A 66-unit apartment building looking to be constructed on what is now a vacant, derelict property looks to achieve a lot of firsts – the first Silver Line-based development and the first project to include affordable housing under the City’s new ordinance.
Greg Antonelli is proposing to build the building at 170 Cottage St., and the project has gone through the Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) one time, and will head to the Planning Board soon.
The property has long been forgotten, but with the development of the Silver Line, which opens this Saturday, April 21, the property has seen a new luster. While it is has been full of trash in the past and a constant code violator, Antonelli said he hopes to make it something Chelsea can be proud of.
“I think it’s a project that will really be an improvement to that area,” he said. “It’s been vacant 40 years. It attracts litter and illegal dumping. There is a record of code enforcement violations for 10 or 15 years for illegal dumping there.”
The Silver Line, as well, played no small part in his decision.
“That was huge,” he said. “It was very important to the project. It played a big role in my decision because public transportation is very popular now…We believe the Silver Line is going to help with parking, traffic and congestion problems we’re experiencing. We believe the residents of this development will use the Silver Line to get to work and to Boston.”
Antonelli is providing 90 on-site parking spaces as well, and the development has 52 two-bedroom units and 14 one-bedrooms.
One key piece, and another new piece, is it will include 20 percent affordable housing for the 80 percent median income.
It is the first time that a project has come in under the new inclusionary zoning ordinance. That means that 13 or 14 units will be reserved for those who qualify under the affordable housing statutes.
“That’s me giving back to the City,” he said. “I’m not in it for the quick money, but rather a long-term partnership with the City.”
Council President Damali Vidot has gone on record already supporting the project, saying it will develop a problem property.
“There are constant complaints about this lot as a dumping site for construction materials, mattresses and all sorts of trash,” she said. “I’d like to see something developed there, especially something that activates both Cottage and Bellingham Street. Being that this is my neighborhood, I can attest to the huge parking issue in this area. However, this project will only be nine parking spots short and the developer’s proposal to increase the required amount of affordable units from 15 percent to 20 percent is a show of good faith and investment in the community.”
Councilor Enio Lopez has also shown support for the project, and the City has been working with Antonelli on it as well.
Already, they have agreed on a design that will activate both sides of the street, that being Cottage and Bellingham.
After the project makes a stop at the Planning Board, it will go back to the Zoning Board for a vote.