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Developer proposes 15 condos on Hancock Street in Dorchester

120 Hancock St. rendering

Rendering by Studio Luz Architects.

Urbanica of Roxbury has filed plans with the BPDA to build 15 "affordable" condos at 120-122 Hancock St., at the base of Dorchester's Jones Hill, near Howe Street.

Eight of the units would be sold to people making no more than 80% of the Boston area median income; the others would be sold to people making no more than that income level.

Twelve of the units would have two bedrooms, the remaining three would have one bedroom.

Urbanica has proposed nine parking spaces.

The design is inspired by triple decker and bow front. The hillside site presents an opportunity for a terraced building strategy that is well integrated with the landscape in terms of height, mass, and scale. There will be two new buildings on the sides of the central terrace, designed to be in proportion the many Three Decker homes on Hancock Street. The proposed buildings will present a familiar yet new face to the neighborhood and unify the streetscape along Hancock Street. The new buildings compliment the bow-front rhythms, roof lines, and character of the historic architecture of the neighborhood. In addition, the buildings will be constructed using Passive House principles, as well as strive to meet LEED Silver or Gold certifiable standards. The combination of a very high level of energy efficiency and sustainable construction strategies will keep the home affordable to live in over the long term, and continue to advance ecologically responsible development models.

The proposed new units would replace an existing three-decker and a vacant lot.

120-122 Hancock St. documents and calendar



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Inspired by the Infill Housing program, with a touch of the Post-Stalinist Soviet Skule of design.

A cool looking condo building with 100% affordable/workforce units? With no apparent connection to tax or zoning breaks on another project? In Boston?

Never thought I'd see the day, but I applaud it and hope we see more of it.


But where's the cool looking building you're talking about?


the design is more inspired than 99% of the bland boxes going up around the city.

That's setting the bar awfully low, Christin

but I stand by the "*more inspired than" statement.

Certainly applaud the affordable housing, but the notion that it will blend into the local architecture is head scratching. It looks like it belongs in Portland, Oregon, not Dorchester. That's some serious PR spin they put in that paragraph.

Do you really? I joke but all that wood at ground level will look like trash in 5 years.

I mean, the word they use is compliment, not blend. It undeniably stands out as being a conspicuously contemporary style of architecture, but it has a similar scale and shape to the neighboring buildings. It's a building that you'd look at and immediately know it's a relatively recent development, but it's an elaboration to the overall pattern of the street.

But really, it does neither. I'm so weary of wooden buildings painted grey/white/taupe, so they get points for using a color found in nature, but would it kill someone to use brick, an actual vernacular building material, occasionally?

let's build a house just like the one next door, except that it's grotesque and made out of my kid's Legos!

I looked up the BPDA filing and based on the current scale, a 2BR at 100% AMI (area median income) has a restricted sales price of $289k. A 2BR at 80% AMI is $221k maximum. That’s around half the market rate around here. It’s pretty remarkable that all the 15 units will be sold on that price scale (they are proposing 12 2BR and 3 1BR)

Considering that non-profit housing developers spend in the area $500k or more to develop the average 2BR in Dorchester nowadays, it would be interesting to know the actual cost of this project and how it is getting financed. I didn’t see any mention of that in the BPDA filing.


This was COB/DND land through the Neighborhood Homes Initiative, thus they got it probably free or cheap. Since this is such a huge part of construction cost in Boston, this is probably how they can do 100% affordable. They can chip in the subsidy on their own dime to create the affordable units since the land was minimal. That's my guess. They'll get financed. They have a great track record in Boston.

As a resident of Hancock street for the past 13 years now I can say this idea is not what me or any of any of my neighbors want. Parking is already horrible on this street and with the conservatory school right across the street from this proposed monstrosity, I can already see the nightmare in the mornings and afternoons. There's no mention of parking!! How about some actual reasonably priced "homes" with a garage?