The Old Dover Neighborhood Association heard plans for the overall Planned Development Area (PDA) of the 112 Shawmut St. site at its meeting on Tuesday, Oc. 17.
Overall, the association wasn’t excited about the design, the open space, the affordable housing promises and the phasing.
The project consists of three owners with three developments on one block – though they are being presented to the city as one large PDA. The first and most imminent of those developments is a large residential building by The Davis Companies for 112 Shawmut St. The other two parts were less imminent, and could be as far off into the future as six years from now.
The key problem for Old Dover members was the Affordable Housing promises. The Davis Companies will have no affordable housing in its building, but will rather pass all of its required affordable housing units to the CCBE project, which will absorb them and have a total of 30 percent affordable.
That just wasn’t enough for many residents, who said the CCBE got the land from Tufts for virtually nothing in order to one day build affordable housing. So far, they’ve only leased to supermarkets, they said.
“The City is talking about the pressing need for affordable housing and this is an opportunity that isn’t living up to its potential,” said John Connelly.
“Tufts gave them that land so they would do what they could to help with affordable housing,” he said. “They leased it to supermarkets and the whole time the neighborhood thought affordable housing was coming. “
Other concerns were about the amount of open space on the project, which includes a courtyard about the size of a regulation street. With so many units, some of them affordable units presumably with families, Old Dover neighbors wondered where those kids would play.
Many in the New York Streets area have been clamoring for the city to reserve some space for a park in the area, but so far to no accord.
Many also said the courtyard looked like a place that would invite a negative element.
The association chose not write a letter or take any official action before the end of the Oct. 30 comment period.