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Frequently asked questions
How much will the rent be, and what is included?
Starting in 2020, 8 of the units will be rented for $650 a month and 6 of the units will be rented for $850 a month.
Who will be living at 141 Westville St?
The employees from our cafe will get priority for the lower priced units ($650 a month), and then preference will be given to applicants whose daily activities are within walking/biking distance or a reasonable public transit commuting time of 141 Westville St.
What about parking?
There will be zero car parking space (but plenty of indoor bike parking) on the property. Only people who do not own a car will be allowed to live at 141 Westville. It will be clearly spelled in the lease and strictly enforced.
Why rent only to people who don't own a car?
For multiple good reasons:
2) Since there is an acute shortage of affordable housing near dependable public transit stops, it is both fair and logical to give priority to people who need public transit the most and are going to use it most efficiently. People who can afford a car have a much wider range of options since they can reside in areas that are not well served by public transportation.
3) Bringing in addtional car-owning residents would increase traffic congestion and make street parking more challenging. It would likely be met with serious neighbor opposition.
What amenities will be included in the building?
The lower level of the building will have two washers and two dryers for common use, secure indoor bike storage and a bike repair station. There is also a 210 sqft lounge/common room. Incoming residents will be involved in deciding on the use of that room. An outdoor shared patio will be provided at the rear of the building. The neighborhood and the rest of the City offer a great range of amenities within a relatively short distance.
Dedicating more of the building’s indoor space to public use would reduce the number of units available and greatly increase the rental cost of the remaining ones.
A city-owned vacant at the rear of 141westville was recently transformed into a small attractive public park/garden. It will provide the residents with some welcome greenery at their back door.
Have apartments this size been built recently in the City of Boston?
While the City of Boston has allowed for a few hundred units of micro-housing to be built in the Seaport District, the rent for these homes typically starts around $2000. They are only affordable to a small percentage of better off Bostonians and very much out of reach for the working class or anyone earning under $60k a year.
A more useful comparison is found an hour South of Boston. In Providence’s downtown area, the historic Arcade Mall building was recently redeveloped into 48 units of housing.
Half of them include a living area of 225 sqft and a monthly rent in the $700 to $800 range. Other units are larger and pricier. The developer reports that the smallest units are far more popular than the larger (and more expensive) units, attesting to the high demand for smaller and more affordble housing options. The success of this project is well documented in a popular video available on Youtube -see link below.