Use a concern for DND Heath St. parcels

June 20, 2014
By

BACK OF THE HILL—The size and shape of any new development on 10 City-owned parcels along Heath Street need careful consideration, community members told the Department of Neighborhood Development (DND) planners at a June 5 meeting.

DND Senior Development Officer for Housing John Feuerbach told the Gazette that, following a site visit of the contiguous parcels at 9-21 Bromley St., 894-908 Parker St., 58-62 New Heath St. and the parcel at Ward 10, number 02457000, the community wanted to see the eventual development flow with the neighborhood, taking into consideration the massing and use of nearby buildings.

The City plans to sell for redevelopment the contiguous parcels at 9-21 Bromley St., 894-908 Parker St., 58-62 New Heath St. and the parcel at Ward 10, number 02457000.

The site’s corner at Parker and Heath streets are close to smaller residential buildings, while the corner at New Heath and Bromley streets are close to the Pickle Factory condos and other taller buildings. Community members stated that the future development should take that into consideration, possibly stepping a future building down from a taller end to a shorter, residential-scale end.

“We’re not formalizing anything. We just want to figure out important principles  [so that] we can incorporate guidance to [future] developers,” DND planner John Feuerbach said.

The community also discussed whether the future development should be more open and inviting to the neighborhood, or whether it should be more private. A strong preference for at least a pass-through access, if not a small park, was expressed, Feuerbach added.

Community members at an April 30 meeting told DND that they strongly support development for affordable housing in those parcels. The possibility to include some “job creating” businesses is also under discussion.

A follow-up meeting, expected to be scheduled for next month, will close out community discussion and concentrate on key elements for the City’s eventual request for proposal.

The 10 DND parcels in question total almost 29,000 square feet. The City acquired them through tax foreclosures and is planning their development as the last stage of the 15-year-old Heath Street Planning Initiative.