Apartments coming to dead quiet part of Roslindale

Developers Nabil Bogus and Charles Gill have proposed a 136 unit residential building at 289 Walk Hill Street in Roslindale. Taking up the length of the block between the American Legion Highway and Canterbury Street, the site abuts two cemetaries and a nature preserve. Most of it will be four stories, but the part along American Legion Highway will be five stories, maxing out at a little over 64 feet. In total, the building will be 153,600 square feet on an 87,631 square foot site.

289-walk-hill-st

Apart from those few facts, however, most of the project notification form the developer filed with the Boston Planning and Development Agency is lost among the overwrought prose that should have been left for the ads once the thing is built.

For example, the PNF goes at length about how the project will increase walkability and vitality and is transit-oriented because it’s “less than a mile” from Forest Hills Station on the Orange Line. Now, not only is this incorrect, since according to Google Maps the site is actually over a mile away, but no one is ever going to walk that route regularly because it’s not very interesting. The site is more or less surrounded by cemetaries and taking Walk Hill Street to Forest Hills involves walking by cemetaries. Now, cemetaries are very important places, but they’re not really what comes to mind when one thinks of active, vibrant urban places.

Similarly, the only way “vitality” is coming to such a place is if a zombie apocalypse or the Last Judgement happens. Either way, the real estate market would become irrelevant.

Yes, there is a strip mall nearby with some shops and restaurants, but American Legion Highway is a stroad, the 14 bus that goes by runs every 40-50 minutes until a little after 7:00 pm on weekdays. It will take a lot more than one multifamily building with 165 parking spaces to make a difference.

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