Supporting the Burney Street development


On April 6, 2018, the Gazette published an article on The Laneway Project, the proposed building and open space at 9-11 Burney Street. The article reported details on the project, but failed to acknowledge the large amount of support that the project has received. For instance, the project has been endorsed by the Community Alliance of Mission Hill, and Mission Hill Main Streets. We hold high regard for our neighbors who signed this letter. Thus we should make clear that we are not opposing “them”, but rather, we believe additional opinions should also be heard. Those who support the project have identified it’s thoughtful approach to a the site, and we believe it would significantly benefit the neighborhood.


Principal points of support:


  1. The developers are committed to the Mission Hill community, and its small businesses. The developers have a commitment to attracting new businesses to our main street which will support and strengthen our existing businesses. An additional restaurant will add to our community, and bring with it jobs and more vitality to our main street. Historically, this part of Mission Hill had more retail businesses, not less. For these reasons, the project has been endorsed by Mission Hill Main Streets.


  1. The scale and character are appropriate for our neighborhood. The latest rendition of the project shows the height of the building at 4 stories at the front on Burney Street and 5 stories at the rear. This is a substantial reduction in height and density from the initial plan of 6 stories. This change helps harmonize the building with surrounding structures and directly addresses a key concern of some in the neighborhood.


  1. No students and no trash. The developers have committed to placing a deed-restriction on the property prohibiting rentals to undergraduate students. The design also includes 3 internal trash rooms which will greatly reduce litter, pests, and other various issues related to the existing outdoor storage of trash on this block.


  1. Community space and good design. The Laneway component of this project opens up of private land for open space. The Laneway will be a cultural benefit to Mission Hill and will allow for outdoor dining in a park like setting. It will strengthen our neighborhood’s identity and further its appeal to families, professionals, and visitors. This point was clearly expressed by many at various community meetings. The building is being designed by Utile Architects, an award-winning Boston-based firm, nationally recognized for developing culturally and aesthetically appropriate work for communities.


In closing the Laneway is being proposed by a small, local development team whom have already positively contributed to our neighborhood over the past 14 years. They have held many meetings with neighbors and local organizations, being fully transparent, and demonstrating an active interest in the community. This new building will truly be an asset to our community and we look forward to seeing it move forward.


Michel Soltani, Mission Hill Main Streets

Dan Vlahos, Resident

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