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Massachusetts Liberal

Observations on politics, the media and life in Massachusetts and beyond from the left side of the road.

Thursday, June 07, 2012

A tree grows in Allston

There's an interesting experiment in a student neighborhood where green refers to skin tone after a night of hard partying.

A landlord is looking to convert a small, treeless and somewhat industrial area of Allston known mainly for student housing and bars into an environmental oasis for rents between $1,700 and $2,850 a month for one- and two-bedroom units with roof decks and yoga classes.

And while the Mount Vernon Group says it has rented 70 percent of its first building, I can't help but think: good luck with that.

No not the idea of a green enclave. Although that begins about a two blocks away with a Brookline park.

The problem, as they say in real estate, is location, location, location. The neighborhood around Brainerd Road is the heart of the student ghetto, heavily concentrated with BU students and bars that let out at 2 a.m. with varying degrees of noise and chaos.

The rents are hardly conducive to student assets (absent help from mom and dad). And they may be a stretch for young professionals on the lowest rungs of the salary ladder.

Then there are the green amenities, like electric car charging stations. Ever try to park a gasoline combustion engine vehicle in the neighborhood at night?

And I can't wait for the reaction when the tenant gets the water bill, not included in the steep rent.

The idea of a green enclave is appealing. In Brookline, the South End or Beacon Hill, where young professionals move after getting a job good enough to get them out of Allston.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

That's the free market. Venture Capital. If it works that landlord will reap the rewards, and probably renovate more places. If it doesn't he loses.

June 08, 2012 3:34 AM  

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