 1208C VFW Parkway in West Roxbury say they want to replace it with a five-story, 55-unit apartment building.

In a "letter of intent" filed with the BPDA this week, Richard Olstein and Michael Staiti say they will soon file detailed plans for the building, which sits at the end of a row of other office buildings along the Needham Line train tracks and next to a 60-unit apartment complex that B'nai B'rith Housing New England is current building at 270 Baker St.

Olstein and Staiti say their plans will include 55 parking spaces in a surface lot and a "generous landscape courtyard" that will connect to a courtyard at the B'nai B'rith project. They add they will also include plans for a sidewalk to connect their building with Baker Street.

1208C VFW Parkway filings and meeting schedule.

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So close to the Commuter Rail, yet so far. The lack of direct streets or pedestrian paths means you have to walk down to Spring Street and back up, almost doubling the walk. At least they're preserving the path to Baker St, which has existed for a long time, and saves backtracking to the VFW.

Also, I have a sort of nostalgia for 1960s suburban small office buildings. There's some interesting stuff in there, like a car wash software company and a foundation for a rare form of cancer.

Voting closed 21

They closed off the path to Baker St when they started building the other apt building next door. Are there plans to reinstate that?

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This area has been a hub of housing development over the last few years. If they added a stop to the Needham line in the Home Depot parking lot (or nearby), this would suddenly become so much more transit friendly.

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If we were a sane society we would build the station first then build density around it not the other way around. This is needed but even if it happens (and no one official is even discussing it) it’s still the opposite of the way they do it in Europe and Asia. This isn’t just an order of preference either. Attempting to implement transit later is both more expensive (as they have to fit it around the new development rather than place it where it makes sense then fit the new development around it) and less likely to be used as people form habits when the first move in and the transit isn’t there yet (and habits play a huge role in who uses transit and when).

Voting closed 10

Of have you missed this new initiative?

The Green Line Extension is as much stations creating density as TFL's new Battersea Power Station (Station.) And in recent decades commuter rail stations have become sites for transit oriented development all over the system.

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The green line extension serves Somerville, the densest populated community in the state. It was also plagued by delays and cost over runs. The MBTA community law is more like what we should be doing though you are right.

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Orange Line extension now!

Voting closed 19

Extend the Orange Line to Millennium Park/Home Depot via the Needham Line right of way, then run the Green Line across an old spur at Riverside and over 128 into Needham to handle all the Needhamites who would fight to the death the idea of extending the Orange Line into their suburban town.

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Yeah, especially if they build a simple station, and buy some more trains (off the shelf please, with no requirement for a Massachusetts factory), and run the trains at a decent frequency.

You'd think they'd have learned from the success of the Green Line D. We should have more lines like that all over the place. Instead we get a GLX every 60 years.

Voting closed 3

The Green Line D Branch has absolutely not had density built around it since its opening. Especially in the Newton part of it, the D branch is profoundly lacking in transit oriented development, and what it does have it largely already had when the D branch opened up. (Of course, it should also be noted that the D branch was built on the path of a rail line that had some history of passenger rail on it.)

Really, the problem is that Greater Boston did build transportation first, but it was a long time ago, and it was built around streetcars and passenger rail that often doesn't exist anymore. ("Streetcar suburbs.") But then cars took over and infrastructure updated to be more car dependent as well.

Boston (and really most of the inside-128 areas) is already developed, but for much of it it's developed as relatively low-density occupancy types. Building dense walkable neighborhoods out in the outer-suburbs where there's plenty of room to build them from scratch around a train station isn't a bad idea, but you can't just abandon the neighborhoods that have already been built to be stuck with cars.

Voting closed 2