Concerns of parking, displacement raised during 1065 Tremont St. meeting

March 3, 2017
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At the Boston Planning and Development Agency (BPDA) Feb. 23 meeting on a proposed building at 1065 Tremont St., residents voiced concerns about the lack of parking and how the project is just another building adding to the displacement of longtime residents.

The project will consist of 28 residential units in a six-floor, 31,500-square-foot building. The project will create four units of affordable housing in the neighborhood or immediately on-site. Attendees were split on whether they wanted the affordable units on-site or not.

The proposed building is the second phase for the 1065 Tremont St. site, as the developer built a 16-unit, mixed-use building there last year. The site is located on the border of Mission Hill.

About 20 people attended the meeting at the Boston Police Department headquarters on Feb. 23. Some attendees expressed objections over the project.

“It’s not just about the construction jobs that will provide simple jobs and contracts that expire,” said Bill Singleton from the United Neighbors of Lower Roxbury. “It’s about providing residential benefits for the long term.”

Another resident in the neighborhood said that although he walks by the building on a daily basis, he would rather see the once ugly orange one-story building, than see a new building that doesn’t provide permanent housing for families in the neighborhood.

“Many folks want to see more housing opportunities to stop gentrification in this city,” said Virginia Morrison, the executive director of the Neighborhood Development Corporation of Grove Hall, which is partnering with the developers to provide local workers for construction.

She continued, “We’ve identified some parcels that the City owns in this area and we’re looking at possible negotiations with them to prevent future gentrification.”

Another member of the United Neighbors of Lower Roxbury said that she feels like this neighborhood is under attack from development and feels like the building is just one of many new buildings that are causing gentrification and displacing the people who live there.

Since the project is within walking distance of public transportation, the developer said no parking spaces were needed.

Some community members disagreed, arguing that finding parking is very difficult in the area. Some attendees asked if students were to live in the apartments, would Northeastern University provide parking passes to the nearby garage that the university owns.

At the meeting, the development team said that there are currently 17 spots behind the current building that cannot be leased and are for the most part sitting empty.

The development team of Boston Real Estate Collaborative and Urban Core Development bought the Empire Insurance Lot located at 1065 Tremont Street in September 2014. They developed the first phase of the site into a building with 16 residential units and one commercial space, which was completed in April 2016. The initial space was approximately 8,100 square feet and was bounded by Tremont Street and St. Cyprians Place.

According to the developers, the 16-unit building is fully occupied with working professionals and students attending the nearby universities. The insurance company that was located at the site before construction now occupies the first floor commercial space.

The comment period for the Phase II project goes until the end of today, March 3. To make a comment, visit bit.ly/2mqX9DZ.

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