Apartment building pitch for 841 Columbia Rd.

The developer Scott Kirkwood attended the Columbia Savin Hill planning committee’s online meeting representing the Boston Real Estate Collaborative of the South End to discuss with neighbors a forthcoming apartment building project at 841 Columbia Rd. – behind the Boomers Car Audio store.

The project called originally for nine units, but that has been cut down to eight units – though announced changes at the meeting could make it even fewer units. The project includes eight off-street parking spaces, with 16 required by zoning.

Kirkwood said in talking with abutters and neighbors, he learned that they have eliminated about 770 square feet off the back of the building, taking it from a floor area ratio (FAR) of 1.6 to 1.3.

“We had a really productive conversation with abutters,” he said. “I wanted to take a step back and see how we could change the building envelope to respond to those conversations…I think [the change] is quite a lot of relief for the neighbors behind us…I think this is a big step in the right direction.”

That said, there were still some neighbors who weren’t hot on the proposal, which is situated on a non-traditional lot behind an existing business.

“I don’t see why we should give them eight units,” said neighbor Don Walsh. “It’s zoned for three and they’re asking eight. This is the South Boston approach to development. Squeeze in as much as you can.”

The proposal hasn’t yet been submitted to city officials, and there are ongoing discussions with Columbia Savin Hill residents.

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