The Boston Globe editorial board came out against a private developer’s plans to build an 1,100-foot dormitory building in the city’s Fenway neighborhood.

The GrandMarc building proposed for the back half of the YMCA complex on Huntington Avenue would represent an unusual form of housing — an independent dormitory. Yet it would be too big for the site and perhaps too unconventional for this crowded, student-filled neighborhood. The Boston Redevelopment Authority, which will issue its first formal reaction to the proposal today, should tell the developer to rethink the project.

Well, I kind of agree with that sentiment. Lover of development that I am, I’m all for new buildings, whatever they are.

Having said that, the building does seem a bit tall for the area. It’s zoned for buildings up to 90-feet tall. This would be over 2 1/2-times that.

HOWEVER … there is precedent:

The city has granted an exemption to Northeastern University for a 220-foot tower a few blocks down Huntington Avenue.

That kind of muddies the water, and makes you wonder what the opposition would be to plans for the GrandMarc.

Is it as simple as it seems – too large a project for too small a lot? Or is it less about the height and density of the building, and more about an outsider coming in and invading Northeastern’s turf?

The BRA should make its decision based on what’s best for the area, not what’s best for a private university, that’s one thing for sure.

Source: Sky-high student housing – The Boston Globe

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Updated:  1st Q 2018

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