Criterion Development Partners Projects
If you are interested in an affordable unit, we suggest that you subscribe to The City of Boston's MetroList at https://www.boston.gov/metrolist/subscribe. If you scroll down and provide your email address the City will notify you directly when applications for the lottery are available. It may be 3 to 4 months before applications are available.
If you are interested in a market-rate unit, keep an eye out for leasing signs at the site in a few months, or you can send an email to email@example.com and request that you be notified when leasing gets underway.
Thank you for your interest!
The BPDA is amenable to helping us develop a parking permit restriction for our tenants that would be enforceable by the City. As for changes to the existing neighborhood parking restrictions, CDP will work with the City to define the options and relay the information to interested neighbors. CDP will also assist the neighbors and/or the City in preparing paperwork necessary to initiate any neighborhood-approved changes.
We are aware that the color legend used for the bike shop is confusing and we'll address this in future plans. Sorry!
Lin- You'll be happy to know that at we eliminated the box-like protrusions!
We understand your frustration with traffic conditions given that the neighborhood has been subjected to so many changes related to the ongoing Casey Overpass Project and area development. Fortunately, the Casey Overpass improvements should be in service before construction of the proposed project begins. Additionally, elimination of the commuter parking lot should reduce traffic demand in the area.
Thank you for your comments.
As for what looks like commercial space in Building B, it is actually a bike room for tenant use and not intended for commercial use. The color of this space in our plans has caused some confusion and we will make sure to correct this.
On affordable housing, CDP is committed to building the affordable units onsite and not at an offsite location. We feel strongly that our tenant mix should represent the existing neighborhood.
Thanks for your comments.
With regard to commuter parking, we fully support the creation of additional commuter parking on publicly owned parcels, such as Parcel S, as recommended in the 2008 Forest Hills Improvement Initiative. As you are aware, the project site is privately owned and the owner no longer wishes to operate it as a parking lot.
While we cannot speak for prospective tenants of the other new housing developments, we do have experience with tenants of our own projects similar to what we are proposing in this community. Based on this experience we are providing adequate parking for our residents. Many of the residents in our developments do not own vehicles and choose to rely on public transit, zipcars and uber. For some, this is an affordability issue (both the cost of vehicle ownership and the cost of additional rent for parking) and for many others, a sustainability issue. We understand your concerns regarding overflow parking. In other communities where this issue has arisen, we have proposed a clause in our lease whereby a tenant agrees not to apply for a resident sticker. The City helps us enforce this agreement by denying such a sticker to tenants identifying the project as their place of residence.
Building “extra” parking at the site for use by the public may be an option. However, it does have
other implications in terms of additional traffic and the potential to require a secondary garage access on Orchardhill Road to accommodate this traffic. We have heard from many residents who are opposed to such an access.
Kk - Onsite commuter parking is not included in our current proposal. We understand the need for such parking and realize it is a key concern of the community. We will continue to look at options for addressing this demand.
@Alyssa- We appreciate your concerns about commuter parking demand. We will continue to evaluate this aspect of the project. With regard to affordable housing, we are committed to providing units at a range of affordability including our three bedroom units and townhouses specifically to meet the needs of families. While we are still refining our evaluation, the number of affordable units will exceed the level required by the City.
The coUrbanize forum is only one of many tools we are using to involve the community. There will be formal community meetings as part of the BRA process and we will post information as soon as they are scheduled.
Sonja- We appreciate that the benefits of change are sometimes difficult to envision. With new housing and an increase in population comes opportunity - more people caring about and involved in the community, safety, and new demand for restaurants and service-oriented retail.
Thank you for your comments Sarah. The project supports multi-modal transportation in a number of ways: it provides easy access to public transportation as well as a Hubway facility to be located at the northwest corner of the Arborway and Washington Street; we provide our own onsite bike share system where tenants can sign out a bike for short-term use with no charge; and we will have a Zipcar accessible to the public as well as residents. We are providing a significant amount of landscaping and new trees. We are working out the final number of affordable units but are committed to exceeding the number currently required.
We appreciate your interest in the transit-oriented benefits of the project.
Bicycle parking for tenants will be provided in one or more secure bike storage rooms in the parking garage. We will also provide a bike shop area with bike stands, tools and pumps so that tenants can work on their bikes. This area will be located at street level to take advantage of natural light and to also provide active uses along the building facade. Outdoor bike racks will be provided for guest use.
We will also provide a number of bikes on-site that tenants can sign out for short term use.
We will provide a Zipcar space in the courtyard area that is accessible to the public. We cannot provide Zipcars in the garage as this area is not publicly accessible.
Short term delivery and pick-up/drop-off activity will occur in the courtyard area. Move-in trucks will use dedicated service areas internal to the site.
We agree that the project will have a positive impact on traffic along Washington Street. This benefit is borne out in our traffic analysis which we will include in our next submission to the BRA.
We agree and do support the Emerald Necklace vision. A significant amount of new trees will be planted along the Arborway as part of the ongoing improvements. To the extent that we can supplement those improvements with additional trees, we will do so. Thank you.
Simone, thank you for taking the time to visit our project page.
Relative to your concerns:
-- We propose to drop the building height from 6 to 5 stories where the southerly building is closest to our Orchardhill Road and Tower Street neighbors.
-- We understand your concerns regarding the path.
-- Almost all of the neighborhood streets currently have parking restrictions. On streets without such restrictions, if there is a consensus from the residents, we will work with the City to implement them.
Welcome to the project page William and thank you for your comments.
1. Given the change in elevation between the site and Orchardhill Road, the walkway we originally considered had several switchbacks to make it accessible and was rather circuitous. As such, it may be just as convenient to walk to the corner and along the Arborway to access the commercial space. However, we will defer to our neighbors on the matter of the sidewalk from Orchardhill Road. Your support is noted.
2. We are committed to working with the community and the City to address concerns about overflow parking and are prepared to implement tenant restrictions.
3. Very daring! We appreciate your input.
Hi Margaret. We appreciate your concerns regarding the number of parking spaces at the project. Our experience at our other transit-oriented communities shows that many tenants do not own cars, choosing instead to rely on public transportation, bikes and ride-share options. We will have more than adequate parking for our tenants and will not burden the neighborhood in this regard. Thank you!
Thank you for your comment Jeb-
Elimination of the existing parking lot has been contemplated for many years. In 2008, the Forest Hills Improvement Initiative documented the community vision for publicly- and privately-owned land in the Forest Hills Station area. In this planning study the site was envisioned as a residential use. Commuters currently parking at the site can park at other commuter lots along the Needham commuter rail line and take the train to Forest Hills Station or take a bus to Forest Hills Station. Some may choose to relocate to Forest Hills given the new housing opportunities and convenient access to public transportation.
The existing homes that back up to the site on Orchardhill Road sit approximately 15 to 20 feet higher than the site. This difference in elevation offsets the relative height of the proposed buildings. We are also dropping the height of the building and eliminating one floor as we get closer to our Orchardhill Road and Tower Street neighbors.
Based on input from our neighbors we made several changes to our original proposal – we moved the buildings farther back from Orchardhill Road, relocated the service activities internal to the site and eliminated the driveway on Orchardhill Road. With these changes, it may not be possible to provide a sidewalk into the site from Orchardhill Road. However, if there is a consensus from the neighbors we can revisit this. We are working with the City to confirm that they are comfortable with the elimination of the driveway on Orchardhill Road. If required to do so, we can accommodate this driveway in the current layout. The suggestions about grass pavers and the garage door design are appreciated and will certainly be considered if we move forward with this access.
We’re glad that you find the website helpful. In terms of your questions:
- Based on feedback from the neighbors and the topography of the hillside we are not currently proposing pedestrian access from Orchardhill Road into the site.
- The three bedroom townhouses will be located on the internal courtyard side of the proposed building at Orchardhill Road and the Arborway. These and all units will be rental units.
- We certainly understand the difficulty in assessing the scale of the project. To help with this, we are preparing cross-section plans that will show the elevations of the proposed buildings and the surrounding residences. We are also preparing views from Orchardhill Road and Tower Street.
- CDP will work with the community to address concerns about residents of the project parking on neighborhood streets. One way to accomplish this is with a restriction in the lease. We will also help the residents of Orchardhill Road lobby the City for parking restrictions, if there is a consensus on this.
- We have estimated the project’s parking demand based on our experience at comparable transit-oriented projects. We will be sure to include our parking data in the Project Notification Form being prepared for the project.