There was little to no opposition at a Boston Planning and Development Agency (BPDA) sponsored meeting last week at East Boston High School regarding the East Boston Neighborhood of Affordable Housing’s (NOAH) Condor Street project.
NOAH was recently picked by the Department of Neighborhood Development (DND) as the designated developer of a city-owned parcel on Condor Street across from the Hess site.
NOAH submitted a plan that included a substantial amount of units for artists living and workspace.
The project is currently under the BPDA’s Article 80 review process and last Wednesday’s meeting was part of that process.
The meeting was lightly attended and lasted less than a half hour. The light turnout could be because neighbors in the area already supported the project and voted 26 to 7 to support NOAH’s plans at an Eagle Hill Civic Association meeting earlier this year.
At last week’s meeting NOAH Executive Director Phil Giffee said his group has put together an exciting team that has listened to the community and came up with a proposal that will really address the need for artist preferred housing.
The result has been the creation of an attractive, accessible yet practical layout which will accommodate the needs of artists and non-artists alike.
NOAH’s architect, Eastie based Joy St Design, and East Boston Community Development Corporation (CDC) has joined forces to create a 41-unit project that includes a mixed-use,mixed-income, ownership/rental housing and gallery spaces for Eastie artist community and community at large.
NOAH’s project, dubbed ‘Aileron’ will include 8 ownership units, half workforce and half market, in one building with 33-units occupying a larger building next door. Of the 33 units in the larding building 17 will be set aside for artist work/living space.
Giffee said NOAH named the project Aileron because it will help the area take flight economically and culturally.
NOAH is also proposing two large common spaces, a Gallery and Workbar, that will be available for the other residents in the building. These are communal spaces and are not be strictly artist work space. Giffee said the ‘workbar’ space will be on the ground floor of the 33-unit rental building.
The Gallery space will have wireless internet access, mirrored walls and perhaps a gas-fed fireplace. NOAH envisions a comfortable, neatly appointed space where there can be conversion, communication and community for artists. Giffee said neighborhood residents who are interested in having a space to work can access this space as well. Also, there will be an open streetscape concept in the rental building that will highlight public studio and gallery spaces on the ground floor.
Following a series of community meetings with the Eagle Hill Civic Association (EHCA) where DND officials got feedback from residents on what type of project the community would like to see at the DND-owned site.