The vacant building at 320 D Street has been demolished to make way for the $75 million West Square, a four-story apartment building with 255 units, all smaller than three-bedrooms. Some Southie residents are annoyed over two things for one reason.
First, the new project falls within that nether region around First Street where grittier, more industrial South Boston meets the South Boston of warm, fuzzy micro-apartments and bio-tech firms and grand visions of the future city upon a virtual hill. It also predates a zoning effort to make sure projects conform to the character of the area. In this case, 320 D Street is very dense, with hundreds of apartments in a block-long building. As one resident told The Herald's Greg Turner: “We were hoping to see developments that would reflect the residential neighborhood. There are no provisions for density requirements in the zoning, so we’re faced with very large apartment and condo projects.” Worse: hundreds more apartments are slated for the First Street corridor.
Second, 320 D Street represents yet another set of apartments geared toward empty-nesters, childless couples and singletons—i.e., not really suitable for families. Last month, Southie residents railed against a similar new project about a half-mile down First Street at 2 H Street. Said one resident at a public hearing: "That’s a lot of people coming through where we live. We’ve all been 21 and 22, but the noise is a concern." And another: "We’re not against improvements but we want to maintain a family atmosphere."
Construction on 320 D Street is expected to be finished by the end of 2013.
· Plan Brings Southie Together [Herald]
· Southie Has Had It with All the New Small Apartments [Curbed Boston]
· Boston Is for Lovers (Just Not Their Kids): a New Apt. Dynamic [Curbed Boston]
· South Boston to Get Hundreds of Manhattan Apartments [Curbed Boston]