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Developer proposes five-story condo building in Allston

Proposed Cambridge Street condos in Allston

Developer Babak Veyssi is seeking BRA approval to put 32 condos and retail space on what is now a vacant lot at 392 Cambridge St.

Veyssi's $7-million proposal also includes a 41-space garage for residents and a 17-space lot for the stores. 28 of the units would have two bedrooms, the rest one bedroom each.

This development will be the first new construction in this portion of Allston in over 20 years and can be seen as a catalyst for redevelopment in an area that seems to have been passed over while the remaining areas of Allston-Brighton have seen growth. It will also provide a convenient, affordable alternative for the neighborhood, serving existing residents and those wishing to move back into the City of Boston. The site is also conveniently located close to the Massachusetts Turnpike and Storrow Drive as well as two MBTA bus lines for easy access to downtown Boston and Cambridge.

In April, the BRA approved a 48-unit apartment building proposed by Harold Brown for Malvern Street.

392 Cambridge St. small-project review application (6.8M PDF).

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58 parking spaces and a ten minute walk from the T? That seems like an efficient use of valuable real estate...

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They are probably projecting reverse-commuters, or commuters who already work where the T does not go, will find it an ideal place to live.

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I'm sure that's why they list a benefit of "Reduce regional road traffic by bringing workforce housing into the neighborhood;"

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Why not build a giant bike cage instead? Better yet, why not turn it into a short, wide bike lane?

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...as part of the permit process, to buy the mbta a couple of new buses. Actually I don't know why we don't make that a standard clause for anyone who wants to introduce new residents to a city with terrible infrastructure problems.

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but because these sorts of taxes or fees would be one-shot infusions, it's better to pay for one-shot things like traffic light timing rework or intersection upgrades rather than things like buses that have ongoing operation and maintenance costs that don't have a source of funding.

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Boston Transportation's signal division already often mandates improvements within the transportation/site plan, same thing for things like street furniture, trees, and lamp-posts on or around the project perimeter.

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Okay, flush out your idea a bit more (I'm serious.)

Keep in mind, the MBTA is a state agency and you're recommending the developer of a project in Boston contribute - there's no guarantee buses, or a financial contribution, would benefit Bostonians.

The developer already contributes to the "costs" of new residents by paying property taxes on the land / building, plus the residents might be taking new jobs in the city which benefits the city / state by increasing income / sales / meals taxes.

Plus, the developer has to include 13% "affordable" housing units in the project; in effect, subsidizing the cost of housing some residents, so it's contributing in that way, too.

Also if the new residents pay their fares like everyone else, why would the developer have to contribute anything additional?

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Plus, the developer has to include 13% "affordable" housing units in the project; in effect, subsidizing the cost of housing some residents, so it's contributing in that way, too. Also if the new residents pay their fares like everyone else, why would the developer have to contribute anything additional?

The idea behind forcing the developer to include affordable units at their own expense is to externalize the cost. No one wants to see their taxes go up, but they're OK with the cost being foist on a developer who will in turn pass it on to buyers. Taxes are great when they're hidden and imposed on other people. The inefficiency of this would be comical if it wasn't having a negative impact on people. Fewer units get built. Low income families are subject to the vagaries of lottery. It stinks all around and no one is willing to buck up and implement an all-of-the-above solution.

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There is not enough parking spaces.

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I live in this immediate neighborhood. There are always empty spots for me to park on Penniman Road and on Braintree Street. I've never had trouble parking. They don't even require residential permits, which is the first step when there is not enough parking.

Your general statement is not relevant to the actual parking situation in the actual neighborhood.

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serves to increase pressure on parking spaces used by the public (curb side, shopping center, garage, etc).

If you want to free up parking spaces in Boston, you want to encourage Boston residents to not own cars. The surest way to do that is to build housing with a small number of parking spaces.

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IMAGE(http://gifsec.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/Peter-Griffin-Who-the-hell-cares-GIFS.gif)

No one's hiring Frank Lloyd Wright to design what will in effect be BU overflow housing. And it's not like the neighborhood is a looker right now as it is.

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About people knocking on the door in the middle of the night thinking it's a Wingate Extended Stay Hotel.

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NOOOOO!!! Will someone please think of the shadows!?

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...when it comes to the pedestrians in the area.

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I like that lot being vacant. It's kind of like a little unused derelict park. They should keep it that way... or turn it into a real park. Allston doesn't have enough green space.

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beige box! Can't wait until that spruces up the neighborhood.

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I can't believe they aren't building the next Chrysler building in Brighton.

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Has anyone else noticed how all of these big box residential buildings going up all over Boston all look the same and cheaply made? Stamp 'em out with cookie cutters, and make a killing selling them at market rates! These awful blemishes on the urban landscape are this generation's answer to the brick housing boxes built in Allston and Brighton when Kevin White was mayor. Some day, future Bostonians will look at these projects with regret and say, "What were they thinking when Marty Walsh was mayor?"

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