Surrounding West End area for proposed Garden Garage building (BRA filing)

The Boston Zoning Commission tabled the Garden Garage project in the West End at a meeting last week regarding a Planned Development Area (PDA) at 35 Lomasney Way. The Garden Garage project proposal by Equity Residential is a $390 million, 44-story, 470 apartment building with an 830 space underground parking garage. The site is commonly known today as Basketball City.

Despite ongoing objections by West End residents, the Boston Redevelopment Authority approved the project in February 2016 noting over 20 meetings have been held on the contentious project including hours of public testimony in front of the BRA board. PDA’s need Zoning Commission approval beyond the BRA board.

North End resident, Victor Brogna, wrote the Zoning Commission highlighting substantial opposition during the public comment process.

I was present an Impact Advisory Group (IAG) meeting regarding the project on January 7, 2016.   In response to a question from an IAG member, the BRA staff person conducting the meeting disclosed that the BRA had received 782 letters in opposition to the project, and only 7 letters in support.

For its part, Equity is citing the benefit of putting the 5-story garage underground and noting the support of the neighboring board at West End Place, owners of Amy Lowell House and the Downtown North Association.

West End resident, Louise Thomas, attended the Zoning Commission meeting and reported the commissioners encouraged the neighborhood and developer to continue negotiating with an implication of a shorter building along the lines of the Longfellow Towers.

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1 COMMENT

  1. After dozens of public meetings showing strong West End community opposition, the BRA planning staff “evaluated” the height and massing of the proposed Garden Garage tower and reported it to be appropriate, citing an even higher residential tower now under construction across the street, behind Boston Garden and the O’Neill Building. The Zoning Commission instead looks to the nearby Longfellow Towers, built in the 1960s, for appropriate planning context. That’s the extent of planning in the City of Boston.

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