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Boston Planning and Development Agency Approves 90 Braintree St. Residential Project in Allston

The Boston Planning and Development Agency Board approved on March 10 a residential project at 90 Braintree St. in Allston that plans to replace an existing decades-old building.
The Boston Planning and Development Agency Board approved on March 10 a residential project at 90 Braintree St. in Allston that plans to replace an existing decades-old building. By Zing Gee
By Michal Goldstein, Crimson Staff Writer

The Boston Planning and Development Agency Board approved on March 10 a residential project at 90 Braintree St. in Allston that plans to replace an existing decades-old building.

This decision follows BPDA’s most recent meeting about the 90 Braintree St. proposal on Jan. 27, in which Boston residents expressed their opposition to the developer’s construction plans.

Several other Allston-Brighton construction projects have been proposed to the BPDA since 2017.

The Allston Yards project, currently under review, would create a pedestrian-oriented development with residential units, restaurants, and offices. At the former Skating Club of Boston, developers plan to build a 655-unit residential development. Harvard, which owns roughly one-third of Allston land, plans to construct hundreds of residential units among its projects at 180 Western Ave., 176 Lincoln St., and the Enterprise Research Campus.

Proposed back in November, the 90 Braintree St. project has undergone a number of meetings to elicit feedback from both residents and the Impact Advisory Group — a team of residents, local business owners, and organizations that assess the environmental and social impacts of proposed projects. The project plans to create 111 new rental units, including 22 income-restricted units and five artist live-work spaces.

“There is a large need for artist-dedicated housing, especially in Allston-Brighton, and that had come out of the IAG process as well,” Caitlin Coppinger, the BPDA project manager for the 90 Braintree St. project, said in an interview.

“There’s a dedicated space on the first floor for additional workspace for these artists,” she added. “They also will have a gallery where the artists can show their artwork in the building.”

The BPDA board’s memorandum approving the project explains that the development is subject to the 2015 Inclusionary Development Policy which mandates that at least 13 percent of its housing units be income-restricted. The developer, Anchor Line Partners, has chosen to surpass this requirement and designate approximately 20 percent of its units as IDP compliant.

Anthony P. D’Isidoro, the president of the Allston Civic Association, praised the project developer’s commitments to affordable housing, sustainability, and public transportation.

“The proponent has been very responsive to community concerns over unit mix and density, reducing the number of units, increasing the number of family friendly units (2 & 3 bedroom) and reducing the number of studios,” he wrote in an email.

Anchor Line Partners has also committed to supporting the neighborhood’s affordability and sustainability efforts through monetary contributions to a number of city departments and funds.

It plans to contribute $500,000 to the Allston Brighton Community Development Corporation for affordable housing units on Hano Street, $75,000 to the BPDA for bike lane improvements on Braintree Street, $49,000 to the Boston Transportation Department Boston Bikes Program to add a Bluebike station on or near the site, and $111,000 to the Fund for Parks and Recreation in Boston to improve Penniman Park, located right beside the building.

D’Isidoro lauded these efforts, stating that these benefits will “help fund significant public realm improvements” in the Allston neighborhood.

—Staff writer Michal Goldstein can be reached at michal.goldstein@thecrimson.com. Follow her on Twitter @bymgoldstein.

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