Riverside Station development

DAVE

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This just kind of feels like a large urban gated mall community. The gate is more a side effect of it being surrounded by a highway, a golf course, a river, and train track on all four sides. Some of the scale seems off for a riverside TOD but for the most part there seems to be some decent housing style options.

I don't necessarily like the shopping mall with housing on top model that this seems to be following though (e.g. Assembly Row). I definitely support mixed use neighborhoods but it seems commercialization is a larger priority in these examples than actual neighborhood creation.
 

kingofsheeba

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Do you get red flags from Assembly or Bethesda?
Honestly? Yes...

Overpriced pop-up neighborhoods with no aesthetics that reflect the nearby communities. I've been to Assembly Row and I was amazed at how gentrified and plastic that neighborhood is. Bro central and it was honestly like 128 minus the office park.
 

JumboBuc

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Honestly? Yes...

Overpriced pop-up neighborhoods with no aesthetics that reflect the nearby communities. I've been to Assembly Row and I was amazed at how gentrified and plastic that neighborhood is. Bro central and it was honestly like 128 minus the office park.
How can a built-from-scratch neighborhood be "gentrified"? Would you consider the filling in and construction of the Back Bay in the 19th century to be an example of "gentrification"?

And what, exactly, is "128 minus the office park"? I honestly don't know what that's supposed to mean...
 

found5dollar

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Is this boring? Oh God Yes.

It is likely the best chance at developing and best uses for the land. I would likely say yes.
 

HalcyonEra

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Honestly? Yes...

Overpriced pop-up neighborhoods with no aesthetics that reflect the nearby communities. I've been to Assembly Row and I was amazed at how gentrified and plastic that neighborhood is. Bro central and it was honestly like 128 minus the office park.
Would you prefer triple deckers with townies sitting on the stoop drinking bud lights and cat calling the women passing by?
 

statler

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I feel as though maybe there are more than those two bad options?
 

Equilibria

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I feel as though maybe there are more than those two bad options?
If you want development here, you need density. The neighborhoods on either side don't have density, so this is going to look out-of-place no matter how they'd designed it. As someone who grew up there, I wouldn't have wanted contextual commercial (see Comm Ave in Auburndale) or contextual residential (somehow splitting the parking lot into a street of new mcmansions).

Assembly has the issue of context because it's adjacent to the already dense East Somerville, and because it's big enough to imagine a universe where it was simply gridded out and developed as triple-deckers. Same with Cambridge Crossing and East Cambridge. That doesn't really apply at Riverside. Your options are something like this, something like the prior proposal (multi-facade 21st century anonymous), a non-mixed-use development like Woodland, or a parking lot.

Of those choices, this is the best. It's too big, but a lot of that can be resolved by simply removing the towers, as I suspect Korff plans to do from the outset. That pulls down the square footage and the building height (two of the three biggest neighborhood talking points with traffic) at a stroke.
 

jklo

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Is this boring? Oh God Yes.
If anything, this should spice up the area a bit if they manage to get a restaurant or two. It's pretty much 800k+ SFH as it is outside of that small apartment complex across the street from Riverside Center.
 

kingofsheeba

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How can a built-from-scratch neighborhood be "gentrified"? Would you consider the filling in and construction of the Back Bay in the 19th century to be an example of "gentrification"?

And what, exactly, is "128 minus the office park"? I honestly don't know what that's supposed to mean...
Why not? Worked then and it can work now. Ascetics.

Like I said. 128 minus the office park. This is Legacy Place, 3rd Ave Burlington 2.0. The infrastructure isn't meant to sustain such an unimaginative project. Residential, high end retail, King's Bowling, Davios, Bass Pro Shops. Lather, Rinse, Repeat.

And whoever said that I want to go back to triple deckers with M@$$holes drinking Miller Lite on the street corner is spouting pure hyperbole. That's not what I meant at all. You know that.
 

JumboBuc

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Why not? Worked then and it can work now. Ascetics.
So the Back Bay's construction is to be considered an example of "gentrification" to you? Okay, that's an -- uh -- interesting take...

Like I said. 128 minus the office park. This is Legacy Place, 3rd Ave Burlington 2.0. The infrastructure isn't meant to sustain such an unimaginative project. Residential, high end retail, King's Bowling, Davios, Bass Pro Shops. Lather, Rinse, Repeat.
Assembly Row doesn't have high end retail. Assembly Row doesn't have a King's Bowling. Assembly Row doesn't have a Davios. Assembly Row doesn't have a Bass Pro Shops. Assembly Row does have residential, to be fair.

So again, how is Assembly Row "128 minus the office park"? I honestly don't follow.

And as far as I can tell none of these things -- except the residential -- is approved for Riverside (which, btw, is literally on 128).

And whoever said that I want to go back to triple deckers with M@$$holes drinking Miller Lite on the street corner is spouting pure hyperbole. That's not what I meant at all. You know that.
I really don't know what you mean.

This is the context around Riverside. How is that better than what is proposed.
 

kingofsheeba

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So the Back Bay's construction is to be considered an example of "gentrification" to you? Okay, that's an -- uh -- interesting take...



Assembly Row doesn't have high end retail. Assembly Row doesn't have a King's Bowling. Assembly Row doesn't have a Davios. Assembly Row doesn't have a Bass Pro Shops. Assembly Row does have residential, to be fair.

So again, how is Assembly Row "128 minus the office park"? I honestly don't follow.

And as far as I can tell none of these things -- except the residential -- is approved for Riverside (which, btw, is literally on 128).



I really don't know what you mean.

This is the context around Riverside. How is that better than what is proposed.
Sorry I was referring to HalcyonEra in regards to the triple decker comment.

Anyways, back to your points.

1). I'm not sure I follow your Back Bay analogy. BB has always been one of the wealthiest neighborhoods to live in from the time Boston was built. What's different now than in the late 1800's?

2). Swinging for the fences on Assembly Row. Does it have to be those specific chains? Nope. But there are those types of shoppes going in Assembly Row. Overpriced, flashy, overrated outdoor patio decks and lounges. It's the same concept. No concept of community fabric. A massive failure of long-term neighborhood planning.

3). Legacy Place is right on 128. 3rd Ave in Burlington is on 128. They all have high end retail. Catering to a more upscale demographic. And I left out Wakefield and Westwood Station. The only thing that stands out from the rest of the pop-up developments along 128 is that the T station is already there.

I'm not saying that there isn't a market for these types of neighborhoods but in terms of building a neighborhood with character, I'm a bit skittish on the details. I don't live in Newton but if I did, then I'd demand that the project include a neighborhood school. Public or charter would do just fine (though I would prefer a public school).
 

jklo

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I still feel like this needs more housing and less office.

2). Swinging for the fences on Assembly Row. Does it have to be those specific chains? Nope. But there are those types of shoppes going in Assembly Row. Overpriced, flashy, overrated outdoor patio decks and lounges. It's the same concept. No concept of community fabric. A massive failure of long-term neighborhood planning.
That's what people who allegedly make enough to be able to afford 700k+ townhomes like though.

I'm not saying that there isn't a market for these types of neighborhoods but in terms of building a neighborhood with character, I'm a bit skittish on the details. I don't live in Newton but if I did, then I'd demand that the project include a neighborhood school. Public or charter would do just fine (though I would prefer a public school).
There is a school already, literally on Grove right down the street.
 

Equilibria

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There is a school already, literally on Grove right down the street.
What's needed here is not a school, but money to renovate/expand the existing school. They should have tried to milk this development to expand Angier, but both that developer and that project have come and gone.

Now on Needham Street... that one should have a school.
 

shmessy

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Is this boring? Oh God Yes.

It is likely the best chance at developing and best uses for the land. I would likely say yes.
Exactly.

I'm trying to figure out the "ambiance" Dave and kingofsheeba are looking for in this location.

It's freaking Route 128, not Newbury Street, people.
 

shmessy

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Why not? Worked then and it can work now. Ascetics.

Like I said. 128 minus the office park. This is Legacy Place, 3rd Ave Burlington 2.0. The infrastructure isn't meant to sustain such an unimaginative project. Residential, high end retail, King's Bowling, Davios, Bass Pro Shops. Lather, Rinse, Repeat.
I know in that quote you were talking about Assembly (which I like in its own right), but THIS IS freaking Rte 128.

Here's a news flash for ya. It ain't Harvard Square. Rte 128 happens to WORK for what it does. The goal is for it to be the best Rte 128 it can be.

I'm finding this hilarious.

.
 

statler

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ArchBoston in the Planning Newbury St thread in the 19th century:

It's a freakin' filled swamp, not Beacon St, people.
 

shmessy

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ArchBoston in the Planning Newbury St thread in the 19th century:
Failed analogy.

Automobiles/highways weren't part of that equation that differentiated areas then.

Might as well snark about the Parthenon.
 

shmessy

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What's needed here is not a school, but money to renovate/expand the existing school. They should have tried to milk this development to expand Angier, but both that developer and that project have come and gone.

Now on Needham Street... that one should have a school.
Bingo. Expand the existing schools there - - much more efficient budgeting than building new from the ground up.

And Needham Street? Textbook example of bad zoning decisions compounded every few years without end.
 

Equilibria

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And Needham Street? Textbook example of bad zoning decisions compounded every few years without end.
True, but not entirely relevant to that project, which is seeking special zoning relief. They have two big problems, neither of which Northland is solving: lack of bail points on the Needham Street chute (connect Tower Road to Chestnut St. to help) and overcrowding at Countryside School (build a school at the Northland site to solve).

FWIW, I'm not really seeing the aesthetic objections to this design. It's a big step up from Normandy's proposal, which would have looked like a billion other four-on-one apartment buildings around. Kitchy, yes, but not unattractive. I also sincerely doubt that this will have a Bass Pro Shop - it's mostly office, hotel, and residential. Retail will likely be limited to a couple restaurants, a cafe, and a bank. Maybe a doctor/dentist or law office. All things (except for the bank) that increase vitality.
 

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