At a meeting of the Boston Civic Design Commission on Tuesday, National Development will show off its latest plans for an Albany Street apartment tower aimed at carless, tech-savvy Millennials willing to accept 500-square-foot studios in exchange for life in the most happening part of the South End, with a full-time activities director and with a large communal kitchen in case they don't want to use their apartment kitchens so they can hang out with their neighbors while waiting for their clothes to dry in the building laundry room, after a hard day of knocking off a proposal or two in the building's co-working space.
National Development touts the idea of a 14-story building at Albany and Herald streets chock full of fully furnished studios, or what it calls "micro-units, " as nothing less than a new kind of housing unit in Boston, as long as you don't count all the existing buildings in other neighborhoods that are full of studios and have laundry rooms and Internet and cable hookups:
Micro-units are a new residential typology, reflecting the evolving desires of a new generation of residents who desire a sustainable lifestyle with small personal living areas and access to common amenity spaces and the vibrant urban neighborhoods around them. The proposed residential units will be “Move-In Ready” with multifunctional furniture, as well as premium Wi-Fi and television connections. Another unique experience provided by this residential concept includes having live-in community manager to organize regular social events for residents in the building.
As part of the new typology, residents of the 250-unit building would also get housekeeping services, a fitness room and a rooftop deck.
The building would have some larger units, including some with four bedrooms, for people who have kids or just need more room, but in its design-commission presentation, National Development says most of its tenants will be young single people just starting on their careers, who are "focused on sustainable living" and "intent on living in the city," ideally near a grocery store, and who seek both privacy and "social interaction." Also, they will be "physically active" and going to do most of their shopping online.
217 Albany would have no parking spaces at all - and room for just 125 bicycles. In its filings, the company notes the nearby presence of the Silver Line, the Broadway Red Line stop and ZipCar rental stations. Plus, the building's residents would know how to punch up an Uber or Lyft ride.
The company hopes to begin construction in mid-2019, with construction expected to take 20 months.
The design-commission meeting, which will also include looks at several other development proposals in the city, begins at 5:15 p.m. on Tuesday in Room 900 in City Hall.
Design Commission presentation (44M PDF).