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Empty and 'distressed' five-unit building on Chestnut Hill Avenue could be replaced by newer, larger residential building

81 Chestnut Hill Ave. rendering

Rendering by architect with fascination for circling vultures.

A developer has proposed replacing a vacant five-unit building at 81 Chestnut Hill Ave., at William Jackson Avenue, with a 15-unit residential building.

Two of the units in the building would be marketed as affordable; the building would have 17 parking spaces, according to the filing by a Newton developer to the BPDA.

The new four-story building would replace what was originally a two-family house built in 1969.

The building will be architecturally designed to compliment the neighborhood’s architectural character, landscape, and site, with vehicular and pedestrian access improvements to assure proper public safety and contextual appropriateness.

81 Chestnut Hill Ave. small-project review application (7.8M PDF).


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These new residential buldins all look the same and have the same colors.

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Many hawks frequent this small hill during the migration seasons. Do you think a project this large and long will disrupt them?

Brighton has a lot of cars and through traffic but it also has many small hills and green spaces hidden throughout. These provide important habitat for birds and their prey.

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If their prey are the rodents that live in the current property, They probably won't be back once construction starts.

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Pretty sure hawks primarily frequent the sizable preserved parks/open space further up the hill, and not the handful of trees on the back edge of this property.

While this is an absurd concern anyway, based on the landscaping proposed in the PDF, the end result will probably have more and more varied habitat for birds/prey than the current property does anyway.

Hawks don't mind urban environments anyway, which is why you often see them perched on tall buildings and why there's plenty of large populations even in far more densely developed areas like parts of NYC.


This property is currently an ugly waste of space, home primarily to a big, empty, poorly maintained lawn, asphalt, and an obviously dilapidated house, with a few trees on the back edge.

Given the other large apartment buildings nearby and the location fronting a main road, it seems like a perfectly reasonable development.

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