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Hyde Park development would add 48 condos near two commuter rail stops

The 1201 River Street project—which its developer describes as “workforce housing”—highlights the potential for major housing construction around transit stops

Rendering of a four-story, rectangular building. BPDA

A development team wants to fill and replace what it describes as vacant land and outdated buildings along Hyde Park’s River Street with a four-story, 48-unit condo complex.

The project, centered around 1201 River Street, would be between the Fairmount and Hyde Park commuter rail stations, too, highlighting the potential for major housing development around Boston-area transit stops.

The Milton-based development team, led by Rob Gatnik and Vin Norton, plan to include bike parking for 60 and vehicular parking for 50 as well as ground-floor retail. The project covers the addresses at 1201 River, 1185 River, 1191-1203 River, 12 Central Avenue, and 24 Winthrop Street. The complex would be four blocks from Hyde Park Station and three blocks from Fairmount Station.

“The proposed development adheres to the underlying zoning and aims to rebuild a prominent corner of Logan Square with a new four-story, mixed-use building replacing a collection of outdated buildings, vacant land, and uses that would be better suited for industrial and commercial districts,” the developers said in a March 9 filing with the Boston Planning and Development Agency.

Gatnik said his team has met with neighborhood groups and city officials. “We have a community meeting scheduled, which hopefully will not be cancelled due to the Covid19 concerns,” he said over email on March 12. “I would guess the groundbreaking could be as soon as this fall, and we anticipate approximately 14 to 16 months to complete the project. Of course, that is all subject to the approval process.”

As far as pricing, the condos will likely range from the low $400,000s to the low $500,000s, Gatnik said. The median sales price for a Boston condo was $700,000 in January, according to the latest Greater Boston Association of Realtors numbers.

“We really see this as a great opportunity to create workforce housing options,” Gatnik said. “The location has great access into the Back Bay and South Station via the two commuter rail stations that are within blocks of the site—coupled with many other transportation options into Longwood and other Boston neighborhoods, as well as neighboring cities and towns.”

Indeed, if 1201 River does advance, it would help underscore the potential for housing construction on parcels near commuter rail and T stops—construction that would not only likely bring down apartment rents and condo prices by increasing supply but reduce the region’s cartoonishly bad traffic.

A December report from the Massachusetts Housing Partnership’s Center for Housing Data found that areas immediately around T and commuter rail stations could support an estimated 253,000 new housing units.

And that’s just a ballpark. The land, especially around commuter rail stops, could support a lot more transit-oriented development.

“While this math is incredibly simple and ignores some important neighborhood factors, it does show the potential that reimagining these high-access neighborhoods could have in terms of better supporting transit while simultaneously making a huge dent in our chronic housing supply problem,” the MHP Center for Housing Data said in a summary of the report.