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Worcester Square residents hear of plans to redevelop Northampton Square Complex

Posted by Patrick Rosso  March 29, 2012 10:17 AM

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(Image courtesy Trinity Financial)


A rendering of the the Northampton Square Complex with the new 24-story tower.

Members of the Worcester Square Area Neighborhood Association heard from two developers Tuesday night on their plans for the redevelopment of the Northampton Square Complex.

The site, owned by the Boston Public Health Commission, is currently home to one 29-story tower at 35 Northampton St. and a 12-story tower at 860 Harrison Ave.

The project calls for not only the rehabbing of both of the structures, but also building a 24-story tower on the corner of Northampton and Albany streets.

“It’s in tough shape,” Hank Keating, vice president of design and construction for Trinity Financial, said of the Harrison tower. “The interior is in rough shape and needs complete renovation.”

While units in the current structures are deemed affordable, the new tower to be built atop the parking garage would be "luxury" apartments.

The new tower, which is still in the works, would include nearly 215 luxury apartments consisting of one- and two-bedroom units. The construction cost is estimated to be $85 million, and the total project cost is estimated to be $154 million.

Keating said they expect to begin rehabbing and adding 11 units to 35 Northampton by the end of the year.

Keating also said no adjustments would be made to parking -- the garage on the site can hold up to 539 cars.

While concerns were raised about the ascetics of the towers, many who turned out Tuesday expressed disappointment with the loss of a pool in the South End Fitness Center on Northampton Street, where the new tower would be built.

“It [the pool] is always busy when I go there,” said Neil Gaffery, defending the pool and its importance to the residents who use it.

While Keating said the fitness center would be rebuilt, the pool would not, because of the cost associated with constructing and designing a new one.

Keating, however, said the project would bring plenty of benefits to the community, from the proposed rooftop garden to the amount of affordable housing.

According to Trinity Financial, once everything is redeveloped and constructed, the site would include close to 64 percent affordable housing.

No formal vote was taken at the meeting to oppose or support the project. Trinity Financial representatives reminded residents that the project still has a long way to go.

The development group is on the verge of submitting Large Project review documents to the Boston Redevelopment Authority and said it will be back before the community before any work takes place.

658 Massachusetts Ave.

Tom Mayloczki and business partner Jason Vickery were also before the Worcester Square Area Neighborhood Association to discuss with residents their redevelopment of 658 Massachusetts Ave.

The structure is currently zoned as a single-family with lodging units. Vickery and Mayloczki would like to completely redo the interior the structure and turn it into a seven-unit “luxury” rental building.

“It has been neglected for a number of years and it is in really poor shape,” said Joseph Hanley, attorney for Mayloczki and Vickery.

The developers would also like to add rear decks, a headhouse, remove the existing gable and replace it with a flat roof.

The structure would have seven units consisting of two-bedrooms on the top floors and a studio and one bedroom on the ground floors.

While there is no parking at the site and Mayloczki and Vickery plan not to add any, they said they will market the units as transit-oriented, even investing in Charlie Cards and ZipCar memberships for renters.

Many residents were receptive to the new work, but concerns were raised about trash and management of the building.

Mayloczki said he would live in the building and help oversee it, and that trash would be stored in a Dumpster in the rear of the building. That seemed to alleviated concerns among residents.

Mayloczki and Vickery said they would like to start construction on the building by the fall and they estimate it should last about six months. However, before they begin any work on the building they must first appear before the city’s Zoning Board of Appeals for a number of variances, including parking and changes to zoning.

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Email Patrick D. Rosso, patrick.d.rosso@gmail.com. Follow him @PDRosso, or friend him on Facebook.

(Patrick D. Rosso/Boston.com/2012)

The structure at 658 Massachusetts Ave. that is proposed to be rehabbed and turned into a seven-unit luxury rental building.

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