Orient Heights BHA Redevelopment | Faywood Ave/Vallar Rd/Waldemar Ave | East Boston

datadyne007

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Developer: Trinity Financial
Architect: ICON Architecture

Units: *373 proposed (replacing 331 BHA units + 42 units non-public housing)
- 194 in mid-rise buildings
- 179 in townhouses

*UPDATE 05/04/18:
NPC filed 04/26/18: http://www.bostonplans.org/getattachment/dc593539-5787-46ed-92da-c829c5beb6b7

The NPC proposes to eliminate all 42 market rate units.


The Project Change is limited to the following minor modifications:
•Elimination of 42 non-public housing units in former Phase Four of the Original Project, reducing the Revised Project to three phases (or more depending on the availability and timing of funding), and focusing on one-for-one replacement of the existing public housing units.

•The existing Community Center will now be renovated rather than newly constructed; new community space will also be provided in the Phase Two midrise building.

•Improvements to open space on the Project Site’s northwest corner bordering Waldemar Avenue will be delivered as part of Phase Two.

•Elimination of the connection of Vallar Road and Waldemar Avenue in the Project, due to cost constraints and the challenges of a large grade change between the two roadways. The Revised Project has been designed so this roadway connection could potentially be made in the future by the City of Boston.

•Reduction of some vehicle parking spaces since 42 non-public housing units were eliminated. The approximate parking space ratio from the Original Project has been maintained in the Revised Project.
Description:
1.3 PROJECT SUMMARY
The Project involves the construction of new residential buildings and hardscape ranging
from two to five stories, as well as a new community center and landscaped public areas
including a new public park. Significant roadway and connectivity improvements, including
the removal of the cul-de-sac at the end of Vallar Road, a new connection northward to
Waldemar Avenue, and the construction of on-street and off-street parking spaces, will be
made as part of the Project.
A total of 373 new housing units are proposed, replacing the existing 331 obsolete 1950sera
BHA public housing units on a one-to-one basis, with an additional 42 units of nonpublic
housing to create a revitalized mixed-income community. The Project will
accommodate 194 units in midrise buildings and 179 units in townhouses. The Project will
be constructed in multiple phases beginning in 2016 and completed by approximately
2024 depending on available financial resources and market conditions. The Proponent will
comply with the City of Boston’s Inclusionary Development Policy as applicable. See Figure
1-3, Project Site Plan.
EPNF Filed May 25, 2016: http://www.bostonredevelopmentauthority.org/getattachment/912c8b94-4f70-4b52-bac0-d354eae53500 (Warning: Large)

Renders


















05/04/18 NPC UPDATE:











 
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DigitalSciGuy

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12- to 15-min walk to Suffolk Downs Blue Line station from the farthest corners of this site. Appropriate density (373 units at full-build) and a relatively slim parking ratio for the area (106 off-street + 212 on-street = 318 total = .85 parking ratio | Page 91 of the PNF). 1:1 bike parking ratio (nice).

TDM package is meh...glad they're designing the development to be permeable to pedestrians trying to walk through the block to their preferred transit path and providing them with ample info about transit access, but they need to also secure car sharing spaces - maybe 5-10 spaces - and the city needs to start demanding this as a requirement for developments within a certain locus around transit. Transportation study was done by Nitsch Engineering, a firm that I've heard of before but doesn't appear on my radar as a particularly progressive engineering firm.

I'll complain about Hubway stations not being a thing here when we let go of our auto-topia and shut down either the Callahan or Sumner to car traffic or figure out a way to bore a persistent tunnel for bike and ped traffic to East Boston...
 
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datadyne007

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12- to 15-min walk to Suffolk Downs Blue Line station from the farthest corners of this site. Appropriate density (373 units at full-build) and a relatively slim parking ratio for the area (106 off-street + 212 on-street = 318 total = .85 parking ratio | Page 91 of the PNF). 1:1 bike parking ratio (nice).

TDM package is meh...glad they're designing the development to be permeable to pedestrians trying to walk through the block to their preferred transit path and providing them with ample info about transit access, but they need to also secure car sharing spaces - maybe 5-10 spaces - and the city needs to start demanding this as a requirement for developments within a certain locus around transit. Transportation study was done by Nitsch Engineering, a firm that I've heard of before but doesn't appear on my radar as a particularly progressive engineering firm.
Nitsch has some very brilliant, forward-thinking people who work there. I will personally vouch for that. They ultimately do what they are told to do by the owner (via the OPM), while advocating for what they feel is the best solution.
 

DigitalSciGuy

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^ Ah, gotcha. Glad to hear it. In that case, I'll blame the city for not pushing back on a missed opportunity to provide more car sharing spaces with a coordinated parking demand mitigation plan.
 

tysmith95

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A groundbreaking ceremony for the first phase of this development was held last Wednesday December 7th. I'm surprised that more of this is not mixed income. The majority of these units (373) are being built as public housing while 42 units will be market rate. That still makes it majority low income.
 

pel_north

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I am really shocked that they are just now doing this. This area is a blight on the surrounding area. I mistakenly went through this area at night when playing Pokemon GO and I was not feeling the safest.
 

Beton Brut

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A bit of history: this development was initially constructed after WWII as Veterans' Housing. Some of the initial residents were displaced from the West End. Like a lot of federally funded public housing, it rolled over to general occupancy in the 60s.

I attended elementary school (1st - 5th grade) at the Bradley, steps away, in the mid-70s. I was friends with quite a few "project kids" at the Bradley -- the only difference between us that my young mind could discern is that my family had a little more money than theirs, or that my dad was in the picture. Only later did I realize that the older siblings of my friends may have been the ones responsible for the occasional stripped and torched automobile (Pontiacs and Caddies were most popular) that turned up on the school's asphalt playground.
 

Jahvon09

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I never knew about this planned revamp!

This is probably the most obsolete housing project in Boston to date. I once helped someone move there, and it was pure hell.

No elevators no ramps or anything. In other words, these housing units have no ADA access at all, with makes them in dire need of a desperate makeover. You have to even climb up stairs to get in the buildings! :eek:
 
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odurandina

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Most people in Manhattan, Brooklyn, the Bronx, Queens, etc walk a significant distance to their subway stops. This thing is designed for 1998 not 2020. Parcels should maybe keep the same amount of parking, but go 30~50% denser (taller), and be developed over x number of years (maybe as far out as a decade) – instead of all at once.
 

BKNA

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^ Ah, gotcha. Glad to hear it. In that case, I'll blame the city for not pushing back on a missed opportunity to provide more car sharing spaces with a coordinated parking demand mitigation plan.
the City cant 'require' projects to include car sharing services because ultimately it is the decision of the private company (zipcar, enterprise, etc) whether they want to have their business operating in the location.
All article 80 Large Projects are required to work with car sharing companies as part of the TDM/mitigation, but that is as far as the City can push it.

I would expect the TAPA will include this language. However, the zipcars will be using the spaces, so it doesnt change the number of parking spaces or the ratio, just how the parking space is used.
 

JeffDowntown

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the City cant 'require' projects to include car sharing services because ultimately it is the decision of the private company (zipcar, enterprise, etc) whether they want to have their business operating in the location.
All article 80 Large Projects are required to work with car sharing companies as part of the TDM/mitigation, but that is as far as the City can push it.

I would expect the TAPA will include this language. However, the zipcars will be using the spaces, so it doesnt change the number of parking spaces or the ratio, just how the parking space is used.
San Francisco has a specific requirement for the allocation of car sharing spaces in new developments in their planning code. They don't require a car sharing operator to be contracted specifically, but the spaces can only be used for car sharing (so expensive to build if no contract results).

http://sf-planning.org/car-share-requirements-and-guidelines

I don't see why Boston could not have similar requirements for large projects.
 

commuter guy

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If the goal of the these public housing retrofits is to blend in better with the surrounding neighborhood in an attempt to decrease the stigma of living in what looks to be "public housing" i'd say the town home portion of this project fails. I think the average resident will recognize this project as separate and distinct from the surrounding neighborhood now and in the future.
 

estyle

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If the goal of the these public housing retrofits is to blend in better with the surrounding neighborhood in an attempt to decrease the stigma of living in what looks to be "public housing" i'd say the town home portion of this project fails. I think the average resident will recognize this project as separate and distinct from the surrounding neighborhood now and in the future.
It's a nice looking project (in the sense of something being built, not in the sense of a public housing project) but these days whenever I see something this low density I know I am looking at subsidized housing. In Boston all developers seem to be building to maximize the amount of building on the site both in width and height.
 

DominusNovus

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It's a nice looking project (in the sense of something being built, not in the sense of a public housing project) but these days whenever I see something this low density I know I am looking at subsidized housing. In Boston all developers seem to be building to maximize the amount of building on the site both in width and height.
There’s something to be said for the market forces there, encouraging developers.
 

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