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Old 05-04-2018, 11:17 AM   #21
datadyne007
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Re: Orient Heights BHA Redevelopment | Faywood Ave/Vallar Rd/Waldemar Ave | East Bost

OP has been updated with information & images from the NPC.
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Old 05-04-2018, 02:53 PM   #22
Beton Brut
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Re: Orient Heights BHA Redevelopment | Faywood Ave/Vallar Rd/Waldemar Ave | East Bost

I don't live "up the hill" but I've followed this project through regular attendance at the Orient Height Neighborhood Council meetings. As I've said upthread, this development was initially built as "veterans housing," targeted to military families transitioning back to civilian life. Built in the years after WWII, these were joylessly utilitarian buildings, more solidly built than their replacements.

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Originally Posted by Brad Plaid View Post
The changes being referred to as "minor" include removal of all market rate units (42) and almost doubling the amount of open space. Less dense, more suburban, 100% public housing.
This is the complicated and inelegant result of home owners abutting the development doing everything they can to "minimize the impact" of this development on their lives and property values. The surrounding homes are 75% single family, and overwhelmingly owner occupied.

It's important to note that there's also heavy resistance to the construction of privately financed multifamily projects in this part of the Heights; meetings where projects of this nature are discussed often devolve into shouting matches worthy of the WWE. A sample scenario: a single family is purchased and demolished, to be replaced with a "contextual" three-unit condo with all the architectural integrity of a chicken coup.

I'd suggest that these home-owners feel generally dispossessed and distrustful of public housing policy in and beyond East Boston. Old timers (folks of my father's generation) tend to be very angry people, even before they turn on FauxNews.

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...these days whenever I see something this low density I know I am looking at subsidized housing.
Perhaps this is a function of the stigma that commuter guy calls attention to:

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If the goal of the these public housing retrofits is to blend in better with the surrounding neighborhood in an attempt to decrease the stigma of living in what looks to be "public housing" i'd say the town home portion of this project fails. I think the average resident will recognize this project as separate and distinct from the surrounding neighborhood now and in the future.
This may also explain the elimination of the market-rate component of the project. If the developer's being pushed to reduce the scale, the first thing to go will be the elements that are the most costly to produce.

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There’s something to be said for the market forces there, encouraging developers.
And in this case, discouraging developers. I'll make the outlandish suggestion that the market forces that pushed the shrinkage of this project are the home values of the surrounding neighborhood, and the loud voices of their owners.

I empathize with these folks, because the sociopolitical landscape of East Boston is like no place else. I do what I can as one voice in a community to get my older and less worldly neighbors to think differently about density, height, mixed-market housing, traffic calming, the need for cycling infrastructure and car shares, and all the rest.

Sometimes I think I'd be better off cracking a beer and watching the ballgame...
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Old 09-18-2018, 09:07 AM   #23
BeeLine
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Re: Orient Heights BHA Redevelopment | Faywood Ave/Vallar Rd/Waldemar Ave | East Bost

Looks like phase I is complete and most if not all units occupied. No new demo/construction in progress.





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Old 09-18-2018, 10:51 AM   #24
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Re: Orient Heights BHA Redevelopment | Faywood Ave/Vallar Rd/Waldemar Ave | East Bost

This one came with way too little opposition. Per the usual, it should have been at least 50~150 more units with the same number of parking spaces as existing project (Welcoming the young active folk prepared for a NYC scaled walk to transit). At this point every project approved short of 5 Globe stories and negotiations/extortion from neighbors is another loss for the City. Build baby build.
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Old 09-18-2018, 11:07 AM   #25
Brad Plaid
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Re: Orient Heights BHA Redevelopment | Faywood Ave/Vallar Rd/Waldemar Ave | East Bost

The townhouses look like they could be future maintenance money pits, too much taxpayer cost for too little return.
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Old 09-20-2018, 09:38 PM   #26
Beton Brut
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Re: Orient Heights BHA Redevelopment | Faywood Ave/Vallar Rd/Waldemar Ave | East Bost

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This one came with way too little opposition.
Have you ever attended a meeting in this neighborhood? Or taken a walk around? Asking for a friend...

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The townhouses look like they could be future maintenance money pits, too much taxpayer cost for too little return.
Sadly correct.
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Old 09-21-2018, 07:50 AM   #27
TomOfBoston
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Re: Orient Heights BHA Redevelopment | Faywood Ave/Vallar Rd/Waldemar Ave | East Bost

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The townhouses look like they could be future maintenance money pits, too much taxpayer cost for too little return.
More likely they will not be maintained and will look like crap in a decade.
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