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Developer proposes 80 small studio apartments on Dorchester Avenue on the line between Fields and Glovers Corners

Rendering of proposed 1320 Dorchester Ave.

Rendering by Choo & Co.

Developer Robert Raimondi today filed plans with the BPDA to replace a small commercial building and a parking lot at 1320 Dorchester Ave., at Ellsworth Street, with a six-story building with 80 studio apartments.

The units would be built under a city "compact living" pilot, which allows for units smaller than normally required. In this case, this means all the studios would be smaller than the 450 square feet that is normally the smallest allowed by Boston zoning.

Ten of the apartments would be rented as affordable.

The plans show a rooftop deck as an "amenitiy" the developer is required to provide in exchange for getting to build more units than usual. The plans have indoor spaces marked off as additional "amenity" space, but do not specify exactly what they would be outfitted for.

The plans show a total of six parking spaces. Raimondi says the building is four-tenths of a mile from the Fields Corner Red Line stop, which, under the compact-living pilot, allows a developer to build fewer spaces.

1320 Dorchester Ave. filings and calendar.


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How do you apply for a unit?

Voting closed 12

If it ends up getting built (a number of such projects along Dot Ave haven't moved past the early planning stage), it is at least two years from being completed. Likely more.

For the market rate units, there is usually a big advertising banner on the building as it gets near completion. For the affordable units, the application for the lottery is usually advertised ahead of time in the local community papers (Dorchester Reporter, Bay State Banner).

The link to the BPDA page in the article above mentions a public meeting on May 20th but there is no additional information about that meeting, such as time or how to join. I just emailed the listed BPDA contact for the project to let them know. It will probably get updated soon.

Voting closed 16

Only 10 units will be “affordable”? Not sure how this will help our housing crisis and end homelessness. If developers are going to be allowed to cram people into tiny units they should have to increase how many units are “affordable”.

Voting closed 19

Ten will be subsidized, reserved for people under a certain income, with the rent set to a percentage of what they make. The rest would be pretty cheap compared to other new construction, but rented at market rates. The market rate units help pay for the subsidized ones.

If you increase the percentage of requires subsidized units too much, then the project can't get financed. It's a tricky balance. Some people actually advocate for higher percentages in order to stop anything from getting built at all! (If they already own property, especially investment properties, bblblocking competitors is a great way to booat profits! )

Voting closed 31

market rate component is not used as a subsidy and is underwritten separately from the affordable piece.

Voting closed 8

Not a direct subsidy, no. But the market rate portion of the building is what makes the whole thing financially viable.

Voting closed 19

Sorry that's not true. They are underwritten separately. Tax credits are awarded depending on the % income and number of units. These are sold for equity which allows for a smaller mortgage and in turn allows reduced rents to pay for it. The affordable piece does not lose money. If it did it would never be allocated tax credits in the first place considering there is a 15 year compliance period and the market rate piece is free to do whatever.

Voting closed 9

We'll leave the light on for you ! ....at Motel 6.

the rooms are about the size of hotel rooms with little access to light.

Voting closed 9

I used to have a 320 sq foot studio and it was absolutely perfect for me. Easy to clean. Private, no roommate. Near transit and my job and fun stuff to do. People should be allowed to choose a small apartment if it works for them. If they'd rather have three roommates or commute from New Hampshire, we don't stop them. Why should we block people from having this choice?

Voting closed 53

...seeing the necessity of your view on this. Housing is needed and yet not totally agreeing on what constitutes quality or enough quality.

The minimum standard is changing and we should be alert to that. That standard was created to solve problems in the past that must have been noticeably diminishing quality of life. We're letting access to, or a shortage of housing change that standard. Do low-wages play into this - absolutely, and it would be appropriate to fix that also.

Glad your experience was positive in the 320 and that may draw a new standard. The subject proposal here, for some units, doesn't appear to provide good access to natural light in the winter and seem quite exposed to public areas to diminish privacy.

A dumb number, like 400 sf may bring with it the other standards, like greater access to natural light that a zoning official might miss.

Voting closed 15

Dorchester has very few one bedrooms or studios. It is cheaper than many neighborhoods per square foot. Single people are renting rooms in larger apartments or sharing them with friends. This takes apartments away from families. Bringing 80 studios on the market will provide some relief to the local housing pressure.

Voting closed 33

The subject proposal here, for some units, doesn't appear to provide good access to natural light in the winter and seem quite exposed to public areas to diminish privacy.

If it doesn't work for you, then don't live there. No one's going to push you into one. Heck, as far as natural light, you could say the same for most basement apartments - should we go back and make those illegal?

Voting closed 19

Three of them actually.

One is called the light bulb.

One is called "curtains" or "drapes".

Another is called a shade or blind.

They come in quite the variety to suit the needs of city dwellers everywhere.

As for this:
"That standard was created to solve problems in the past that must have been noticeably diminishing quality of life. "

Some people said very similar things to justify redlining. But we all know the real reasons they won't say out loud - $$$$$$$$$$$$$$

Voting closed 12

The proposed 1320 Dot Ave units starts at around 360 sqft.

How small is it? It's all relative. For reference, less than a mile away Umass Boston recently completed some dorms where up to 4 unrelated young adults may share a space of the same size for sleep and study.

And again nobody will force anybody to live in one of these; the market will decide what it's worth. And if we are going to address traffic, environmental and hopefully some affordability issues, this is a much better proposal than building a $4 million "LEED Platinum", 3-car garage single-family in Weston on a piece of land that's three times as large.



Voting closed 26

The streetview of that area is deceptive in the available parking. Between the health center and the bar next door there is often a scramble for parking at peak times. Then add in six spots for 80 units and the removal of a parking lot currently housing a bunch of cars and you end up with a possible mess.

I understand not having one spot for every unit but this is one spot for every 13.3 units! I mean yeah I get it is near a train station but it is not right on top of a train station. Fields Corner is still a good ten to fifteen minute walk away. I do not believe that a bus even goes by this spot?

Voting closed 7

By the time this is built, Blend won't be using all of its parking for outdoor dining. The area is already 2 hour parking so the new residents won't be able to park on Dorchester Ave. The scramble is a boon for the local businesses.

Frankly the suspension of the 18 bus is a crime. It serves several apartment buildings with elderly people that can't hike to the bus. There is no way this can go on with the new buildings coming to the area.

Voting closed 21

this isn't a building you want to live in if you need a car and you need to be able to park it right outside the building. Which is fine - not every building needs to be built to accommodate everyone's transportation preferences.

Voting closed 23