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5-story MFA neighbor would become 19-story MFA neighbor under developer's plans

409 Huntington Ave. rendering

Rendering by Cube3.

A f5-story apartment building that dates to 1910 at 409 Huntington Ave. in the Fenway will get 14 new floors under plans submitted to the BPDA last week.

In its filing, the Slater Family's Tremont Asset Management says the way it will add 100 new apartments to what is now a 57-unit building across from the MFA "will preserve the original and historical character of the site."

The building, originally meant as a tenement, and later used as a Northeastern dormitory, will have a mix of studios and one- and two-bedroom apartments. It says it will work with city and state subsidy and credit programs to try to increase the number of affordable units from the city required minimum of 13% to at least 18%.

The ground floor is anticipated to include street-level activated retail space along Huntington Ave, and, in conjunction with these improvements, the Huntington-Hemenway Mall at the corner of the site has the potential to be included in activating the ground level and open space areas. The Fencourt Road right-of -way will provide the sole means of vehicular access to the site for the purposes of loading, trash pickup, and parking. A fully-automated car elevator will transport vehicles to a 50-space underground parking garage.

Tremont adds that as part of the project, it will commit $1 million to the Benjamin Franklin Institute of Technology and will create an "externship" program that will bring 12 Franklin students a semester onto the work site to gain first-hand knowledge of HVAC and electrical construction and installation and construction management.

Tremont expects construction to take 30 months once it wins approval from a variety of city boards, including the BPDA and the zoning board.

In addition to working to protect the neighboring 407 Huntington, with which the building shares a firewall, Tremont contractors will need to dig down about 23 feet below the current building to install the mat to help support the new floors.

409 Huntington Ave. filings and calendar.

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Comments

Wouldn't bet on it as a plan if the similar system at 88-90 Wareham St shit the bed.

That said, car owners who want to live there should expect to feel pain, so ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ -- heck em, build it and have the parking fail; don't feel bad for anyone who lives there and depends on residential parking permit spaces.

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Voting closed 29

Wonder what made them keep the original footprint rather than just put a whole new tower in place? It has to be way more expensive to work around what's there rather than demolish and rebuild. Maybe the curb appeal is really worth the extra money?

It'll be interesting to see how/if the presence of this building changes the approval process when NEU finally bulldozes the the plot across the street with UHOP, Punters (RIP), and Burstein/Rubenstein halls. They've wanted to drop a tower on that for a long time and I'm a little surprised they haven't done so already.

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Voting closed 20

You support this monstrosity?!? I think it's ugly as hell and there are many reasons it shouldn't go forward.

1. It's 10 stories taller than anything else in the Symphony neighborhood.

2. There are no buildings over 5 stories anywhere on Hemenway Street. In fact, I don't think any building currently in the entire Symphony neighborhood (Boylston Street to the north, Huntington Ave to the south, Mass Ave to the east & Forsyth to the west) is taller than 8 stories, except for the ~12 story old people home. If they allow development like this, it means the end of this neighborhood and their (mostly) 4/5 story brownstones. That would be awful.

3. This is a trojan horse for NU development. If the city lets this building happen, it's only a matter of time before they push for all their freshman dorms & apartment buildings on Hemenway & St Stephen St on this side of Huntington Ave to be bulldozed and rebuilt at 20 stories. Again, that would kill the neighborhood, solely for the benefit of developers & Northeastern--neither of whom should be catered to.

Simply put, if this building is approved at more than like 8 stories, say goodbye to the Symphony neighborhood over the next decade or so.

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Voting closed 22

1. Symphony Tower West (or "old people home" as you call it) is 16 stories, not 12. This proposal is three stories taller, not 10.

2. There are already buildings in Symphony taller than 8 stories, such as the long 11-story Church Park apartment building, and there are even more if you count buildings within a block of your extremely restrictive boundaries: the MassArt dorm (20, taller than this proposal), Symphony Tower East (14), the main MassArt building (13) and the new NEC building (10). The 16-story NU dorm "West Village H" is literally across the street from this proposal.

3. Nobody, not even Northeastern, has any desire to bulldoze all the brownstones and brick tenements in the neighborhood; Symphony Plaza went up in 1978 and only a handful of buildings that tall have come in since, so fears that the whole area would shoot up to 20 stories in a decade if this one project goes forward are perhaps overblown.

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Voting closed 43

1. Symphony Tower West (or "old people home" as you call it) is 16 stories, not 12. This proposal is three stories taller, not 10.

No, I meant Morville House, which appears to be 10-11 stories. Symphony Towers aren't in the Symphony neighborhood, as they're south of Huntington Ave.

2. There are already buildings in Symphony taller than 8 stories, such as the long 11-story Church Park apartment building, and there are even more if you count buildings within a block of your extremely restrictive boundaries: the MassArt dorm (20, taller than this proposal), Symphony Tower East (14), the main MassArt building (13) and the new NEC building (10). The 16-story NU dorm "West Village H" is literally across the street from this proposal.

The only building you listed that's actually located in the Symphony neighborhood is Church Park, and it borders Mass Ave.

3. Nobody, not even Northeastern, has any desire to bulldoze all the brownstones and brick tenements in the neighborhood; Symphony Plaza went up in 1978 and only a handful of buildings that tall have come in since, so fears that the whole area would shoot up to 20 stories in a decade if this one project goes forward are perhaps overblown.

And you know this how? You don't think that in a heartbeat NU would try to replace every single one of their freshman dorms with 20+ story buildings?!? If you truly don't think that, you haven't been paying attention to their expansion plans...or their convenient "overcrowding" of students that happens every year.

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Voting closed 7

I don't know how you could possibly say that a building named for Symphony Hall, across the street from Symphony Hall, is not in the Symphony neighborhood.

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Voting closed 19

Symphony Towers aren't in the Symphony neighborhood, as they're south of Huntington Ave.

I mean, they are literally across the street, but thanks for proving the NIMBY technique of narrowly defining things in such a way to support your pre-existing conclusion.

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Voting closed 10

Pro-luxury development fans/ faux supporters of working class urbanites hate city neighborhoods. Not breaking news.

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Voting closed 10

It would be great if the neighborhood was dotted with a bunch of residential towers—don't deny families and students the opportunity to live in downtown Boston! Great transit access, tons of amenities, with a large, existing student population. Also if you think a single 8 story residential building is going to destroy the character of the neighborhood just wait till you google Lyra (you might even want to sit down).

Excited to see what happens to the Symphony neighborhood when we get more neighbors!

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Voting closed 37

"If they allow development like this, it means the end of this neighborhood"

The sky will not fall, the neighborhood will still exist, and we will add more housing in a city where it is our primary development need.

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Voting closed 43

I'm sorry but adding housing like this is absurd. I'm guessing that to "add more housing" you'd happily let the rest of Boston turn into the Waterfront & Fenway neighborhoods? Zero design anesthetic?

Even if you are cool with that, you're forgetting that so many of the buildings in this neighborhood are owned by Northeastern and it would just be turned into additional student housing. They'll sell it like they & BU always do: "if you let us build this, then we can bring kids back on-campus and help the city's apartment supply." Then, immediately after the buildings are approved, they increase enrollment. So again, almost ZERO new housing for the community.

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Voting closed 12

but this isn't one. If we're gonna start handling development based on what might happen if someone else buys the building down the road and does something else with it, well, we might as well just declare that we're never building anything ever again.

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Voting closed 10

It's on the corner of Huntington. Directly across the train tracks there's a 20 story building. Within eyesight there are at least 3 others of similar height looking toward Longwood. It's not destroying anything.

And if you want to keep Northeastern kids out of apartments, they're gonna have to live somewhere. Which means more dorms. You can't have it both ways. The university has been there a lot longer than you have, too.

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Voting closed 36

There's a sort of circular reasoning to considering that 10 stories taller than anything in "the Symphony neighborhood." There are plenty of tall buildings in the general area, there's a 16-story dorm across the street at 440 Huntington Ave, and for that matter there's similarly tall buildings across from the namesake Symphony Hall, but if you think of the Symphony neighborhood as "that cluster of old 4-5 story brownstones in the triangle between Mass Ave, Huntington, and the Fenway" then well yeah, it's taller than those. It's taller than other buildings in the area if you don't count the tall ones.

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Voting closed 32

Are they building a contemporary tenement then?

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Voting closed 10

Yes they are @Robin but contemporary tenements include lighting, central heating, running water and indoor plumbing. I'm pretty sure they'll throw in some elevators too and limit roof access!

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Voting closed 13

Build housing! of all types, market, affordable, elderly etc

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Voting closed 13