Could it actually be happening? Could affordable housing be coming to Southie? In an era where million dollar condos are the new normal, a new development is being proposed for 206 West Broadway by the South Boston Neighborhood Development Corporation to build 16 units of affordable housing and commercial space on the ground level.
Six of the units, which are all one-bedrooms or studios, would be for people making 80 percent of the area median income or below. Eight would be for people making 60 percent of the median income or below, and two would be for people making 30 percent or below. The maximum annual income for a single person would be just under $55,000 and about $63,000 for two people. There will be a lottery for these units.
This project is not without some hiccups though. The proposal to the Boston Redevelopment Authority includes a plan to market the building as “car free.” The building management would discourage car ownership and encourage residents to take the T, bike or walk. It would also ask its residents to take the “Car Free Pledge.” This has some Southie residents scratching their heads wondering how they’ll be able to enforce the car free rule. There will be no parking in the building. But there is a proposed cafe in the building which brings us to the second bump in the road.
According to the Boston Globe, the SBNDC has been talking to the Cranberry Cafe about opening in this new retail location at 206 West Broadway. If you are keeping score in the Southie coffee wars, Cranberry Cafe owner, Cathe Walsh was a vocal opponent of the Starbucks that was proposed for the corner of L and Broadway. Currently, the Cranberry Cafe is the only business being considered for this spot and there is no bidding process in place for the commercial space. Ironically, the future coffee shop will be a block away from Starbucks at Broadway Station.
The proposal is currently under review by the Boston Redevelopment Authority and open to public comments. If the project is approved, construction is expected to be complete in 2018.
A community meeting will be held on Wednesday, July 27th from 6:30pm-8:30pm at Mass Bay Credit Union – 147 West Fourth Street.