Developer Reduces Size of Cowper Street Project, Again

By John Lynds

City Realty, the developer of a proposed condo project at 181 Cowper St., was back before the Harbor View Neighborhood Association (HVNA) Monday night with a scaled back version of the plan they presented last month.

City Realty originally proposed developing both 181 Cowper St. as well as 184 Cowper  St. across the street as one project. That project called for 32 units spread across two buildings totaling 43,625 sq. ft. of living space. That project also called for 41 parking spaces.

At last month’s HVNA attorney for City Realty, Jeff Drago said his client decided to take the development of 184 Cowper St. off the table and focus solely on 181 Cowper St.

At HVNA’s December meeting City Realty proposed plans to demolish an existing home on the 13,350 sq. ft. parcel of land and construct the four-story, 13 unit building with 19 underground parking spaces. The height of the building would be 42 ft.

At Monday nights meeting Drago announced the total number of units had been reduced to 10 with 16 open-air parking spaces. The developer knocked an entire floor off the building reducing the height from 42 ft. to 35 ft.

The project would now need zoning relief from the Boston Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) for use, parking, floor area ratio, front yard and rear yard.

At the meeting Monday night, Phil Brangiforte, who lives on Cowper still thought the massing of the building was too large.

“Its a big box,” he said. “It’s a dead end street and I still think 10 units in a box is overdevelopment.”

Like at the December meeting Brangiforte requested City Realty goes back to the drawing board and comes up with a design the matches the one and two-family homes that dot the street.

“We got to find a middle ground,” he said. “I’d still like to the see the units separate into a couple of two family homes or townhouses, at least it would look like the rest of the street.”

Others at the meeting had concerns over the open-air parking lot that now abuts the homes next door. Some worried the headlights and engine noise from cars pulling in and out would have a negative affect on the quite street.

Drago said they would take Monday night’s comments into consideration, host another abutters meeting and come back before HVNA next month.

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