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Developer unwraps plans for pair of 'playful' residential buildings along Cambridge Street in Allston

Architect's rendering of proposed 449 Cambridge St. building

Proposed view from Cambridge Street and Emery Road.

A developer best known for converting old commercial buildings off major highways into new office space has filed plans to make Cambridge Street in Allston more fun, at least architecturally, via two buildings with 166 new condos.

Anchor Line Partners wants to replace auto-repair garages and parking lots off Cambridge Street and Emery Road with a seven-story building on Cambridge Street with 127 condos and a six-story building on Emery Road with 39 units. The larger building would also have 2,400 square feet of commercial space on the ground floor, as well as 80 parking spaces for the two buildings.

The proposed Project will replace the current auto-centric uses with new residential buildings that are designed to introduce activity and scale in a playful fashion that is complementary to the diverse and eclectic Allston neighborhood. Along Cambridge Street, the ground floor will be highly transparent, and will include new ground floor retail space to activate this portion of the street. The streetscape will be improved with broad sidewalks and new street trees and plantings.

Anchor Line says the playfulness will come specifically from "an outdoor amenity space on the second-floor [that] overlooks Rugg Road and colorful exterior balconies [that] are carved from the building massing."

The filing adds:

The smaller parcel on Emery Road is designed as a "younger sibling" to the larger building on Cambridge Street. This building employs a similarly playful approach to massing that incorporates carved out balconies, and will feature a concave façade that elegantly follows the curved shape of the road. Being on less active street, this building does not include retail space, but rather a discreet lobby entry, ground level apartments, and both shared and private outdoor spaces on the ground floor.

The proposed Emery Road building:

Proposed Emery Road building

Anchor Line hopes to begin 15 months of construction this coming spring.

In addition to the BPDA, the buildings will also need the approval of the Zoning Board of Appeal.

449 Cambridge St. project-notification form (16.6M PDF).

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Comments

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Nothing says "playful" and "eclectic" like condos in what was, until probably five years ago, ground zero for Boston punk and hardcore.

It would be nice if even just one of these new buildings would design their ground floor retail space to be suitable for a dive bar, tattoo parlor, music store... or really anything other than a Caffe Nero.

More housing we can't afford.
At least we can, uh, play with it, or whatever.

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