ZBA Approves Curtis Street Project

On Tuesday the Boston Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) voted unanimously to approve the 29-unit residential development on Curtis Street. The project already received Boston Planning and Development Agency (BPDA) approval so the ZBA approval was the final hurdle in getting the project off the ground.

Owners and developers of 7-11 Curtis St. Seth Williams and Jim Grossman plan to demolish the existing structure that currently houses Eastern Flooring, combine four separate parcels and erect two buildings–one on Curtis Street with 21 units and a second one on Saratoga Street with 8 units.

An artist rendering of the ZBA approved project on Curtis Street.

Williams and Grossman will create a mix of condo/rental units. The building with 21 units will include 17 parking spots while the building with only 8 units on Saratoga Street will have no parking spots. The developers also plan to contribute $30,000 to the McLean Playground rehab project.

Four of the 29 residential units will be income restricted under the BPDA inclusionary policy. The units will be a mix of studio, one bedroom, two bedrooms, and three bedrooms. The housing will be transit oriented as it sits between the Wood Island and Orient Heights MBTA stops and is in close proximity to different bus routes. The project will also contain a bike room to encourage less vehicular travel.

The developers met several times with members of the Harbor View Neighborhood Association (HVNA) from 2019 through 2020 and made several changes to the project after hearing feedback from the community.

Williams and Grossman moved away from boxy brick buildings and incorporated bay windows, the use of fiber cement clapboard siding, shed dormers and added continuity with windows to pick up site lines of adjacent buildings in the final design.

The project was also reduced from five stories down to four stories and the parking was sunk underground.

The owners also added greenspace and added greenscaping along the frontage of the buildings and reduced the overall square footage by 1,400 square feet.

While some HVNA members seemed to be warming up to the project when compared to the initial presentation, members still voted 23-9 against the project last year.

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