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Developers plan Allston building for roommate housing

Two developers have told the BPDA they will soon file plans for a six-story "co-living" building where most of the units have four bedrooms - and at least two bathrooms.

The proposed building on a roughly 3/4-acre site at 500-510 Lincoln St. would replace a parking lot just a short walk across a pedestrian bridge from the student-heavy GAP area on the other side of the turnpike.

Boylston Properties and ARX Urban say 65 of the units would have four bedrooms - split between units with two and three bathrooms. Another five units would have three bedrooms and two bathrooms, while people who want to go it alone could apply for one of the 10 studios.

The building would also have "residential amenity space" and "dedicated, flexible community space" as well as a 30-space parking lot, a rental car available just to tenants and a storage area for 120 bicycles.

Allston Co-Op Living letter of intent (542k PDF).

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And without financial aid, presumably

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Voting closed 11

we (nationwide) are seeing a huge jump in demand for these privately-run dormitories are international students. International students are only allowed to leave the country for 2 weeks a year and must remain in the US, but college dorms run only on the school calendar. They open in September, lock students out for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Spring Break so students have to make alternate housing arrangements, then close in May. Students who stay the summer often have to move three times: once out of their regular dorm into gap housing between end of Spring semester and the start of Summer semester, then out of their gap housing into their Summer semester housing, and then out again into their fall housing.

This was a huge inconvenience to my international friends back when I was in college, before the recession, and the number of international students has skyrocketed since. Most international students moved off campus as soon as the housing policy would allow: private dorms just give them more "traditional" options instead of fighting it out on the regular apartment market.

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Voting closed 18

Not familiar with this rule - but a one time leave of 2 weeks sounds a bit extreme. Did find this:

Unexpired F-1 visa valid for further entries: You should always be aware of the expiration date and the number of entries allowed on your visa. Most visas have “M” written under entries. This means that there is no limit on the number of entries for which you can use your visa. If your visa is expired or you have already used the number of entries you are allowed, you will need to apply for a new F-1 visa in order to re-enter the U.S. See the section Obtaining a New F-1 Visa for more details. An exception to this requirement exists for travel to certain countries.

Are you talking about a different type of visa or perhaps students from those excepted countries?

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Went to the open house that Arx through because I was curious about the potential for this to be dorm-y. They said they will have specific lease provisions against student renters and that these won't be geared to students, but instead to single professionals.

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Voting closed 9

This is a modern play on the old concept of the rooming house. Back in the day rooming houses were not just for very poor down and out people. They were viable options for single people looking for affordable places to live and you could find them al over the place. The concept was the person wanted someplace comfortable to live but did not have a lot of things or need for personal space outside of their bedrooms and maybe bathroom.

They fell out of fashion as housing became less expensive, especially in the city. When you could rent a place for pretty cheap , why have room mates?

Fast forward several years and now people are living in triple deckers, 4 room mates to a 3 bedroom unit, turning the living room into a bedroom. People are crammed , using one bathroom per group and they are still paying upwards to 1k a piece. Which then prices out families and couples who can not compete.

So these units , if enough get built over time, can absorb many of those renters. Which is a great benefit to many. It would help alleviate the housing situation we have now , that segment would get housing customized to their living needs and maybe instead of stuffing families into affordable complexes we can get them back into those small triple deckers, duplexes etc with yards .

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Voting closed 46

Many people are living in two- and three-family houses because they prefer them to a building, whether new or old. They want light and outdoor space, and to live in a less dense area. The houses usually have some character, the new apartment buildings are sterile.

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I know someone who lived in an actual rooming house in South Boston. It had a sink but no bathroom -- there was a shared bath in the hallway. This could never get built today, but it was grandfathered, and it provided very low cost housing for the people who were interested in it.

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In order to have rooming houses thrive once again certain regulations would have to be changed.
This interesting article on the demise of rooming houses and the increase in homelessness in Boston is very informative about the issue. https://www.spoa.com/pages/homeless1.html

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