Design Team Unveils Updated Proposal for 60 Kilmarnock St Residential Project

September 14, 2018
By

The design team behind the proposed 60 Kilmarnock St.  residential development unveiled their updated plans at the second public meeting sponsored by the Boston Planning and Development Agency at the Fenway Community Center on Sept. 4.

The Boston real-estate management firm Cabot, Cabot & Forbes intends to redevelop two buildings located at 60, 67-75, 70-80 Kilmarnock St. and 59-75 Queensberry St., respectively, into a total of 443 housing units, with 250 below-grade and surface parking spaces. The proposal also includes plans for ground-floor retail space facing Kilmarnock Street; landscaped areas and other amenities and services for residents; and a curved, four-story walkway located 20 feet above grade that would link the two buildings. Boston-based CBT Architects is the architect for the project.

Jacob Vance, senior development manager for Boston real-estate management firm Cabot, Cabot & Forbes, said changes from the earlier proposal include finding a new on-site home for K Street – an existing tenant and nonprofit that serves members of the LBGQ community in recovery for substance abuse.

A “cut-through” from Queensbury Street to the back alley has been eliminated due to neighbors’ public safety concerns, Vance said.

As for ground-floor retail at the development, Vance said the development would hopefully accommodate amenity-based retail for residents and neighbors, such as a boutique grocery store, a dry cleaner, barber shop or a quiet café.

“The goal is not to have what most people would characterize as Boylston Street retail but instead neighborhood retail,” he said.

Trash would be stored internally, and there will be no external dumpsters, which would allow for better pedestrian circulation in the alley, Vance said.

Other changes from the earlier plan include lowering the planned tower element, and the design now features angular bays to be more in line with other nearby buildings and more masonry with a focus on detail.

Rob Adams, principal for Boston’s Halvorson Design Group, said the landscaping would maintain “residential flavor” of Queensbury Street while adding more urban features to Kilmarnock Street, such as community seating.

Three courtyards, which Adams described as “semi-public, semi-private” spaces, would be created along Queensbury Street, offering a “quite respite” from the urban environment.

Fenway resident Marie Fukuda said among her grievances with the project is that the developer met its affordable housing obligation by contributing to the BPDA affordable-housing fund for the purchase of the Newcastle/Saranac apartments at 599 Columbus Ave., rather than providing below-rate units in the Fenway neighborhood. She added that the developer had already negotiated this payment prior to the formation of the Impact Advisory Group (IAG), which is tasked with determining the impacts of a project and negotiating an appropriate mitigation package. Furthermore, the decision was made without the input of Fenway residents, she said.

Jay Doherty, executive officer of Cabot, Cabot & Forbes, said, “There’s not a fixed community-benefit package we’ve committed to. Community benefits aren’t complete…and a lot of work needs to be done on them.”

The BHPA is accepting public comments on the proposal until Sept. 10. For more information on the project, and to submit comments, visit http://www.bostonplans.org/projects/development-projects/60-80-kilmarnock-street.

Newsletter

Full Print Edition