ZBA Approves Housing Units on Chelsea St.

April 10, 2013
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On Tuesday, the Boston Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) approved a project to add 24 market-rate housing units to Chelsea Street on the site of the 2011 building collapse that forced the subsequent demolition of several buildings on the street.

The project being financed entirely by private investment will construct a total of six 3-bedroom units and 18 2-bedroom units from 37 to 47 Chelsea St. All of the units are intended for market rate rental units.

The Developers of this project include Chelsea Development Partners, LLC as well as the PB&J Trust and the Chelsea Trust.

Over the past months, the development team has worked closely with Boston’s Inspectional Service Department (ISD), the Mayor’s Office and the Boston Redevelopment Authority to come up with a design that makes the most sense for this neighborhood to replace the 20 housing units lost during the October 2011 building collapse that affected several homes along this stretch of Chelsea Street.

According to the plans submitted to the city, all of the front facades will be brick and stone masonry, with the rear being hardi-plank siding.

Construction has already begun at this site, as building permits for reconstruction of the pre-existing structures was already authorized under the Commissioner’s Bulletin, which permits reconstruction of buildings within two years in the event of a building being damaged or condemned.

Although, permits had already been issued, Chelsea Development Partners, LLC, PB&J Trust and the Chelsea Trust still needed some zoning relief from the ZBA to complete the project.

On Tuesday the ZBA approved plans to square off the rear of the buildings from 37 to 47 Chelsea St. as well as some dimensional relief for rear yard and open space.

With respect to the new building at 37 Chelsea, the developers required a number of variances for the 4-unit dwelling due to the area being zoned as a 3F neighborhood.  Because the new building at 37 would match the design, layout density, and height of the existing buildings as well as those being re-constructed next door, the ZBA granted relief for the building at 37 Chelsea St.

Last week, the developer met with abutters of the project. Although there was general support and excitement for the project by long time and new neighbors, there were some concerns raised over construction activities and future management of the units.

The developers pledged to provide direct telephone numbers for the neighbors if any problems should arise.

While separate from this project, 49 to 51 Chelsea St. and 53 Chelsea Street, also affected by the 2011 building collapse, has begun the process of replacing 17 units of housing and one retail space lost in the disaster.

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