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Old 04-09-2013, 11:14 AM   #21
Roxxma
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Re: Small Infill Development Thread

I noticed this on the South End Landmark District Commission's April Agenda:

517 & 519 Shawmut Avenue
Applicant: Guy Grassi, architect: Construct two new townhouses.



The whole SELDC April agenda here
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Old 07-09-2013, 11:58 AM   #22
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Re: Small Infill Development Thread

The wife and I recently moved to Coolidge Corner. Easily one of our favorite spots we've lived thus far, though I think the South End still takes the #1 spot (albeit barely).

Walking around, I see a lot of things I like - a gorgeous median for the C Line along Beacon St., bike lanes where they fit, good sidewalks, good mix of restaurants and shops - but one thing I've noticed in a few spots has got me thinking.

There are some decent stretches along Harvard Street and Beacon Street that are one story commercial, and it just seems like it's screaming for infill development. I'm talking about the section of Beacon Street near the St. Mary's T stop and the section of Harvard Street that includes CVS, the Gap, and a day care center.

Is developing new space above existing uses so difficult that it wouldn't be worth it for the owners of these properties to tack on another couple of floors at least?
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Old 07-09-2013, 01:01 PM   #23
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Re: Small Infill Development Thread

Brookline has been quite NIMBYish since the era of the great behemoths like 1501 and 1443 Beacon. That said, more housing is likely coming soon to Coolidge Corner on the site of a decrepit garage (behind the less decrrpit garage housing Jerusalem Pita and Tiny Hangers on Pleasant Street).
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Old 07-09-2013, 02:11 PM   #24
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Re: Small Infill Development Thread

One-story commercial is a widespread phenomenon in the Boston area inner suburbs. It's a mystery that I've been poking at every so often. For example, the oldest buildings in Allston are 3-4 stories. Look at the remaining ones near the Depot, those are the oldest in the area. They're currently used for storage, but with a bit of renovation, they could be quite nice. I've been told that this is in the cards for the future, but nothing solid yet.

But sometime at the beginning of the 20th century, they stopped building more than 2 stories, it seems. I don't quite know why. Maybe it didn't pencil out? Or tax mitigation? Or is it the insidious effect of so-called "city planning" which started to take hold right around then?

One property owner did add two floors to his building on Brighton Avenue, recently, quite well done I think. I managed to ask a realtor in-the-know about it, and she said that the owner was having trouble getting commercial tenants, and wound up renting it out to residents. It didn't really work out as well as he'd hoped so it looks like that it's going to be awhile before someone tries again. Unfortunate.
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Old 07-09-2013, 05:57 PM   #25
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Re: Small Infill Development Thread

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But sometime at the beginning of the 20th century, they stopped building more than 2 stories, it seems. I don't quite know why. Maybe it didn't pencil out? Or tax mitigation? Or is it the insidious effect of so-called "city planning" which started to take hold right around then?
Did they stop building, or start tearing down unoccupied residential stories to lower taxes?

One-story commercial stretches are ubiquitous around Boston metro. I've said many times, they're the best place to start adding density. Cambridge, Somerville, Allston/Brighton, Brookline, JP... all have many sites that ought to be 3-5 stories where there's only one or two.
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Old 07-09-2013, 10:43 PM   #26
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Re: Small Infill Development Thread

Pictures seem to show the same buildings in 1910-1920 as today but I suppose it is possible they were lopped before that.

Not to many people seem eager to add floors. I guess there's issues with mechanicals, and floor strength. Though, I believe someone is planning to add floors to a building on Comm ave in Packard's corner. On top of where the t-mobile store is. Or maybe I'm thinking of the one next to Nora's house.
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Old 07-09-2013, 11:34 PM   #27
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Re: Small Infill Development Thread

Such strips were commonly known as taxpayer strips when the streetcar was king - they were built to put land into some productive use so that landowners could afford to pay their property taxes while they waited for demand for something profitable to show up. Often it didn't because the automobile and road construction spread development far beyond the reaches of the streetcars. Basically they're the spec exurban retail plazas of 100 years ago.
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Old 07-10-2013, 01:08 AM   #28
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Re: Small Infill Development Thread

Well... Some have quite nice architectural detailing. At least, they did before a century of decay.

Seems strange to put so much effort into a placeholder.
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Old 07-10-2013, 07:13 AM   #29
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Re: Small Infill Development Thread

Davis sq is full of 1-2 story buildings often underutilized. That square should be 3-5 at least everywhere with studios/1bd and no parking for all the post grads, seems like a no brainer and i can't figure out why
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Old 07-10-2013, 07:53 AM   #30
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Re: Small Infill Development Thread

The community in all these places bitch to the max about lost street parking. The argument goes that "all these people getting apartments with no parking will have cars anyway and compete with us for street permit parking, so density is bad". You also have the "character" people, who are loathe to change anything ever because "character". Just look at the brouhaha the hotel plan for Davis created.
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Old 07-10-2013, 08:36 AM   #31
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Re: Small Infill Development Thread

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The community in all these places bitch to the max about lost street parking. The argument goes that "all these people getting apartments with no parking will have cars anyway and compete with us for street permit parking, so density is bad". You also have the "character" people, who are loathe to change anything ever because "character". Just look at the brouhaha the hotel plan for Davis created.
But the character in the sections of Brookline I mentioned is almost entirely 3-4 story buildings. These stretches are the exception, not the rule. In Davis it's somewhat different because there aren't quite as many bigger apartment buildings, but Beacon is entirely lined with them.
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Old 07-10-2013, 11:05 AM   #32
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Re: Small Infill Development Thread

In Allston the single story retail is adjacent to 4 story residential, so go figure.
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Old 07-10-2013, 08:08 PM   #33
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Re: Small Infill Development Thread

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But the character in the sections of Brookline I mentioned is almost entirely 3-4 story buildings. These stretches are the exception, not the rule. In Davis it's somewhat different because there aren't quite as many bigger apartment buildings, but Beacon is entirely lined with them.
That and Coolidge Corner has plenty of ~8-story apartment buildings too. I do hope the Durgin Garage development actually goes well. They put up some posters in the abandoned storefront windows, but that's a pitiful attempt at making it look nice.

Also, welcome to the neighborhood. I'm really fond of Coolidge Corner too.
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Old 07-15-2013, 08:27 AM   #34
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Re: Small Infill Development Thread

Is there a thread for the Durgin Garage Development?
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Old 04-30-2015, 12:17 AM   #35
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Re: Small Infill Development Thread

Nowhere else to post this, I don't think. From my Boston Dwells blog.



Eight-unit condo building under construction at 451 Marlborough Street. This replaces a one-story auditorium on that site that was owned by Simmons College until 2005. Hacin+Associates is the architect; The Holland Companies is the developer.

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Five new listings hit the local Multiple Listing Service last evening. They are five of the eight new homes currently under construction at 451 Marlborough Street, in Boston's Back Bay neighborhood (between Massachusetts Avenue and Charlesgate East).

The Holland Companies is the owner and developer. The Boston-based company bought the parcel from an investment company that purchased the property (and several others on the 400 block of Commonwealth Avenue) from Simmons College. Simmons sold its Back Bay holdings for $32 million in 2005 and eventually relocated to The Fenway.

From the listings:

Introducing Four51 Marlborough, Back Bay’s newest residences redefining contemporary luxury. Comprised of just 8 homes ranging from 2 to 5 bedrooms, this boutique building offers an intimate living experience with the benefit of a concierge to assist with your every need. Architecture and design by Hacin + Associates uses historical materials and themes – all reimagined with a modern spin.

The five homes listed are spacious, with the condos ranging in size from between ~2,000 to ~5,700+ square feet. There are two or three parking spaces included in the purchase prices.

Prices are from $3.875 - $9.995 million, or ~$1,540 - $2,021 per square foot.

Several of the units in the building are expected to be duplexes and some may have private terraces and/or balconies. There is an elevator in the building and it looks as though the lobby may have a security / concierge desk.
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Old 04-30-2015, 06:42 AM   #36
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Re: Small Infill Development Thread

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Originally Posted by a630 View Post
Such strips were commonly known as taxpayer strips when the streetcar was king - they were built to put land into some productive use so that landowners could afford to pay their property taxes while they waited for demand for something profitable to show up. Often it didn't because the automobile and road construction spread development far beyond the reaches of the streetcars. Basically they're the spec exurban retail plazas of 100 years ago.
a630 -- Not quite -- it sounds as if you are attempting to fit a generic history to Greater Boston / Eastern Mass

Remember that this region was settled starting from the Coast all the way to the Middle of Worcester County within the first few decades of the 17th C.

Thus by the time the "Streetcar Suburbs" began to develop in the mid 19th C, there were already streets radiating outward for many miles and existing houses, taverns, some houses with shops on those streets.

Developers being developers --- they bought land where they could and developed ... so seeing houses being built on the newly laid out lots on the relatively new side streets ,,,, the developer began by buying a couple of old houses and some land along what was already a major street and built the state of the art in retail -- a 1 story retail strip ... which the town would see as a major step-up.

In the established commercial centers [e.g. Arlington Heights, Lexington Center] where there were Rail Road Stations ... the developer bought the old house [probably already in commercial use for a generation and adjacent land and built a "modern" 3 story structure with residences at the top, offices on the second and shops on the ground. Often the town would accelerate the process by taking advantage of the state of the art infrastructure tools -- the Steam Shovel was used to widen, straighten and level the old street to make the town [i.e. Lexington] as "up to date" as the Big City [i.e. Waltham]

Later when cars became common 1920's, the Commonwealth stepped in and began to lay out State Roadways [e.g. Rt-128] -- taking the the major street and adding number [Rt-128 used to run right through the major intersection in Lexington Center Mass Ave and Waltham Sts were part of the route] and then still later the Town and Commonwealth together would do more digging, filling, widening or even moving the highway bodily to build an expressway

NIMBY's had not yet been invented
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Old 04-30-2015, 09:40 AM   #37
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Re: Small Infill Development Thread

Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnAKeith View Post
Nowhere else to post this, I don't think. From my Boston Dwells blog.



Eight-unit condo building under construction at 451 Marlborough Street. This replaces a one-story auditorium on that site that was owned by Simmons College until 2005. Hacin+Associates is the architect; The Holland Companies is the developer.

Nice - I noticed this a while back, but couldnt find anything on the BRA website, or the Google.
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Old 05-24-2015, 03:39 PM   #38
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Re: Small Infill Development Thread

451 Marlborough is pretty far along






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Old 06-10-2015, 11:12 PM   #39
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Re: Small Infill Development Thread



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Old 03-15-2017, 03:54 AM   #40
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Re: Small Infill Development Thread

5-Story Residential Building at 173 Endicott Street Proposed at Neighborhood Council [Video]

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The proposal by Urban Core Development’s Robert Quinn is to construct a nine-unit residential building on an empty parcel, currently used as a parking lot on the corner of N. Margin and Endicott Streets. Units will range from 470-square-feet studios to 1200-square-feet two bedroom layouts. Parking for seven vehicles is included on the first floor, using hydraulic lifts to allow for vertical stacking. Two private roof decks are currently shown in the proposal. The architect is Peter Vanko with real estate sales by Toni Gilardi, both who were present at the meeting.
http://northendwaterfront.com/2017/0...council-video/
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