The Bay Village Historic District Commission (BVHDC) met virtually via Zoom on June 9, where the project at 132 Arlington St. was officially approved. The project came before the Commission last month for an advisory review, where it was very well received by the Commission.
David Goldman of New Boston Ventures said again this month that the goal of this development was to build something that was fully compliant with zoning laws, except for the Groundwater Conservation Overlay District. “We tried to build a development which reflects the character and design of the other buildings and townhouses in the Bay Village neighborhood,” he added.
He said that although the project was “very well received at first visit, we think it’s even better now.”
Architect Jonathan Garland presented the proposal, which consists of nine three story residential townhomes, each of which will have a single car garage with a continuous curb line that stretches across Edgerly Place. The residential entrances will also be along Edgerly Place, and each unit will have a rear patio space.
The materials for the building include red brick with champagne gray colored metal accents, and a metal picket rail where the French door balconies are—some on the second level and some on the third.
Garland showed examples of other buildings in the district where metal is used over a multistory brick building with glass, showing that his design will fit within the context of the neighborhood.
Garland said that the team is “trying to be creative with the use of window bays,” as some are more prominent on the third floor and some are more prominent on the second floor.
For the garden patios in the rear, each unit will have a private garden space on the first floor with an additional space on the second floor and a staircase connecting the two.
There were different parapet options, but Joe Cornish, Director of Design Review for the Boston Landmarks Commission, said “I felt more drawn to the image…with the parapet being divided into the individual rowhouse units.”
Some of the Commissioners agreed with that, saying the individual rowhouses were better, but said it doesn’t necessarily have to be that way for the design to work.
Goldman said at the last hearing and again at this one that at one point in history, this lot had rowhouses on it so this building would pay homage to what was once there.
Jas Bhogal, a developer who has developed projects in the neighborhood, commended the project, saying he “applauds the design.”
Armando Hernandez from 35 Piedmont also said he is in favor of the project, adding that he thinks it “looks amazing.”
A question was raised by the Commission about whether or not residents would be able to get resident parking stickers on the street.
“On behalf of [Bay Village Neighborhood Association (BVNA)] Planning…the city can’t deny parking permits,” Tom Perkins of the BVNA said in the chat on Zoom. “This isn’t an issue we can control.”
An abutter also spoke, saying he is in favor of the project and that the Commission has “done a great job working with the developers.”
The Commissioners were supportive of the project as well, calling it a “great addition to the neighborhood.”
The BVHDC unanimously voted to approve this project “as consistent with the guidelines subject to staff review of certain aspects of exterior building materials,” Commissioner Kathleen McDermott said.