Two developers have filed detailed plans with the BPDA for a five-story, 80-unit apartment building on Lincoln Street in Allston mostly aimed at people who don't mind living with roommates or who have no choice because they're suffocating under student-debt burdens, in rooms that in some cases could rent as low as $844 a month.
Boylston Properties and ARX Urban's Common Allbright building, which would go on what is now a parking lot between Lincoln and Cambridge streets, near where Cambridge crosses the turnpike, would have 62 four-bedroom "co-living suites" and 8 three-bedroom "co-living suites" in which people would rent a single room - and have access to shared kitchens and bathrooms.
The remainder of the units would be traditional studios.
The Project is designed to be operated as a co-living building, comprised of purpose-built high density shared suites and studios where individuals rent their own private bedroom and bathroom and share common areas, kitchens, living rooms, and other amenity spaces with their suitemates. ...
The Project creates a new paradigm of housing development that introduces a new model for the creation of workforce and income-restricted housing. Specifically, a residential building that is purpose-built for co-living may serve as a private, unsubsidized mechanism to create housing available to households earning between approximately 50-100% of the Area Median Income.
To go with its total 282 bedrooms, the building would have 30 parking spaces in a garage, but with room to double that to 60 through the use of mechanical car stackers.
In their filing, the developers discuss just how affordable the 37 bedrooms designated as "affordable" would be:
Per the BPDA’s 2019 Maximum Affordable Rents, the IDP units would rent for approximately $844 per month ($10,128 per
year). This annual rent expense at 30% of one’s annual gross income, would be attainable to an individual earning approximately $33,760. As a result, co-living IDP rents may be significantly more attainable for lower-income individuals than traditional IDP rents.
Regarding the Project’s market-rate housing, the Proponent’s co-living management partner, Common, reports an average all-in cost of its co-living bedrooms that is naturally 20-30% less expensive than that of comparable studios, rendering these co-living bedrooms attainable to individuals earning under approximately 100% of AMI.
The developers plan to hire a management company that specializes in running such co-living buildings. Residents would have access to a building-only social-media app, through which they could get to know their neighbors - and sign up for movie nights and Friendsgiving-type events in the building and, once there is more than one co-living building in the Boston area, larger mixers and other events.
In addition to event programming, the functionality of the Connect by Common app allows Common residents to chat with other individuals in the building (with oversight by Common) and plan smaller, interest-based gatherings. Connect by Common also provides the opportunity for Common to patronize surrounding businesses through partnership and perk programs.
525 Lincoln St. project-notification form (120M PDF).