6 Wooster Street Apartments OK’d
by Thomas MacMillan | Jun 12, 2014 12:04 pm
Posted to: Housing, Wooster Square
A developer wanted to turn a Wooster Square social club into seven apartments.
You can build six, said the Board of Zoning Appeals.
The Board of Zoning Appeals (BZA) made that decision Tuesday evening at its monthly meeting in the Hall of Records.
The board voted to approve zoning variances for 112 Wooster St. (pictured) The building at that address is a social club, but developer Eric D’Aquila plans to turn it into apartments.
Aquila showed up at the BZA last month to ask for the variances. He said he wanted to build seven apartments. Neighbors testified that while they support closing the social club, they were concerned about parking problems with a new apartment building.
The board was short one member last month and delayed voting until this month’s meeting.
A City Plan Department advisory report written by Deputy Director Tom Talbot recommended the BZA approve the zoning variances, with the condition that the apartments be limited to six.
“Density is the primary issue relation to this proposal,” Talbot wrote. Buildings in the area are required to have 2,000 square feet of lot area per housing unit. “This would mean that this property is entitled to no more than four dwelling units by right.”
However, Talbot wrote, the density in the neighborhood is higher than that. “It appears as though eight units on this site would still fall within the density level of the surrounding neighborhood.”
In his advisory report, Talbot ended up splitting the different. Zoning law says the building could be four apartments; neighborhood density suggests it could be eight; Talbot recommended six.
The BZA voted unanimously to approve the zoning variances as Talbot suggested.
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Watch out everyone, the gentrification vampires are coming.
In the twenty-first century, the visions of J.C. Nichols and Walt Disney have come full circle and joined. “Neighborhoods” are increasingly “developments,” corporate theme parks. But corporations aren’t interested in the messy ebb and flow of humanity. They want stability and predictable rates of return. And although racial discrimination is no longer a stated policy for real estate brokers and developers, racial and social homogeneity are still firmly embedded in America’s collective idea of stability; that’s what our new landlords are thinking even if they are not saying it.
― Tanner Colby,