By Carol McCracken (Post # 2,552)
Chip Newell, the developer of the high-end 118 Congress Street on Munjoy Hill, has filed an application to construct a SIX story condominium building at 169 Newbury Street, with the city’s planning office. This proposal is within the India Street neighborhood and the first to be proposed under the new Form Based Code that the city approved last November.
“Under the Form Based Code, passed by the city council last fall, this project can be reviewed by city staff,” said Jeff Levine, Director of the Planning Office this morning. Review of the project will not be part of the public process as it has in the past. “Projects under 50,000 sq. ft. are Level 11 site plan reviews. Public comment will be accepted by the planning staff and the project will be required to have a neighborhood meeting,” wrote Caitlin Cameron, in an email, urban planner for the City. “Two aspects of the project will go to the planning board – approval of the subdivision and approval of the Inclusionary Zoning (“IZ”) as a Conditional Use. All other aspects of the site plan review and approval are at the staff peer review level,” wrote Cameron. It’s believed that these changes will expedite the permitting process and prevent delays initiated by the community as has happened with other projects in the past. It’s part of the “loaf of bread” offered to developers by Figurehead Strimling earlier this year.
The proposed building, the Luminato Condominium, will contain 26 new condo units and the renovation of 3 existing units. There will be parking for 27 vehicles – on the basement and first floors of the building. Unit prices will begin in the $200,000 range for one bedroom units and $400,000 for three-bedroom units. Two rental buildings will be torn down, but replaced by Newell in accordance with the city’s Housing Replacement Ordinance. One rental building will not be demolished. The buildings were formerly owned by S. Donald Sussman, billionaire hedge fund owner and some say a slum landlord. Sussman was an investor in 118 Congress Street, developed by Chip Newell.
Archetype Architects is the architect for the project. David Lloyd, of the same firm, was the architect for 118 Congress Street as well. The exterior of this proposed building resembles the 118 Congress Street building, except it is much taller.
Newell is a former real estate developer in Washington, D.C.
For more information, please contact Caitlin Cameron, Urban Planner, at city hall, at (207) 874-8901 or at email@example.com Plans may be viewed at city hall on the third floor.