Condo building proposed to replace daycare, former plumbing office at Washington and Lesher streets in Roslindale
The children of Benjamin Gold, who ran a plumbing business at Washington and Lesher streets in Roslindale until his 2005 death, have proposed razing the business and the neighboring Little Peoples Playhouse daycare for a building with 19 condos topped by a "green" roof covered by soil and plantings.
In a filing with the BPDA, the Golds say they are hoping to offer the ground-floor commercial space to Little Peoples Playhouse, but that no agreement has yet been reached.
Three of the units would be sold as affordable.
The building would have either 16 or 19 parking spaces - the application lists both numbers.
As proposed the four-story structure is reasonably consistent with other four-story and mixed-use buildings in the general neighborhood. The façade of the building aligns with the front edge of the site and is therefore compatible with adjacent properties. From a functional design stand-point it seems reasonable to conclude that other proposed buildings will offer similar height and scale to the proposed project. As proposed, the single tenant space enables the façade of the building to have a singular cohesive aesthetic and not confused by extraneous signage and visual congestion. The design philosophy was to promote a simple but effective approach to try and keep the ground floor as daytime use commercial space with residents living above who can enjoy the after-hours solitude.
The green roof will reduce storm runoff from the building, extend the life of the roof and reduce air-conditioning costs for condo owners, the Golds say.
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What a load of crap. It's Washington Street, for chrissake. It is not a place for "after-hours solitude."
As for the daycare idea, I suggest they ditch that parking and give the kids a healthy outdoor play space, rather than hot, impervious pavement used exclusively for storage of vehicles that are effectively setting the planet on fire.
There are plenty of people who would be happy to live in such a development, enjoying a nice green space in the back and a dedicated bus lane out front.
Except for the storm runoff, a PV Solar array covering the roof would accomplish all that, while reducing the building's carbon footprint and requiring no watering, fertilizer, or other maintenance. Plants are nice, but putting them on top of a building is not the best use of the space.
Also, the building design could use some color besides East-Block-guardhouse gray.
A green roof with a solar array would be best. If they do an extensive roof there will be a lot of hardy plants that don't require much maintenance. Fertilizing a living roof is dumb.
I hope the daycare gets to stay
They call these mixed use buildings, but the bottoms of the many that have gone up recently in Roslindale/West Roxbury always seem to end up either vacant or as professional offices for accountants or insurance agents that add very little to the walkability and vibrancy of the community. We need more shopping, cafes, restaurants, bars, etc. The developers use resident quietness as an excuse, but this is Washington Street after all and plenty of cities are bringing those types of businesses in mixed use development. I suspect it's really that they're too lazy to build out the space and add noise reduction, and offices are easy tenants.
I really hope the daycare gets to stay, as it seems a good compromise - a community resource that's also closed by evening - though it's a pity there's no outdoor space for them. It's not clear whether the green roof will be open to prospective residents, but it blows my mind that even after a pandemic that made outdoor space hugely desirable, these buildings are still going up with zero balconies, porches, patios, outdoor courtyards, etc. for residents. And then the developers are shocked when they sit for sale for months as some in the area are doing even in this crazy market. They don't match what families are actually looking for in a home.
You are missing a key point
There is a daycare center there already, and per regulations, they have to have a play area. The center most likely goes to Healy Field to playtime.
I hope an pray that they center stays. It's not easy getting childcare in the area. That's my only concern with this project.