The Stonybrook Neighborhood Association (SNA) met virtually on November 9, where they heard a new presentation for a proposal at 84 Stonley Road, which has been discussed several times by the SNA in the past. The proposal is for housing units to be built on the site.
In February, the Gazette reported that developers came before the SNA in 2019 to talk about a proposal for the lot, which was home to Squid Hell Recording Studios. The SNA reported that they felt that not enough information was presented and there were concerns over displacement of artists from the space.
On November 9, project proponent Jay Walsh presented the newest proposal, and said that the size of the units have been reduced, and the existing framing will be used to “strengthen the existing structure to bring it up tp residential code,” he said. He is proposing 18 compact living units.
There are currently six parking spaces on the lot, which Walsh said will not change for this new proposal. There will be a 700 square foot common area on the ground level that will be shared between all residents, which help satisfy requirements for compact living.
The building will have six units per floor on three floors, and the exterior of the building will remain the same, Walsh said. Each unit is between 485 and 601 square feet, and all units will have one bedroom and one bathroom. Each floor will have a laundry room.
A question was raised about whether or not there could be any units with more bedrooms for families, but Walsh said that “dealing with the building envelope, that might be difficult,” but he said he would look into it.
“I think we’re trying to maximize the potential number of units that are affordable,” he said, while also aiming to decrease the price point overall. When asked what the price point of the units would be, he said it is “tough to say right now” because of the “uncertainty of construction financing costs.” He said these units would likely be rentals, as there is “not too much demand on the homeowner front for the micro units.”
SNA member Jennifer Uhrhane said the is “disappointed to see…another box with not a whole lot of creativity.” She said that because the space is a former music recording studio, it is “set up for studio space. I would love to see something more interesting here.”
She also wondered if the compact living idea is still feasible given the pandemic and more people needing space in their homes to work and learn remotely.
Walsh said that “cross infection from densely populated units is a concern,” and with these units, people will be able to have their own space.
The SNA will continue to meet with the developer of this project to work on a design that works best for everybody.