Have you wondered about the new building going up on the corner of Amory and Green streets? I was curious, so I did a little digging and wanted to share.
The new mixed-use development is called Bartlett Square Condos. It will consist of 13 condominiums, two of which are designated affordable housing units per city of Boston guidelines, a heated underground garage, and three ground-floor retail spaces. There are one-, two-, and three-bedroom condos ranging in size from 700 to 1,660 square feet, and some of the units have roof decks. The building has private storage units and secured bike storage. A couple of these condos are actually already under contract. It is being built by Maple Hurst Builders, a local developer that has worked on many condo development projects in Jamaica Plain (e.g. CityGreen, Willowbank, and Sygourney Homes).
The interior design of the condos have extremely efficient layouts with little, if any, wasted space. The kitchens will be open, and outfitted with Energy Star stainless appliances. The bathrooms feature custom limestone and tile baths with high-efficiency fixtures. There are hardwood floors throughout, security and intercom systems and laundry hook-ups in-unit. Special attention in construction is being paid to quality soundproofing and energy efficiency.
As for the three retail spaces, all are equipped with either 11- or 12-foot ceilings. There is a 2,400-square-foot space that comes with a 700-square-foot patio. This space is most likely designed for a restaurant/cafe. There is a 750-square-foot center unit, and another 1,150-square-foot corner unit. As far as I know, all leases are still available. At one point I heard a rumor of talks for a macrobiotic restaurant but I am not sure that is going to happen.
In my opinion, perhaps one of the best features does not have to do with the condos themselves but how the building is being constructed. To date, 96 percent of construction waste (13.41 tons) has been recycled and diverted from landfills. Why is this really important? Americans generate anywhere from 200 to 250 million tons of solid waste each year. Only 20 to 30 percent of that waste is recycled. Construction waste accounts for almost a quarter of what goes into landfill. This makes buildings the largest contributor to landfills. It’s extremely refreshing to find a real estate project with such respect for the environment.
Furthermore, the building will have equipment that utilize green, eco-friendly practices. For one, there will be rooftop solar panels which will provide energy for the buildings common electric. Solar panels also have heating and cooling benefits. A building’s ceiling could be a few degrees cooler during the day under solar panels that cover an otherwise exposed roof. At night, the panels help to hold heat in, reducing heating costs. There will also be a 2,100-square-foot vegetative green roof, i.e. a roof planted with a dense layer of vegetation that absorbs rainwater, filters air pollutants, provides insulation, and can create wildlife habitat. Lastly, there will be a high efficiency “Kone” elevator.
So, why is it named Bartlett Square? Once upon a time in the mid-1800s, before the bustling Centre Street of today, the Green Street area around the train tracks was the commercial hub of Jamaica Plain. There were two commercial squares of Green Street, Bartlett Square, which was parallel to the train station on the Washington Street side, as well as Woosley Square, which was on the Centre Street side. Bartlett Square got its name from Alden Bartlett, a real estate, insurance, and mortgaging agent who owned and developed much of the commercial land around Green Street, specifically the area surrounding where the Bikes Not Bombs retail shop is.
What effect will the building have on the area, and who will live there? I spoke with Derek Boudreau, a member of the Maple Hurst Builders team, who commented about the project, “Bartlett Square will bring new activity and new life to the Green Street/Amory Street corner. The one-, two- and three-bedroom units with elevator access, underground parking and a 15 minute commute downtown will bring up-sizers, down-sizers, first-timers, part-timers, singles, couples, families, JP newcomers, JP old-timers and everyone in-between into the community while the retail space will offer new shopping and restaurant options for the neighborhood and the 3,500-plus people who pass through the Green Street T station every day.”
These condos and retail spaces certainly have the potential to be the start of a major revitalization of the Green Street block between Amory and Washington Street. I’d love to here your comments about what types of businesses would be a great fit for these spaces.