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Border War: Opposing Vus Where Boston Meets Brookline

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The old Circle Cinema (and the Applebee's next-door) on Chestnut Hill Avenue in Cleveland Circle is due to become a 181-room hotel as well as 82 apartments, medical offices and retail space that may include a large restaurant. No one's really arguing over any of that (well, they were: local residents got the developer, Boston Development Group, to add the apartments to an initial hotel-and-retail-only pitch). What is being argued over is where to put things; and it's quite the kerfuffle, not only because this is the Hub and building new housing here is like colonizing the moon, but because the 2.6-acre site falls partly in Boston and partly in Brookline. Two sets of municipal eyes, many neighbors, only one plan in the end.

The developer wants to lead with the apartments (time to update our Rental Heatmap again!). This way, it reasons, several will have views of and will engage with, so to speak, the Cassidy Playground. Some neighbors, though, want the five-story Hilton Garden Inn to face Cleveland Circle, and thereby be some sort of focal point for the area (the developer's idea is rendered to the right).

Right now, it looks like Boston Development will win the day, with plans filed with the Boston Redevelopment Authority and a spring 2013 groundbreaking planned. Officially, though, both sides are working together toward a common goal of making, as one resident put it to The Herald's Greg Turner, "Cleveland Circle known for something other than Mary Ann’s and beer and pizza and traffic congestion."

· Cleveland Circle Residents Want Theater-Site Plans Edited [Herald]
· Our Rental Heatmap: Where the Hub's New Apartments Are [Curbed Boston]
· Why the Hub Housing Market Could Get Worse, Much Worse [Curbed Boston]