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Old 07-10-2017, 10:06 AM   #1
datadyne007
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Proposed Longwood II Residences | 95 St. Alphonsus St. | Mission Hill

Longwood II Residences | 95 St. Alphonsus St. | Mission Hill

PNF Filed June 13, 2017: http://www.bostonplans.org/getattach...5-9a97d61a57ab

Submitted to:
Boston Planning & Development Agency
One City Hall Square
Boston, MA 02201

Submitted by:
Wingate Companies
100 Wells Avenue
Newton, MA 02459

Prepared by:
Epsilon Associates, Inc.
3 Mill & Main Place, Suite 250
Maynard, MA 01754

In Association with:
HDS Architecture
Howard Stein Hudson
H.W. Moore Associates, Inc.
Allied Consulting Engineering Services, Inc.
McPhail Associates, LLC
Pressley Associates
Resilient Buildings Group, Inc.


















^ Notice it meets ALL zoning.
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Old 07-10-2017, 10:10 AM   #2
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Re: Longwood II Residences | 95 St. Alphonsus St. | Mission Hill

The best thing about this project is that it appears to be replacing a 175 space garage with a ~120 space garage and 115 units of housing.
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Old 07-10-2017, 10:42 AM   #3
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Re: Longwood II Residences | 95 St. Alphonsus St. | Mission Hill

I dont care if it meets current zoning, it should be the height of its neighbors... and more importantly how many affordable units will there be? Should be half anyway. The mayor and the BRA need to find a sweet spot between being pro development and forcing projects to have more affordable housing.
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Old 07-10-2017, 10:54 AM   #4
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Re: Longwood II Residences | 95 St. Alphonsus St. | Mission Hill

Agreed. This should be taller. Not entirely sure if zoning is making the developer hesitate on building a larger project.
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Old 07-10-2017, 10:56 AM   #5
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Re: Longwood II Residences | 95 St. Alphonsus St. | Mission Hill

Quote:
Originally Posted by Suffolk 83 View Post
I dont care if it meets current zoning, it should be the height of its neighbors... and more importantly how many affordable units will there be? Should be half anyway. The mayor and the BRA need to find a sweet spot between being pro development and forcing projects to have more affordable housing.
You can either meet the zoning, avoid the fight & actually get it built or ignore the zoning, outrage an entire neighborhood & never get any units built. I go with the former.

The onus is not on the developers to break the zoning for the greater good of more housing. It is on the city to go through an extensive rezoning process working with neighborhoods to zone sites appropriately. The site-by-site zoning the BRA/BPDA/ZBA engages in is flat out wrong and needs to be fixed. When every building in the city needs zoning relief, you are doing it wrong.
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Old 07-10-2017, 11:22 AM   #6
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Re: Longwood II Residences | 95 St. Alphonsus St. | Mission Hill

Quote:
Originally Posted by datadyne007 View Post
You can either meet the zoning, avoid the fight & actually get it built or ignore the zoning, outrage an entire neighborhood & never get any units built. I go with the former.
The city needs to take steps to discourage the influx of 1+5 construction. Cheap and ugly should NOT be the MO around here!
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Old 07-10-2017, 03:19 PM   #7
vanshnookenraggen
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Re: Longwood II Residences | 95 St. Alphonsus St. | Mission Hill

This is a great little project but it only furthers the problem of lack of larger housing for families. I get that there is probably more demand for single/young couple/older empty nesters so that's why studio/1B/2B projects like this are so hot. But there will be a reckoning when the young couples want to have kids.
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Old 07-10-2017, 06:32 PM   #8
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Re: Longwood II Residences | 95 St. Alphonsus St. | Mission Hill

Quote:
This is a great little project but it only furthers the problem of lack of larger housing for families. I get that there is probably more demand for single/young couple/older empty nesters so that's why studio/1B/2B projects like this are so hot. But there will be a reckoning when the young couples want to have kids.
You apparently haven't got the memo that cities aren't for families anymore. DINKS and SINKS allowed only.
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Old 07-10-2017, 06:48 PM   #9
atlantaden
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Re: Longwood II Residences | 95 St. Alphonsus St. | Mission Hill

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Originally Posted by meddlepal View Post
You apparently haven't got the memo that cities aren't for families anymore. DINKS and SINKS allowed only.
https://www.forbes.com/sites/joelkot...most-families/

They're going where the cost of living is affordable. Boston and the immediate metro area are tough places for a low to middle income family to live.
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Old 07-11-2017, 04:46 AM   #10
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Re: Longwood II Residences | 95 St. Alphonsus St. | Mission Hill

I feel datadyne probably has a good idea of what will and won't get held up by years of nimby battles here guys.
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Old 07-11-2017, 07:18 AM   #11
dwash59
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Re: Longwood II Residences | 95 St. Alphonsus St. | Mission Hill

Quote:
Originally Posted by vanshnookenraggen View Post
This is a great little project but it only furthers the problem of lack of larger housing for families. I get that there is probably more demand for single/young couple/older empty nesters so that's why studio/1B/2B projects like this are so hot. But there will be a reckoning when the young couples want to have kids.
I see so many 3BRs being treated as 4BRs with ~6 people living there (2 couples in bedrooms, one single in a bedroom, one single in the living room), that I think there is a larger impediment to housing for families than the mix of what is being built.
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Old 07-11-2017, 10:19 AM   #12
fattony
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Re: Longwood II Residences | 95 St. Alphonsus St. | Mission Hill

Quote:
Originally Posted by vanshnookenraggen View Post
This is a great little project but it only furthers the problem of lack of larger housing for families. I get that there is probably more demand for single/young couple/older empty nesters so that's why studio/1B/2B projects like this are so hot. But there will be a reckoning when the young couples want to have kids.
I disagree. I don't have the numbers handy, but IIRC the vast majority of housing stock in metro Boston and Boston proper are family-sized. We don't necessarily need more family-sized units, we just need to make sure that families get a chance to rent them instead of multiple roommate arrangements. I don't know how to do that exactly, but more affordable studio, 1-bed, and 2-bed units (which those people living 3, 4, or 5 people to a 3-bedroom would undoubtedly prefer) seems an essential ingredient.

I don't think there are many people lamenting the lack of new-construction family-sized units specifically. The root-cause issue is the cost of rent on all the existing family-sized units, of which there many.
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Old 07-11-2017, 10:40 AM   #13
dwash59
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Re: Longwood II Residences | 95 St. Alphonsus St. | Mission Hill

Here's the census data for Boston housing:

Code:
Total housing units	278,521
No bedroom		17,987	6.5%
1 bedroom		70,608	25.4%
2 bedrooms		95,533	34.3%
3 bedrooms		64,135	23.0%
4 bedrooms		21,987	7.9%
5 or more bedrooms	8,271	3.0%
And for an arbitrary comparison, the state of Massachusetts:

Code:
Total housing units	2,827,820
No bedroom		74,982	2.7%
1 bedroom		393,983	13.9%
2 bedrooms		796,971	28.2%
3 bedrooms		983,065	34.8%
4 bedrooms		453,401	16.0%
5 or more bedrooms	125,418	4.4%
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Old 07-11-2017, 11:09 AM   #14
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Re: Longwood II Residences | 95 St. Alphonsus St. | Mission Hill

Quote:
Originally Posted by fattony View Post
I don't have the numbers handy, but IIRC the vast majority of housing stock in metro Boston and Boston proper are family-sized. We don't necessarily need more family-sized units, we just need to make sure that families get a chance to rent them instead of multiple roommate arrangements.
Quote:
Originally Posted by dwash59 View Post
Here's the census data for Boston housing:

Code:
Total housing units	278,521
No bedroom		17,987	6.5%
1 bedroom		70,608	25.4%
2 bedrooms		95,533	34.3%
3 bedrooms		64,135	23.0%
4 bedrooms		21,987	7.9%
5 or more bedrooms	8,271	3.0%
Since I'm a nerd on his lunch break, I expanded those #'s out further by number of actual bedrooms by housing types.

1-beds/Studios = 88,595 rooms to sleep
2-beds = 191,066 rooms to sleep
3-beds = 192,405 rooms to sleep
4-beds = 87,948 rooms to sleep
5-beds =~ 41,355 rooms to sleep

If we define housing suitable for families as those with 3 or more bedrooms, families have up to 321,708 beds to sleep in among those housing types, whereas no-bed, 1-bed, and 2-bed households have 279,661. Meanwhile average renter-occupied household size is 2.22 people vs. 2.51 in owner-occupied households (source)... this important metric has been on the decline citywide across all neighborhoods for over a century.
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Old 07-11-2017, 11:15 AM   #15
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Re: Longwood II Residences | 95 St. Alphonsus St. | Mission Hill

Nice bell curves right there^
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Old 07-11-2017, 11:54 AM   #16
fattony
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Re: Longwood II Residences | 95 St. Alphonsus St. | Mission Hill

Thanks for the data Dwash. I obviously retract my "vast majority" claim, but let's recognize that 34% of homes in boston are family-sized and thanks to Derek's math that translates to more than half of all bedrooms being in family-sized homes.

Even falling short of "vast majority," I think the data support my claim that the problem isn't that there aren't enough family-sized homes.
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Old 07-11-2017, 12:02 PM   #17
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Re: Longwood II Residences | 95 St. Alphonsus St. | Mission Hill

# of units is good. Part of the building could go little taller with the pool/club roof thing.
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Old 07-11-2017, 12:21 PM   #18
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Re: Longwood II Residences | 95 St. Alphonsus St. | Mission Hill

Quote:
Originally Posted by dwash59 View Post
I see so many 3BRs being treated as 4BRs with ~6 people living there (2 couples in bedrooms, one single in a bedroom, one single in the living room), that I think there is a larger impediment to housing for families than the mix of what is being built.
Dining rooms are pretty much always converted to bedrooms. Living rooms not so much, unless you're looking super close to the colleges. In my years and years of craigslist apartment searching, I haven't seen many people open to (or having) couples in a bedroom. Heck I saw an apartment last week that was a 3 bedroom with a couple and they had their own rooms!
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Old 07-12-2017, 08:45 AM   #19
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Re: Longwood II Residences | 95 St. Alphonsus St. | Mission Hill

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Originally Posted by fattony View Post
Thanks for the data Dwash. I obviously retract my "vast majority" claim, but let's recognize that 34% of homes in boston are family-sized and thanks to Derek's math that translates to more than half of all bedrooms being in family-sized homes.

Even falling short of "vast majority," I think the data support my claim that the problem isn't that there aren't enough family-sized homes.
I agree with you that there is quite a lot of family sized housing stock in Boston. I think a more likely issue, perhaps the real issue, is geographic distribution of such housing. It's not so hard to find it in outer neighborhoods like Brighton and Roslindale, though still not the main housing form. But how many 3+ unit buildings are closer in to downtown and job centers? I can tell you that finding housing suitable for my family (five people) has much more limiting options than finding it for just two people would be.
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Old 07-12-2017, 09:34 AM   #20
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Re: Longwood II Residences | 95 St. Alphonsus St. | Mission Hill

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Originally Posted by HenryAlan View Post
I agree with you that there is quite a lot of family sized housing stock in Boston. I think a more likely issue, perhaps the real issue, is geographic distribution of such housing. It's not so hard to find it in outer neighborhoods like Brighton and Roslindale, though still not the main housing form. But how many 3+ unit buildings are closer in to downtown and job centers? I can tell you that finding housing suitable for my family (five people) has much more limiting options than finding it for just two people would be.
OK, but basic market forces are never going to allow you to win that battle -- larger, affordable housing units in close proximity to major employment centers simply cannot happen. The real estate is too valuable.
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