Brighton neighbors thrilled for grocery store, worried about traffic

The Boston Redevelopment Authority held a meeting last night for 425 Washington St in Brighton Center, a mixed use development called Parsons Crossing. Developer Babak Veyssi of Legend Development Group wants to build a four-story building with over 14,000 sq ft of commercial space on the ground floor and 54 residential units. There would be 125 parking spaces, 37 at-grade for the commercial tenant and 85 for the residents in an underground garage. There will be another three spaces at-grade for an existing house also owned by the developer.

It’s been in the works for a while. Lance Campbell, the BRA project manager, said that it was initially filed in November of 2013.

Michael Santos, a traffic engineer with Howard Stein Hudson, said that at peak hours the project would generate 34 additional trips in the morning and 70 at night. He had no information about mitigation measures because they hadn’t met with the Boston Transportation Department yet.

Veyssi said that he had a letter of intent from Roche Brothers to rent at least 12,000 sq feet of the commercial space for a grocery store. The other 2,000 square feet will likely be rented out to the existing Commerce Bank branch, which has a lease. He added that while the building would be financed as rentals, he hoped to convert it into condos.

At least 100 people came out to the meeting at the Presentation School Foundation in Oak Squarte. They largely supported bringing a grocery store to the neighborhood, but were more divided on the residential components and the amount of parking. A number of people said it had too much parking and several people said it was too “dense” and tall.

One resident, Patrick Galvin, said that there should be a moratorium on new development in Brighton.

Resident (and former Massachusetts transportation secretary) Fred Salvucci described it as “spot zoning” and said that there were no other four-story buildings in Brighton Center. As it turns out, this isn’t true. There are three other four-story buildings and two five-story buildings.

The project does need a number of variances for the site, as well as a traffic mitigation plan, but will be presented to the Brighton Allston Improvement Association this Thursday.

425 Washington St

A view from Washington Street.

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5 thoughts on “Brighton neighbors thrilled for grocery store, worried about traffic

  1. If that’s considered spot zoning, that just means that they should upzone everything between there and Winship St to allow a uniform 4 story height. Brighton can definitely support more density, both residential and commercial. And hey, maybe if there’s enough development, that would build up enough ridership on the 57/57A/501/503 to justify bringing back the A train.

  2. I attended the meeting and Secretary Salvucci said there were no 4 story buildings west of Market in Brighton Center and he is obviously correct.

    The proposed density is a major issue at a complex overburdened intersection.

    The high turnout and unanimous concern on safety and traffic issues should send this proposal back to the drawing board.

  3. Pingback: Brighton grocery store, other projects, pass muster at BRA meeting | Urban Liberty

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