Plans are afoot for a new apartment complex, at 37 North Beacon Street in Allston, that would prohibit tenants from owning cars. The War on Cars in Boston continues.
The complex's architect, Sebastian Mariscal, recently told the Atlantic Cities blog that he commences every project with the same thought: "When I design a building, the first thing I have to resolve is my parking." In this particular Allston case, he faced two options, per the city's requirement for X amount of parking for Y amount of new apartments: He could (1) build an underground garage; or (2) build a lot around part of the complex. Both ways precluded green space (and the second negates the possibility of porches or patios for the 44 apartments), and that got Mariscal to thinking: Why not have tenants sign an addendum to their leases saying they don't or won't have a car? (Adding to the drama is the fact that the 18,000-square-foot site was a parking lot for a used car dealership. Irony!)
It's an uphill climb, first past the city's regulations and then through some local opposition (though the idea also has some support and not a small amount of precedent: Mariscal said he has research proving that 45 percent of renter households in Allston do not have a car owner and 52 percent of Allston residents do not drive to work. Rents at 37 North Beacon would range from $1,500 to $2,500 a month for a studio, one-bedroom, two-bedroom or three-bedroom. Plus, we presume, for plenty of shared green space should Mariscal get his way.
· Is Boston Ready for an Apartment Building That Bars Cars? [Atlantic Cities]
· Proposed Eco-Friendly Apartment Complex Would Ban Car Ownership [Boston.com]
· Bloodless Coup in Boston! Car Overthrown as City's King! [Curbed Boston]