Old YWCA Building in Back Bay Proposed to Become Affordable Housing

The historic, 13-story Back Bay building owned by YW Boston (formerly YWCA Boston) at the corner of Clarendon and Stuart streets is now proposed for redevelopment into 210 affordable housing units, which, many believe, could go a long way towards creating additional, much-needed lower-cost living spaces in that neighborhood.

Beacon Communities has proposed the rehabilitation of approximately 50,000 square feet comprising the existing Hotel 140 and 118 apartments into affordable housing, which will be operated in partnership with the Pine Street Inn. Two of the existing tenants, the Lyric Stage Company of Boston, a nonprofit performing arts center, and the Snowden International School, will also stay on as part of the redevelopment plan, and no changes are planned to the building’s exterior.

Of the project, State Rep. Jay Livingstone said, “It’s a great idea to bring long-term affordable housing to the neighborhood, and I look forward to the public process.”

Elliott Laffer, chair of the Neighborhood Association of the Back Bay, is also encouraged by the plan.

“It’s an excellent opportunity to get us get deeply affordable housing in neighborhood to help address that sort of issue,” said Laffer said, who added that he expects the Article 80 process for the project would run smoothly as well.

The Boston Planning and Development Agency was scheduled to hold an Impact Advisory Group and Public Meeting virtually on the project Jan. 13; read next week’s Sun for more in-depth coverage.

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