8-10 Waldo Street | Coolidge Corner | Brookline

curcuas

Active Member
Joined
Feb 11, 2015
Messages
531
Reaction score
319
Brookline has a density of ~8k for a simple reason. About half of the land is north of rt 9 with a density similar to that of JP or Fenway, let's call it 15-20k. South of rt 9 it's nearly all suburban with numerous estates. Density is about 2k. Taking the average gives you about the right answer. It's rather strange how it all works out.

That said, 40B is designed for towns like Brookline. If they won't zone for growth, then they'll get proposals like this.
 

FK4

Senior Member
Joined
Nov 13, 2012
Messages
2,550
Reaction score
222
^yes except chestnut hill realty has managed to purchase then close units that were affordable, clearly intending to lower the threshold for 40b so they could bypass local rules, not to help increase affordable housing but just to turn a profit. The deviousness of that is disgusting.
 

393b40

Senior Member
Joined
Sep 19, 2012
Messages
1,891
Reaction score
751
^yes except chestnut hill realty has managed to purchase then close units that were affordable, clearly intending to lower the threshold for 40b so they could bypass local rules, not to help increase affordable housing but just to turn a profit. The deviousness of that is disgusting.
It's a shrewd move. if the town doesn't want to play ball then this is the kind of thing that will happen.
 

FK4

Senior Member
Joined
Nov 13, 2012
Messages
2,550
Reaction score
222
It's a shrewd move. if the town doesn't want to play ball then this is the kind of thing that will happen.
What the hell do you mean "play ball"? The town HAD the quota. The company fucked it up for their financial gains. Trumps methods of winning the election were "shrewd" too if you value below-the-belt maneuvers to allow your schadenfreude-driven grudges to come to fruition.

It doesn't matter because this will never be built. Most likely, nothing will be built here. At the most underhanded, they'll make it a historic district to prevent it, and despite trampling on just principle, id be fine with that.
 

masswich

New member
Joined
Mar 25, 2013
Messages
18
Reaction score
0
^yes except chestnut hill realty has managed to purchase then close units that were affordable, clearly intending to lower the threshold for 40b so they could bypass local rules, not to help increase affordable housing but just to turn a profit. The deviousness of that is disgusting.
I am not sure that is true. CHR did buy Hancock Village but none of its units qualified for the 40B inventory because they did not have deed restrictions on them and had not come in as part of a 40B. They did propose a 40B on that site that was actually fairly well designed. The Town fought them tooth and nail and have now settled with them on a slightly smaller project that has far fewer 40B qualified units in it.

The 40B percentage in Brookline is going down for one simple reason- lots of market-rate units lowering the percentage. Their inclusionary zoning is good but doesn't keep pace.

The basic problem is that Brookline as a community is unable to come up with a comprehensive strategy to meet the state requirements of 40B. They are trying to develop such a plan now but it may be too late.

I am not a big fan of this particular proposal but it will clearly be designed in more detail and reduced in size as part of the Town's extensive review process.
 

FK4

Senior Member
Joined
Nov 13, 2012
Messages
2,550
Reaction score
222
Well said. I'll have to look back at where I got that information.
 

ErnieAdams

Active Member
Joined
Nov 16, 2011
Messages
280
Reaction score
132
This is still a live proposal, and quite a few changes have been made since this thread was last live. Equilibria's top link above includes some summary data on the proposal as of December '18: one 12-story, 146-unit apartment building on the corner of Pleasant and John, and one 10-story, 210-room hotel that would sit parallel to and behind the wraparound block from Waldo St. to Harvard St. Current parking proposal is down to 255, further down from the 333 that was quoted higher in this thread. Their breakdown includes 74 spaces for the hotel guests (seems low) and 158 for the residents (still seems way high, but I get it, the rents won't be cheap and it's a harder sell at that price with no parking).

For the design as of October '18, check out the video tour that I'm putting on the bottom of this post because the embed is messing with my text for some reason.

My impression: Clearly C7 got the message that this project needed to be de-128ed, and they did that while doing about half a good job with the new buildings they are proposing. I think the hotel is quite handsome and that the residential does its damnedest to overwhelm the hotel's concise design by being a garden variety asymmetrical neo-fatass. It's mystifying to me that they could be so careful with one building and so seemingly lazy with the other, more prominent one. Sorry, I know it's 2019 and all, but nothing for a thousand feet in any direction has these tired post-trend alternate window misalignments on them, and eventually we're going to stop building them like that so why not stop now? Also, when did "context" simply become shorthand for "brick over there, brick-like color and material over here"? In immediate hindsight I'm glad I didn't write any of these sentences in all caps, but I sure felt like it. Rant over, on to better things.

The latest floor plans have been posted here:

https://www.brooklinema.gov/DocumentCenter/View/18466/Waldo-Res-1st-Floor-Plans_2019-01-18

Ending on a high note, I'm particularly impressed by two things: actually including three ground-floor residential units in a building of this size, and the idea in the floorplans to punch a hole in the back wall of Booksmith to provide direct access between the lobby and the bookstore. On that second point, what a really savvy way to make the hotel feel like it's a part of the neighborhood, by literally linking it to one of the neighborhood's iconic businesses. I've always thought Booksmith is perfect the way it is and didn't need to carve out any of its own space for a cafe, especially with so many choices already in the neighborhood, but something like this feels like a true win-win.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nBgmATe5U2E
 

FK4

Senior Member
Joined
Nov 13, 2012
Messages
2,550
Reaction score
222
Excellent rant, and replete with details. My initial reaction is,

1. I didn’t know tearing down that whole garage was part of the plan here. I like those little shops, and hate the fact that they have to tear this thing down.

2. I still really hate the idea of anything tall towering over the commercial strip on Harvard in such close proximity. A tower on the west side ( in the parking lot the town has always threatened to redevelop) would be ok. Somehow this location just wouldn’t. I grew up in Brookline and love Coolidge Corner, and honestly i don’t think anything this developer could do would make me feel ok about the tower abutting the shops. I could live with the garage loss, in the end... but not this. It feels like the tower with the garage entrance prooposed on Worthington St. Wrong place.
 

odurandina

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 1, 2015
Messages
5,328
Reaction score
261
i don't know anything about a so-called tower. But it seems something Rt 128ish, detached from the surroundings and history.... includes a video never getting to the point of showing what the street wall, interaction w/ people, possible retail component might be, or the massing (a box), or providing an impression of what the finished project looks like. It's more like a labyrinth that mated with a sidewalk, and gave birth.

So sad, they can't build something with a sleek, attractive, high a/r component a mid-rise podium.... mixing in recessed height instead of an unattractive box. It's hard not to think Architecture in Brookline died in the early 1900's.
 

Czervik.Construction

Senior Member
Joined
Apr 15, 2013
Messages
1,618
Reaction score
419
Watched the video and seems like a big development for this part of Brookline. Nice addition to my favorite corner of town.

Are the locals flipping out or are they ok with it. It seems like ErnieAdams lives in the area.
 

ErnieAdams

Active Member
Joined
Nov 16, 2011
Messages
280
Reaction score
132
^By way of a little further background/refresher, the original proposal was a 40B for a 21-story all-glass tower and more than 300 units (and no hotel component). If I understand everything correctly, the town pulled the emergency brake on that one, begged the state for a one-year moratorium on further 40B proposals -- there were something like a dozen queued up by then, with half of them a five-minute walk to this site -- and then put a special zoning committee together and asked Chestnut Hill Realty what they would put here if they could build something upzoned at market rate (with standard 15% affordability built in).

So more meetings are coming up -- seeing an email in my inbox was what prompted my post -- and I think we'll have a better sense of what Brookline thinks very soon. My guess is they'll be mostly relieved to say goodbye to the former proposal, but concerned about the size and design of the residential building and about what this will do to traffic at that Pleasant/Beacon intersection and the rest of Coolidge Corner. In my experience, the yard-and-driveway set in town are the ones who always tend to be the most vocal opponents of new development, but there are very few yards and driveways in the immediate vicinity of this project, so I think there's hope for it.

ETA: FK4, the one angle I wish they showed in that video was the one from Harvard Street. The hotel building scales down on that side and only goes to 10 stories on the side facing Beacon, so I'm not sure if it will actually be that impactful to Harvard Street. But because they didn't show the angle, it's legitimate to worry that they're hiding the ball.
 
Last edited:

Czervik.Construction

Senior Member
Joined
Apr 15, 2013
Messages
1,618
Reaction score
419
Thanks for the context. I normally roll my eyes at the alarm bells around traffic impact from new developments, but there are a lot of small, narrow streets back there, so in this case, I think they are right to be concerned.
 

ErnieAdams

Active Member
Joined
Nov 16, 2011
Messages
280
Reaction score
132
A zoning overlay district for the mixed-use approach to this project (in favor of the 40B option) was approved by Brookline town meeting last night. This doesn't mean the project is permitted, but that CHR will be working towards the permitting and construction of the hotel-and-residential project and setting aside the 40B approach. 11 affordable units at the 80% income limit will be included in the project out of the 143 total units, and CHR will pay a negotiated $3.275m to the town's affordable housing trust with the goal of funding another 10 units offsite. Patch has the full set of town meeting warrant articles (link), wherein you will also learn that when the development team heads to Town Hall to pull its permits, it will also be able to score free feminine hygeine products in each public restroom. Just Brookline being Brookline!
 

Top