Allston, City, News

New residential development will replace boarded up City Sports store in Allston

City Sports
City Sports located on 1035 Commonwealth Ave. City Sports has been closed since 2015, however it may be converted into a residence in the near future. LINDSAY SHACHNOW/DFP STAFF

Several developers filed plans to replace the old City Sports at 1035 Commonwealth Avenue in Allston — which closed in 2015 — with a mixed-use building last Tuesday.

According to the project application, the new development would be a six-story building with five stories for residential use, with the ground level for commercial use. Seven of the 55 dwelling units would be sold as affordable housing units.

The development cost is estimated to be $15 million, and while the building will offer no off-street parking spaces, it will build 74 bicycle parking spaces.

Now that the small project review application has been filed, the plan is open for the public comment period, when anyone can submit their thoughts on the project to the Boston Planning and Development Agency, said Anthony D’Isidoro, the president of Allston Civic Association.

At least one public hearing will be scheduled by the BPDA, where the agency would introduce the development team to the community and give a formal presentation on the project, D’Isidoro said.

“Sometimes, depending if there is a lot of pushback or a lot of changes that people would like to see made,” D’Isidoro said, “they may come back with a second meeting.”

After the public comment period, the BPDA board and zoning board of appeals will hold hearings on the project, D’Isidoro said. The construction will begin once the project is approved and granted a building permit.

D’Isidoro said Boston is the second-most expensive city in the country when it comes to rentals and home ownership. 

“What it requires, in terms of income and down payments, to buy something in our community today is not really applicable to most people,” he said. “Given the serious housing crisis that we have in our city, anytime a reasonable and appropriate project comes along that provides additional housing has got to be looked at as a positive thing.”

D’Isidoro said he wasn’t sure how long it would take for the project to be approved. Allston residents expressed their opinions about the new development. 

“Allston is a student town, but also there’s a lot of people who live here and work here,” said Allston resident Billy Eng. “I don’t mean to push people off, but it’s just like, oh, rents will go up and working people have problems … but it can help out everybody.”

Allston resident Ashley Acuña said she thinks local businesses will benefit from a new residential building, however, she said she had concerns about how the new development will affect residents and housing prices.

“The T is really close,” she said. “Already sometimes, peak hours it gets really cramped. So, if there are more students or maybe non-students that move into the area, then it might just create a little bit more traffic using public transportation.”

The public comment period will end on Dec. 2, after which the plan will await board approval.

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