East Boston Infill and Small Developments

BeeLine

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shmessy

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Fantastic portfolio of photos, Bee!

Meanwhile, the subject in the third picture.......that "building"at 229 whatever street???????........... I can't even begin.........
 

kmp1284

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Fantastic portfolio of photos, Bee!

Meanwhile, the subject in the third picture.......that "building"at 229 whatever street???????........... I can't even begin.........
229 Maverick. That really should have been a tear down.
 

JeffDowntown

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I wonder if anyone is keeping track of how many housing units are being added through all these small infill projects.

With the number of small projects in East Boston, South Boston, even Roxbury, these have to add up to a fair number of units!
 

JumboBuc

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LOI for 221 units at 1141 Bennington (site of the New England Casket Company, recently destroyed by fire).
Fantastic potential here for some "Ink Block" / "Assembly Row"-style condo naming that harkens back to the site's former industrial use! It can be the gothest development in town.
 

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BeeLine

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BeeLine

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JeffDowntown

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Is it my imagination or do the infill buildings in East Boston just not work as well as the infill buildings in South Boston?

Something always seems a little off, architecturally awkward, with the design choices in East Boston.
 

BeeLine

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BeeLine

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theSil

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Found this small project in Orient Heights on Twitter.

Further down in the thread there's another example of residential being added to a 1-story commercial building in Rozzie. All in all though, these types of additions seem quite rare. I'm curious what people's theories are for why this isn't more common. Are these lots usually zoned commercial only? Are many of these 1-story structures unable to support two additional floors of ballon-framed residential?

I'm sure in many cases it might be more straightforward to tear down and start from scratch, but there are many benefits to doing it this way; primarily around preserving existing small businesses and maintaining a fine grained retail streetscape. Greater Boston has so many of these 1-story commercial buildings, it'd be great to see cities incentivizing these kinds of projects.
 

Downburst

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Some of these one-story commercial buildings were once two or three-story structures with retail below and residential up top. High property tax rates in the 50s/60s/70s led to owners demolishing the upper levels to save on taxes. These single-level buildings actually do have the foundations to support "extra" levels as a result. Restoring what was lost is probably the most economical way to go about redeveloping these sites. I think the key question here is how many of the city's single-story "taxpayers" were once taller structures. Maybe it 10%, maybe it's 80%. I don't know... do any long-term residents have any input? Perhaps they are, in fact, uncommon, and that's why we don't see many of these sorts of renovations.

As for zoning: Rozzie Square and Centre Street in JP (the site of another recent 2-story addition) are zoned such that multifamily residential is allowed above the first floor. I'm willing to bet that's the case for a lot of these districts around town.
 

curcuas

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Some of these one-story commercial buildings were once two or three-story structures with retail below and residential up top. High property tax rates in the 50s/60s/70s led to owners demolishing the upper levels to save on taxes. These single-level buildings actually do have the foundations to support "extra" levels as a result. Restoring what was lost is probably the most economical way to go about redeveloping these sites. I think the key question here is how many of the city's single-story "taxpayers" were once taller structures. Maybe it 10%, maybe it's 80%. I don't know... do any long-term residents have any input? Perhaps they are, in fact, uncommon, and that's why we don't see many of these sorts of renovations.

As for zoning: Rozzie Square and Centre Street in JP (the site of another recent 2-story addition) are zoned such that multifamily residential is allowed above the first floor. I'm willing to bet that's the case for a lot of these districts around town.
A lot of the "tax payers" never were taller. They were frequently downzoned before they could grow taller and it made redevelopment uneconomical. You need ~6 stories of housing often to be worth losing the retail space while you rebuild iirc. You see this a lot in Allston-Brighton eg the one story retail next to the 6-7 story apts.
 

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