Developer Purchases More Land on Vine St.; Has 350 Units Under Review Already

A Boston developer who already has a transformative, 320-unit apartment building on Second and Vine Streets under review by the City has purchased additional land on the street.

According to Bldup.com, Block Properties purchased two other development parcels along Second and Vine this month for $7.3 million. Last fall, they purchased the property with the apartment building proposal for $5 million.

The current proposal on 2nd and Vine replaces and older warehouse building and is part of a complete transformation that has happened before and during COVID-19 on the Commercial Triangle area of the city. That comes only about one year after the City changed the zoning.

The company, owned by Jon Block of Block Properties, had a hearing on Dec. 7 at the Planning Board, but it was continued due to an advertising error until this month – when the Board will continue the review.

Last October 12, the Planning Board heard an initial review of the project from the development team where they reported a 320-unit, six-story apartment building with 450 parking spaces and 4,000 sq. ft. of ground floor retail. The project was reported to be an as-of-right project that would need no Zoning Board relief, a new trend in that district. They only need Site Plan Review from the Planning Board and an Inclusionary Zoning (Affordable Housing) certification.

“Our approach is to make our front door on Second Street,” said Tamara Ray, an architect on the team with Stantec. “We know that in the future that is going to be the main street in the area. The T will probably go down the middle of the street so that’s our front door. We’re still in a gritty district now…We know we’re in a transformative district and we see our project as part of the transformation of the neighborhood.”

One unique part of the project is it is not a podium style development with parking on the first floors. Instead, they’ll have a hidden parking garage.

“Our project is not a podium project,” she said.

The design of the building includes the Planning Board’s preferred red brick on part of it, but also fibre cement and a lot of unique colors.

It was uncertain how the new property acquisition would fit into the existing development.

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