Mission Hill developer wants to build student-free apartments

Mission Hill developer Jason Savage filed plans with the Boston Redevelopment Authority this week for a project at 1470 Tremont Street, at the intersection with Sewall Street. Thirty-three residential units, over 1400 square feet of retail space and 10 parking spaces. One existing building would be renovated, one demolished and a third would have its facades reused, resulting in three structures: a three-story townhouse, a four-story apartment building and a new five-story low-rise.

1470 Tremont St

Thee site is within walking distance of the Stop and Shop at Brigham Circle and the E branch of the Green Line stop there, the Orange Line at Roxbury Crossing and the 66 bus stops in front of the building on the way to Dudley Square. The 39 bus also stops at Brigham Circle. This walkability is why the proposal has only 10 parking spaces, although storage for up to 33 bicycles is included.

A real oddity, however, is this sentence: “Furthermore, in accordance with the wishes of the Mission Hill neighborhood, the Proponent will enter into a binding commitment that full-time undergraduate students will no longer be allowed to lease units at the Site.”

In neighborhoods like Allston, which also has a large undergraduate population, it has been understood that a developer cannot actually give this sort of assurance and enforce it without running afoul of fair housing laws. It will be interesting to see how it plays out.

According to the City of Boston’s Student Housing Trends report, 1,979 undergraduates lived in Mission Neighborhood in the fall of 2014. The same report estimates that housing Boston’s students in dorms would free up around 5,000 apartments, as well as reduce overall demand.

There will be four four-bedroom duplexes (an apartment on two floors connected by an internal staircase), three two-bedroom residences, 14 one-bedroom apartments and 12 studios.

The project will need six zoning variances, but the developer has been working closely with the community.

1470 Tremont Existing

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