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Letter: Neighbors Oppose Harcourt Street Proposal

Abutters are concerned the street's character will be ruined by the proposed building expansion.

The Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) will be voting on a proposed building project on Harcourt Street. The building located at #7 would be developed locally by the same developer who sold it last December to a Colorado Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) called UDR, Inc. for nearly $4 million.

This proposed construction project doubles the height of the existing 2-story office building to add 12 2-bedroom apartments with a rooftop deck. This project has big implications for this tiny street that Southwest Corridor walkers use daily to reach Shaws and other points of destination.

If this project at 7 Harcourt has four variances approved by the ZBA we can kiss our walking street good-bye for at least a year or more when it will be turned into a construction zone every weekday. We can expect huge equipment to sit idly during the weekends taking up valuable parking spaces. We can expect that the new rental units with two or more cars each will increase traffic congestion all the time. We can expect the beautiful trees arching overhead to be pruned back.

We can expect the neighborhood to be changed forever, but, not for good. At least, not for our good. It will be for the good of one out of state REIT and one local developer who applied for variances to supercede the St. Botolph Neighborhood Protection area zoning code. Their appeal to build is based on what the developer claims is a housing need in the city for more high-end apartments. Really? Are we not about to have 300+ housing units around the corner at Copley Place in front of Neiman Marcus? Is there not a current project underway nearby on Exeter Street?

This is a classic case of the 1 percent vs the rest of us! If approved only one person, one South End developer, Mark Goldweitz, will reap the benefit along with one huge out of state REIT that will add to its billion dollar portfolio.

If you agree that this is not a benefit to our tiny neighborhood and if you want your voice to be heard in opposition to this enterprising of our neighborhood, please let the Zoning Board of Appeals hear from you before the July 24th public hearing. Their address is 1010 Mass Ave. 02118.

Charlene Vincent
16 Harcourt St.

Lance Carden
16 Harcourt St.

Nancy and Joe Restuccia
9 Harcourt St.

Trish Chandler
40 St. Botolph St.

Les Shea and Eileen Shea
16 Harcourt St.

JMc July 10, 2012 at 11:58 AM
Not very convincing arguments...
Erica July 10, 2012 at 02:02 PM
agreed...
Southender July 10, 2012 at 08:58 PM
I walked over there today and looked at the building. I don't see any problem whatsoever with the construction as described. I walk that route daily and doubt very much it will inconvenience me any more than putting in new windows in the building across the street. Some folks should get a life before objecting to construction that will bring more property tax to the City and jobs to the State.

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