Washington St. project gets bigger

(Courtesy illustration) A drawing of the proposed development at Washington and McBride streets.

STONYBROOK—The plan for a mixed-use development at the corner of Washington and McBride streets just got bigger, boosting its condo component from 30 to 42 units.

The design team increased the number of housing units after changing the configuration of housing from several smaller buildings to one larger building.

“Doing it as one building allows us to put an elevator in,” which was a neighborhood concern, said Harry Collings, part of the development team. “It would help with the noise” from passing trains and make it a “greener building,” he said.

A small team of developers—New Boston Ventures and SSG Development—is planning to develop retail space, a self-storage facility and condos on the space currently occupied by the Flanagan & Seaton Motor Car Company at 3529 Washington St.

The used car dealership has sat on that corner for decades.

An updated plan filed with the Boston Redevelopment Authority (BRA) last month for the 3.39-acre site also includes a four-story, 130,000-square-foot storage facility and 28,000 square feet of retail space along with landscaped open space for the retailers and local residents. SSG Development and New Boston Ventures also hope to include car-sharing spaces, a bike share site and charging stations for electric cars on the site.

The two-story retail building would be located at the corner of Washington and McBride streets and would include an outdoor seating area. A surface parking lot with approximately 74 spaces is planned for commercial use. It would be accessible from McBride and Burnett streets.

The housing component of the development would sit on the western side of the lot, along Burnett Street, away from Washington Street traffic, in two triple-decker houses and one apartment building with a partially-underground, 36-space residential garage.

Developers first presented the project at an April Stonybrook Neighborhood Association (SNA) meeting, when sufficient surface parking was mentioned as a concern.

“We made a couple a good changes based on community process,” Collings said.

Because of community input, the apartment building would also include an elevator, allowing handicapped and elderly residents to remain in the neighborhood, another concern voiced at the April SNA presentation. Six of the 42 units would also be “affordable” units for first-time buyers.

The storage facility would be a shorter building than a standard four-story and would sit along McBride Street. It is also planned to include hanging plantings along walls facing residential areas.

The Impact Advisory Group (IAG) for the project, meanwhile, has not met since its first, unpublicized meeting on July 13. It also has no upcoming scheduled meetings, BRA Project Manager John Fitzgerald told the Gazette.

The 11 members of the IAG were nominated by residents and elected officials and appointed by BRA Director Peter Meade. Their role is to advise the BRA on the project’s expected impact and any mitigation measures deemed necessary.

They are invited to attend a scoping session with city agencies on Sept. 13 so they have the opportunity to view the project and ask questions with the developer in the room, Fitzgerald said.

The 11 IAG members are: Edward Burke, Andy Schell, Stephen Lussier, Bill McCartin, Curdina Hill, Marie Turley, Doherty, Frederick Vetterlein, Dickie Spears, Tobias Johnson and Justin Humphries.

Construction is projected to start in the first quarter of 2012 and to take about a year to complete.

The public meeting for the project has not yet been scheduled. Public comments sent to [email protected] are welcome through Oct. 5.




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