The East Boston Neighborhood of Affordable Housing (NOAH) held its first in a series of community meetings last week in Eagle Hill since being 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 was one of three proposals submitted to DND as part of the Request for Proposals (RFP) and community process. Z Capital Investment and Pennrose Properties, LLC were the other two developers that put forth proposals.
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 site, DND and NOAH submitted a plan that included a substantial amount of units for artists living and workspace.
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, 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 eight 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.
At the meeting there was some concerns over the height of some of the buildings from residents on Falcon Street. Some residents feared the housing would block current views of the Chelsea Creek and be too close to their backyards. However, Giffee explained that the slope of the hill from Falcon down to Condor is over 40 ft. and the tops of the buildings NOAH will build should not have a huge impact on views. He also added that there would be a buffer between the Falcon Street yards and NOAH’s proposed buildings.
After being asked Giffee and architects from Joy St. Design said they could come back to Eagle Hill with more details and renderings that show the exact sightlines that currently exist versus how the sightlines may change after the project is done.