The design team proposing to construct a six-story, “compact-rental” building on a vacant lot at 72 Burbank St. unveiled their updated plans for the project during a public meeting Monday night at 100 Norway St. sponsored by the Boston Planning and Development Agency.
Cambridge-based Forest Properties Management, Inc. intends to construct a 20,605 square-foot building containing 13 370-square-foot studio units, 12 430-square-foot one-bedroom units and seven 685-square-foot two-bedrooms.
Dartagnan Brown, principal for the Boston architectural firm Embarc Studio, said the new design includes several modification to the earlier plans presented at the June 7 public meeting in response to community feedback, including a reduction in total units from 36 to 32 with an increase in two-bedrooms; a “dramatic change” in the building’s façade to fit better “contextually” with other nearby buildings; the addition of a 600 square-foot amenity space accessible from the Burbank Street entrance; and enlargement of the bike room.
Also, Brown said the rear of the building has been pulled back 6 feet from the earlier design to keep the alleyway open.
Marc LaCasse, project attorney, said Forest Properties has committed to accommodating no undergraduate students in the building, and has agreed to allow the abutting Fenway CDC (Community Development Corporation) at 70 Burbank St. to serve as the third-party administrator that would hold the developer to this agreement. The building would also adopt a strict no-smoking policy that would likely not appeal to undergraduates.
LaCasse said proposed project mitigation includes a contribution from Forest Properties to buy residents monthly MBTA passes, since the building won’t offer any parking, as well as a contribution to the Boston Parks Department.
As part of its affordable housing agreement, LaCasse said Forest Properties has agreed to offer two of its existing units in the neighborhood at a reduced rate.
LaCasse said the new units would be listed at 70 percent of area median income (AMI) as published by the BPDA.
Despite this claim, several Fenway residents in attendance expressed their opposition to the project on the grounds that it would it would displace longtime, working residents and could lead to the proliferation of unaffordable “micro-units,” having an adverse effect on diversity of the neighborhood.
The BHPA is accepting public comments on the proposal until Oct. 1. For more information on the project, and to submit comments, visit http://www.bostonplans.org/projects/development-projects/72-burbank-street.