In response to feedback from the city and Fenway community, a London real estate developer intends to build rental housing at 1252-1270 Boylston St., instead of an independent student dormitory as was originally proposed for the site in April.
Scape, which specializes in developing private student housing, is now proposing a 226,700 square-foot, mixed-use development containing 477 residential rental units, as opposed to 533 students beds, along with a ground-floor retail podium facing Boylston Street.
The footprint for the ground-level “Boylston Black Box” – a LGBTQ-centric venue for performing arts programm ing with a 156-seat not-for-profit theatre – has also been expanded to 10,000 square feet from 6,000 square feet.
“The neighborhood feels that the building should serve as residential housing to combat the displacement of longtime residents, and that anything else would be a misuse of the site,” Andrew Flynn, CEO of Scape North America, said at a public meeting sponsored by the Boston Planning and Development Agency on Nov. 6 at 2 Charlesgate West.
This did little to appease Fenway resident Eliot Wilder, however, who expressed concern that the project would serve to further fracture the fabric of the neighborhood.
“There are no families here… and in the last 10 years, this has become a transitional neighborhood,” Wilder. “What this neighborhood has become is thanks in part to developments like this.”
Studios, measuring around 300 square feet, would account for 75 percent of the development’s units and rent for around $1,500 monthly, Flynn said. (One-, two- and three-bedroom units would measure around 400, 500 and 600 square-feet, respectively.)
Flynn said he would look into the possibility of increasing the number of one- and two-bedroom units in the development. “We more than happy to evaluate modifying the unit mix,” he added.
The development would offer no on-site parking, and Flynn said its residents won’t be allowed to obtain parking permits from the city (although how that would be enforced remains unclear).
Meanwhile, Scape has committed to building 95 affordable housing units for this project, but with the firm’s plans to redevelop two additional sites in the Fenway at 819 Beacon St. and 2 Charlesgate West, respectively, Flynn said, although it isn’t clear how the units would be allocated across all three sites.
Public comments on this development proposal can be submitted until Nov. 22 to Tim Czerwienski, BPDA project manager via email at [email protected] or by visiting http://www.bostonplans.org/projects/development-projects/1252-1270-boylston-street. Councilor-elect Bok prepared to tackle District