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Thread: Boston, Massachusetts: Jamaica Plain, a streetcar suburb (photos and commentary)

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    Cyburbian ablarc's avatar
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    Boston, Massachusetts: Jamaica Plain, a streetcar suburb (photos and commentary)

    Moderator note:
    (Dan) 17 October 2009: Images now hosted in the Cyburbia Gallery. See http://www.cyburbia.org/gallery/show...y.php/cat/6513


    JAMAICA PLAIN: A Streetcar Suburb
    photos by Herodotus and LMJCobalt


    Residential Boston’s rowhouses are familiar to visitors. Further out, in the streetcar suburbs, the building type of choice is the three-decker:



    These function today much as they always have: one unit per floor (“deck”). This enables a person with a down payment to live in one of the three units, while his two tenants pay the mortgage.

    Three-deckers are usually densely packed with only enough space between to accommodate windows for light and air. Your view out the side is of a window like your own. Twelve families occupy acreage that might be thought crowded for four in today's suburbs. Three-deckers, being all wood, are potential fire-traps.

    Units typically sport stacked porches, sometimes in the front…



    …occasionally at the side…



    …and often at the rear as well:



    The resultant streetscape is sometimes a little relentless:



    Siamese twins produce six-unit buildings with the economy of shared lobbies and stairwells, and a lot of togetherness on the balconies. These are for people with a little more money to invest:



    At center, a particularly attractive six-unit example with Queen Anne massing to disguise the building’s symmetry: dome on the near side, bracketed pediment on the far side:



    The nearly self-same design reproduced from stock plans, and endowed with fish-scale shingles:



    A modern take on the three-decker. Very handsome, and still a bit of a fire-trap:



    Jamaica Plain is by no means all three-deckers. Apartment buildings can also be Siamese-twinned:



    Manorial houses linger from colonial times, when Jamaica Plain was already an established village (first mentioned in 1683). Here an ancient veteran teams with somewhat more recent partners to form a scene that may remind some of Nantucket:



    Varied Victorian streetscapes abound from the streetcar era:





    And rowhouses make their mandatory appearance. As elsewhere, many function as apartment buildings:



    Single and multi family mix amicably by sharing a common bulk:



    Some houses can fairly be regarded as mansions:






    (Couldn’t resist slipping this one in, from Hopperland)



    Two amazingly intact Second Empire beauties from Jamaica Plain, the just out-of-town town, like London’s Hampstead--just before the streetcar arrived, hauled by a horse:



    Approaching Centre Street, commercial zoning arrives with a bump (and the mandatory mural):



    Some commercial buildings contain upstairs offices or apartments. Streetcar tracks linger in Centre Street, awaiting much-debated restoration of Green Line service, temporarily and comic-operatically suspended a quarter-century ago, until tracks could be re-engineered for the articulated streetcars that no one thought to test on these tracks until they had replaced the more maneuverable PCCs. These you can find today cheerfully running in San Francisco:



    An example of the offending streetcars, here functioning as Boston’s last El, far from Jamaica Plain, atop the North Station viaduct:



    The buses that replaced the streetcars are a poor substitute. Because they don’t run into the subway, Jamaica Plain no longer enjoys a one-seat ride downtown. You could say it drifted slightly out of town again, like the village of yore:



    Some of the recently-arrived yuppies mind, and others like it this way. The same is true of the working class folk who make Jamaica Plain’s population a heady brew of Hispanics, Asians, Caribbeans, Rastafarians, African-Americans and Europeans. Jostling the surviving mom-and-pops, CVS, hip shops and trendy restaurants have also arrived, making Jamaica Plain an entrepreneurial incubator:





    Photos cobbled together from posts by two terrific urban photographers, Herodotus and LMJCobalt. More of their Jamaica Plain photos can be found at:

    http://www.skyscraperpage.com/forum/...=jamaica+plain

    http://www.skyscraperpage.com/forum/...=jamaica+plain

    http://www.skyscraperpage.com/forum/...=jamaica+plain

    http://www.skyscraperpage.com/forum/...=jamaica+plain

    http://www.skyscraperpage.com/forum/...=jamaica+plain
    Last edited by ablarc; 19 May 2004 at 11:21 PM.

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    Cyburbian Seabishop's avatar
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    Awesome. I've wanted to do an ode to triple deckers. They're a great way to have owner occupancy and renting together. The sore spots of course are 3 units parking in one linear driveway, 3 families sharing one backyard, and the occassional kid falling off the upper deck. They're relentless, but not as much as working class rowhouses, and you get windows on all sides. More than pretty colonial architecture they are the building type that characterizes "real" urban New England.

    I think its a shame they're so looked down upon in most cities. Local governments usually consider them more of an embarassment and just about every one in existance is in non-conformance with zoning. Have you ever seen a "conforming" raised ranch stuck between a block of triple deckers? Not cool.

    Triple deckers (with decks) also make great places for snowball fights.

    Rhode Island has more of the front gabled ones like these (Parade St., Providence)

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    Cyburbian ablarc's avatar
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    [QUOTE=Seabishop...triple deckers. They're a great way to have owner occupancy and renting together...

    I think its a shame they're so looked down upon in most cities. Local governments usually consider them more of an embarassment and just about every one in existence is in non-conformance with zoning.[/QUOTE]


    Class warfare. Three-deckers associated with the working class, but that's changing now that yuppies are snapping them up. When they are all bought up with the demand unsatiated, zoning will finally take notice and allow them again.

    Zoning is always the last to come around. As presently constituted, it is the millstone that drags down the environment. Never have so many been so busily occupied in doing harm. Those who enforce the idiotic regulations enshrined in zoning should either hang their heads in shame or revolt.

    Many are particpants on this forum. It's time they did something.
    Last edited by ablarc; 20 May 2004 at 1:19 PM.

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    Cyburbian ChevyChaseDC's avatar
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    Another great tour.

    I have family who live in JP, I'm trying to convince them as to why they should support the return of the Green Line to the streetcar tracks - they wouldn't alter car and truck traffic patterns since MBTA already uses massive articulated buses on this route.

    ablarc, I'm still curious about the Silver Line BRT, which to my knowledge is the only BRT line operating in the U.S. I think its over on the Washington St. corridor, just a little ways east JP, across the Orange Line/Northeast Corridor ROW (which I think is where the Orange Line used to be?) I'm sure I'm not the only one who'd like to hear your impressions (and see photos!)

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    Cyburbian mgk920's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by ablarc
    Class warfare. Three-deckers associated with the working class, but that's changing now that yuppies are snapping them up. When they are all bought up with the demand unsatiated, zoning will finally take notice and allow them again.

    Zoning is always the last to come around. As presently constituted, it is the millstone that drags down the environment. Never have so many been so busily occupied in doing harm. Those who enforce the idiotic regulations enshrined in zoning should either hang their heads in shame or revolt.

    Many are particpants on this forum. It's time they did something.
    The zoning rules themselves are set by politicians, not bureaucrats. The bureaucrats are hired to enforce those rules and to advise on their creation and modification (and distressingly often, the politicians ignore that advice). Also, the final yes/no decisions on exceptions to those rules are made by politicians.

    I too have been growing increasingly skeptical of zoning in recent years, especially the kinds of rules that enforce the post-WWII model of low-density suburbanization, strict seperation of uses, etc. The vast majority of conflicts that I see are between developers who are responding to their perceived market needs for more units and neighbors who are trying to retain their neighborhood 'utopia'. In most cases, if the developer and his/her banker (both of whom often risk a LOT of personal time and money on these projects) think that it will be a good, popular and profitable project and an asset to the community, as long as it would not be a true monstrosity, I would be of a mind to give them the benefit of the doubt.

    I am becoming more and more convinced that all that residential unit density limits have done is cause more land to be used up than otherwise would be had the market been left more to its own courses (not to mention the increased traffic, pollution, etc). The number of people living in the metros today would likely be pretty much the same, but with more market-based higher density, far less land would have been needed to house them all.

    I see nothing wrong with those 'triple-deckers'/three-flats, those look like interesting, even kewl places to live (yes, I have roadtripped through cities in the northeast). And with today's base of fire-safety knowledge, their 'firetrap' aspects can be mitigated, too.

    What would our cities look like today had that US Supreme Court case from the 1920s regarding zoning and municipal 'police powers' gone the other way?

    Mike

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    Cyburbian Seabishop's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by mgk920
    The zoning rules themselves are set by politicians, not bureaucrats. The bureaucrats are hired to enforce those rules and to advise on their creation and modification (and distressingly often, the politicians ignore that advice). Also, the final yes/no decisions on exceptions to those rules are made by politicians.
    The biggest proponents of reducing density here are the politicians. A lot of it is a place's self image. Lots of cities try their hardest to be more like the suburb next door. Residents themselves want the city to be less urban and more like the suburb next door.

    Triple deckers aren't any different from single family houses in that their attractiveness depends on their upkeep. If they were still being built you'd see more attractive ones. Unlike when they were built they can be sold as condos too.

    Providence - Federal Hill. The flat roofed ones look the worst when run-down - especially flat roofed ones with no front door.


    New Haven


    Ugly paint job - Pennsylvania somewhere


    Burning triple decker - South Boston

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    Cyburbian ablarc's avatar
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    Silver Line

    Chevy Chase, the Silver Line is a nice bus. It is nice because it has a low floor and it is new. Being articulated, it can carry more passengers without too many standees. Because it is on a busy route and because its newness and glitzy bus shelters have attracted hordes of new customers, it runs frequently. So you rarely wait more than five minutes.

    It is not faster, quieter or much smoother than any other bus.

    When and if it ever runs in a subway tunnel, the driver will have to be on his toes, or they will have to rig up some kind of fixed guideway. A European streetcar is better.

    mgk, not to put too fine a point to it, Adolf Eichmann was just carrying out orders made by politicians. He could have done something else.
    Last edited by ablarc; 20 May 2004 at 1:13 PM.

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    Quote Originally posted by ablarc

    mgk, not to put too fine a point to it, Adolf Eichmann was just carrying out orders made by politicians. He could have done something else.
    Oh come on, ablarc. Don't cross the line from eccentric to ridiculous.

  9. #9
    Cyburbian ablarc's avatar
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    EICHMANN

    "...don't cross the line from eccentric to ridiculous."

    But, BKM, I am ridiculous. Day after day, I lay abominations and atrocities upon the longsuffering environment, applying the rules of mandated sprawl to forgettable, formulaic and interchangeable projects. I do this because it is the way the world offers me to feed my family. But I have no illusions; the stuff I do is crap, and it has to be crap, because most places crap is the only thing thatís legal. So I try to extract a little dignity from putting lipstick on a pig, but there isnít much to be had.

    The pig is mandated by law. According to Krier, it doesnít make any difference what you do in the suburbs, and heís right. You are defeated before you start by the nonsense enshrined in zoning and other regulations. Thatís why I donít engage in this forumís endless discussions about sign ordinances and setbacks and parking ratios and buffers and mandatory plantings and all the other ****ty paraphernalia of suburbia. It is all crap, and the only thing I can say is ďThrow it all out.Ē With confidence and without hesitation; there isnít any baby in there, just bathwater. Or more accurately, hog wash.

    Meanwhile to support all this wasteful nonsense that few of us even like, we massacre wedding parties, turn ourselves into animals in faraway prisons in lands rich in oil, and morph bit by bit into what the world is coming to see as the New Evil Empire.

    The Eichmann analogy was ridiculous; after all, I am ridiculous. The truth is no one on this forum is as important as Eichmann in the life of his charges. But I am a little like the locomotive driver on the train to Dachau. Arenít you?
    Last edited by ablarc; 20 May 2004 at 9:07 PM.

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    Cyburbian jordanb's avatar
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    In Chicago, we call them "three-flats," and flats are pretty much the modal form of housing here. In my neighborhood, though, two-flats are the norm because I'm so far west.

    In a curious zoning misstep, two-flats were made illegal in the 1950s here, but three-flats are still quite legal in many districts, as evidenced by the hundreds of new three-flat yuppie condos in lakeview. The new zoning laws make a point to make two-flats legal again and mention them repeatedly.

    We call those "siamese-twinned triple deckers" "2+3s" (two apartments per floor, three floors total), those are also common here.

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    Cyburbian Masswich's avatar
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    Silver Line and Triple Deckas

    As a resildent of Somerville, home of triple deckers, I found this tour enjoyable. I should post some similar scenes from Somerville.

    Its worth pointing out that while triple deckers were originally working class, many of them are now three high-priced condos with granite and stainless steel, where the only working class people that come in the door are there to fix the toilet.

    "I'm still curious about the Silver Line BRT, which to my knowledge is the only BRT line operating in the U.S. I think its over on the Washington St. corridor, just a little ways east JP, across the Orange Line/Northeast Corridor ROW (which I think is where the Orange Line used to be?) I'm sure I'm not the only one who'd like to hear your impressions (and see photos!)"

    The Silver Line is a nice bus route, which is to say its like the bus service that exists in many other communities, but to call it Rapid Transit is a bit much. I do have some sympathy for why the MBTA put it in (federal government love affair with BRT means that's all they could get funded) but it still pisses me off that they took down the Orange Line and gave the minority neighborhoods this as a "comparable replacement."

    The story of the Arborway Green Line restoration is an interesting JP transit story but I will save that for another day.

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    Cyburbian mgk920's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by BKM
    Oh come on, ablarc. Don't cross the line from eccentric to ridiculous.
    Unlike in WWII era Germany (and countless places before and since), if we disagree with the way that the politicians are running things, we can walk away from them without fear for our lives.

    You did, I hope, notice the part where I said that I am growing increasingly skeptical about the entire concept of 'zoning', as way too many places are not using it for reasons of gently guiding development and instead have corrupted it to levels of the absurd, especially with with overbearing post-WWII rules regarding density limits and strict seperation of uses, essentially enforced suburbia.

    Mike

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    Quote Originally posted by ablarc
    EICHMANN

    "...don't cross the line from eccentric to ridiculous."

    But, BKM, I am ridiculous. Day after day, I lay abominations and atrocities upon the longsuffering environment, applying the rules of mandated sprawl to forgettable, formulaic and interchangeable projects. I do this because it is the way the world offers me to feed my family. But I have no illusions; the stuff I do is crap, and it has to be crap, because most places crap is the only thing that’s legal. So I try to extract a little dignity from putting lipstick on a pig, but there isn’t much to be had.

    The pig is mandated by law. According to Krier, it doesn’t make any difference what you do in the suburbs, and he’s right. You are defeated before you start by the nonsense enshrined in zoning and other regulations. It is all crap, and the only thing I can say is “Throw it all out.” With confidence and without hesitation; there isn’t any baby in there, just bathwater. Or more accurately, hog wash.
    If you honestly think that eliminating all public land use regulation would result in the urban nirvanna of which you speak (and which nirvannah is this- ridiculously treacly tourist towns like Carmel, or old industrial neighborhoods like South End?) I beg to differ. You, like most Neotradders, seem to give a bit too much power to local government.

    Not that I disagree that much of today's zoning codes are ridiculous. You want to know what really destroyed traditional cities? It's sitting in your driveway, and no free marleting slogans will get rid of that reality. Many of the decisions made by everyday consumers and homebuyers are equally ridiculous. Builders provide cul-de-sacs, gated communities, and giant big box stores not because evil planners and government regulators demand them, but because they sell. Kunstler is right-we have sold out our local commerce to save $5 on a hair drier. People generally want (or have been persuaded to want) suburbia, as much as an urbanist like yourself denies that. We get the cities our culture deserves. Our culture deserves and demands Houston (pretty much regulation-free, by the way) and Tyson's Corner, not The South End or Carmel. I would agree that suburbia is crap, and that local governments help extend this crap, but the causation link is weak.

    My own midlife crisis is that I don't see how a local government planner can overcome this-so I will agree with you there.

    I also deny that all land use and zoning is bad. I don't want an auto body shop run out of my neighbor's yard. I'm sorry if that makes me a NIMBY. I don't want my neighbor building a firetrap shed right up to my property line. Sure, slash the accumulated deadwood of codes, but the idea that all zoning and building codes are inherently bad is just plain silly.

    (By the way, Leon Krier is a authoritarian crank whose own built work exemplifies the tired, craftsmanship-free abstracted, thin, and weak classicism that I, for one, don't find very appealing, let alone a grand solution to anything.)

  14. #14
    Cyburbian ablarc's avatar
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    What a difference a year makes.

    Rediscovered this thread looking for pictures to add to jmelloís post on Jamaica Plain, and simultaneously, BKM, I discovered some words of yours I hadnít read. Iíd guess we know each other better now, so you might no longer attribute to me this little piece of nonsense:

    Quote Originally posted by BKM
    If you honestly think that eliminating all public land use regulation would result in the urban nirvanna of which you speakÖ
    You know I donít believe that, BKM; what I favor is replacing the nonsensical drivel we presently endure with something that makes sense. And Iím sure that by now you have a pretty clear idea of what form that might take; donít make me write a zoning ordinance to illustrate.

    Quote Originally posted by BKM
    Not that I disagree that much of today's zoning codes are ridiculous.

    You want to know what really destroyed traditional cities? It's sitting in your driveway, and no free marketing slogans will get rid of that reality. Many of the decisions made by everyday consumers and homebuyers are equally ridiculous. Builders provide cul-de-sacs, gated communities, and giant big box stores not because evil planners and government regulators demand them, but because they sell.
    Right, but planners and regulators insist on the setbacks, buffers, parking ratios, turning lanes, use segregations and all the other junky underpinnings of Suburbia.

    Quote Originally posted by BKM
    Kunstler is right-we have sold out our local commerce to save $5 on a hair drier. People generally want (or have been persuaded to want) suburbia, as much as an urbanist like yourself denies that.
    We have a duty to oppose Suburbia because it is morally wrong.

    If we survive it, that will be remembered for bringing us global warming, automobile dependence, despoiled countryside, decaying cities, a nation of diabetic fatsos, Muslim domination, and a hideous built environment.

    But most of allóif as you say Kunstler is right--it will certainly bring us World War III. By mid-Century, we may find that our enemies arenít the crazies in Iran or North Korea. We may find that now we appear to be the Great Satan to most of the rest of the world (weíre already headed that way). We may find to our uncomprehending astonishment, that our foes are a coalition of Europe, India and China, determined to save the world from our now intolerable, ruinous and destabilizing global and environmental policies-- all based on insatiable craving for energy. They may decide they have to put an end to the menace that threatens the Globe itselfÖand that menace might just be us. That great majority in 1938 Berlin: they didnít think of themselves as bad guys; they just knew what they wanted.

    We have to oppose Suburbia because it is morally wrong.

    It doesnít matter that people want it. People also wanted segregation.

    And that didnít keep right-thinking politicians and citizens from sweeping it away.

    Before that, they wanted slavery.

    Lincoln had to put down draft riots to get soldiers to fight that battle; people were happy to let things (and the South) go. A lot of people died over this one. Most people would have been happy to leave things alone. And down South you could hardly find a white face that didnít favor slavery.

    Sometimes the people are wrong; Hitler enjoyed his countrymenís wholehearted support.

    Quote Originally posted by BKM
    We get the cities our culture deserves. Our culture deserves and demands Houston (pretty much regulation-free, by the way) and Tyson's Corner, not The South End or Carmel. I would agree that suburbia is crap, and that local governments help extend this crap, but the causation link is weak.
    The lawís the law, and things are done according to it.

    Quote Originally posted by BKM
    My own midlife crisis is that I don't see how a local government planner can overcome this-so I will agree with you there.
    Makes you a realist or maybe a defeatist.

    Quote Originally posted by BKM
    I also deny that all land use and zoning is bad. I don't want an auto body shop run out of my neighbor's yard. I'm sorry if that makes me a NIMBY. I don't want my neighbor building a firetrap shed right up to my property line. Sure, slash the accumulated deadwood of codes, but the idea that all zoning and building codes are inherently bad is just plain silly.
    Youíve got total agreement from me on this one. That doesnít require 1024 pages of bull**** to accomplish,

    Quote Originally posted by BKM
    (By the way, Leon Krier is a authoritarian crankÖ
    Now here youíre simply misinformed, and anyway I donít think you believe this anymore.

    Krier is deeply hurt that heís painted with this slanderous brush. He canít understand why people feel they have to hate him so much; Iíve seen architects ostentatiously and rudely stalk out of his lectures, even boorishly slamming doors. Heís obviously the victim of an orchestrated hate campaign because he disagrees with the architectural and planning establishment, and you were once understandably a victim of hateful propaganda; itís hard to sort the truth from the artful illusions that media manipulators create for us.

    Far from authoritarian, Leon Krierís thoughtful, courteous, genteel, humble and conscientious. He thinks of himself not as a theorist or an innovator, but simply as someone who points out the obvious that most people have inexplicably forgotten (or more inexplicably, that they deny, when its truth is manifestly under their noses), like the child who sees the reality of the Emperorís Clothes. He thinks of himself as someone who does something with dedication and workmanship, like his father the tailor. He's just conveying what he knows about making a suit, and for some reason everybody wants to argue with him.

    But he does know how to make a suit.

    At one time, work required me to spend days at a time in the company of the stars of architecture. I was assigned to wine, dine and converse with Frank Gehry, Michael Graves, Robert Stern, Peter Eisenman, Bob Campbell, Charles Gwathmey, Peter Calthorpe and others. In this stellar company of geniuses and near-geniuses Leon Krier stood out as easily the most intelligent person I have ever had the pleasure to have known.

    Of course, Lol, it helps that his views almost exactly correspond with mine.

    Quote Originally posted by BKM
    Öwhose own built work exemplifies the tired, craftsmanship-free abstracted, thin, and weak classicismÖ
    This is simply nonsense; you couldn't get any art historian anywhere to agree with this one; I canít let it stand uncorrected. Anyway, Iím sure you donít believe this any more, after examining Poundbury. Krierís buildings are thick, not thin, impeccably crafted (to a fault if youíre a bean counter); and as for his classicism, it goes back to the very primal roots; his Roman designs are Etruscan, not Imperial; when heís Greek heís Doric. That is almost cave man stuff: all about strength, not weakness (thought you might know that).

    .
    Last edited by ablarc; 24 Apr 2005 at 10:24 PM.

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    Cyburbian jmello's avatar
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    Triple-deckers get a second life

    Triple-deckers get a second life: Developer reinvests in community by turning three-family houses into affordable condominiums

    By Gail Ravgiala, Globe Staff | April 24, 2005

    David Scott has a philosophy that seems to go against the grain of a go-go housing market. ''Eat little and live longer," he says.

    For Scott that translates into a simple business plan: establish a reputation for quality, make a reasonable rate of return, and then leverage both by reinvesting in a community.

    In 2004, as a newcomer to the frenzied world of Boston real estate development, Scott was part of a market tidal wave that saw annual statewide sales of two-, three-, and four-families hit 9,726, a number that smashed the 2003 record of 8,086 sales, the Massachusetts Association of Realtors reported this month.

    But Scott saw the market differently than the investors who were trying to lure young buyers with the promise of a big return on a tiny niche in an up-and-coming ZIP code.

    Scott says he and his business partner Michael Hecker, follow Donald Trump's advice and buy in marginal areas, a term that has a positive spin for his clients.

    ''Many of our buyers," says Scott, ''work for the Boston Public Schools or the MBTA or a nonprofit agency. They have a commitment to the community. Some of them grew up in these neighborhoods and are looking to move back."

    To make that happen, Scott says, ''I know we can't buy houses for more than $600,000, and we need to keep the mortgage payments between $1,600 and $1,900. Then two people making reasonable salaries can afford to live there." He adds: ''It is gratifying to see people move into properties that they never expected they would be able to buy. That's the American Dream."

    One such buyer is Marie Firman, an educational consultant, who with her son and nephew bought all three units in a Roxbury three-family that Scott and his company, Metro Property Partners LLP, are converting to condos.

    ''We were looking to buy a triple-decker," says Firman, who grew up in the neighborhood and now wants to move back. ''We found this and it made sense to buy all three units. We plan to live in two and rent out the third."

    The advantages to buying condos at $250,000 each vs. investing in a three-family were many.

    ''If a family member wants to leave, we can just sell a unit," says Firman. There will be no rehab headaches to contend with, yet they will have input into how the units will be finished.

    At Dorchester Elite Condominiums, a triple-decker that Metro is renovating on Dix Street, Scott says he is giving buyers what they want: quality work, an attractive aesthetic, and an open floor plan. In the first-floor model unit, which sold for $324,000, Scott took out walls so that the kitchen is open to the living and dining areas.

    Because of their location, the middle rooms are not filled with natural light, so interior designer Angela Papa of The Finished Touch in Walpole, who collaborated with Scott on the decorating, painted them in sunny yellows and cheerful teals and furnished them with contemporary furnishings, some of which are negotiable if a buyer is interested. Gas fireplaces are handsomely encased in mantles designed by Scott's brother, Walter Scott, who serves as general contractor on all renovations.

    ''The city can be overwhelming," says Papa. ''There are lots of structures and lots of people. We wanted to create a restful place."

    All of the kitchens have granite countertops and high-end stainless steel appliances. Bathrooms are finished in marble and there is a laundry room in each unit. The floors are all prefinished hardwood. ''David wants to raise the bar in terms of what a condo can be," says Papa

    If there is something a buyer doesn't like, Scott will work with them. ''David changed the colors for me," says Sonia Gilmere, who works for the Transportation Department in the Boston Public Schools and recently bought a condo in Roxbury. She had been looking for a multifamily for four years, when she found her three-bedroom unit for $279,000.

    Metro's most recent project is a three-family at 465 Ashmont St. in Dorchester, where condos will sell for $299,000 to $350,000. All of the company's units -- about 25 are now in various stages of renovation -- are being marketed by Bertha Hoskins of Scott-Haynes Inc. Real Estate in Dorchester.

    And to put the proverbial money where their mouths are, Hecker and Scott have set up a scholarship based on a percentage of Metro's income that will be offered to a local student.

    © Copyright 2005 The New York Times Company

  16. #16
    Cyburbia Administrator Dan's avatar
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    Moderator note:
    The images in this thread are now hosted in the Cyburbia Gallery. See http://www.cyburbia.org/gallery/show...y.php/cat/6513.

    This thread is going to suck up a lot of bandwidth in the future, but given that Ablarc has been hosting the images in the past to our benefit, it's our turn to host them now.
    Growth for growth's sake is the ideology of the cancer cell. -- Edward Abbey

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