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AriPVD

PROPOSED: Lapham Building apartments

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Funny I should've brought this up. Learned today that Pierre has contracted "Downcity Construction" to demo floors 3-9 of the Lapham Building in order to prepare the property for residential conversion. Apparently they are going to have a range of apartments, mostly "student-affordable." I'll believe it when I see it. Hope it happens though.

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Wonder why he would want student-affordable housing? I mean he could sell units for the $300,000 range like hot cakes. Do you know how good of a job they would do? Looking at the "range" of retail on the first floor I get the picture they would slap this together cheap as possible?

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Wonder why he would want student-affordable housing? I mean he could sell units for the $300,000 range like hot cakes.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

They need to be rental for the Historic Tax Credits don't they? But still, why student affordable (not that I'm complaining about getting affordable units Downcity), it's just that he could make a lot more money. Sounds like they do indeed plan to do it on the cheap.

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They need to be rental for the Historic Tax Credits don't they? But still, why student affordable (not that I'm complaining about getting affordable units Downcity), it's just that he could make a lot more money. Sounds like they do indeed plan to do it on the cheap.

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Maybe because he already has a deal with either JWU or RISD to provide student housing....probably JWU. Or just banking on the JWU presence. Makes perfect sense really. There is certainly a demand.

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I don't know, don't read too much into it. His GC is "Downcity Construction," which I for one have never heard of. This project is on the scope of Dimeo, Gilbane, etc., not a tiny GC.

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Yeah. that had me worried. It just a shame they will distroy ( or could ) alot of what I am sure could have been coverted into really great units inorder to make cheap housing. ( just assuming thigns here )

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Yeah. that had me worried. It just a shame they  will distroy ( or could ) alot of what I am sure could have been coverted into really great units inorder to make cheap housing. ( just assuming thigns here )

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Oh c'mon... Give me a break.

There are more than enough high end units going in down there. One building of a different sort of units, whatever they may be, is certainly not going to result in any loss. Hardly a shame.

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Oh c'mon... Give me a break.

There are more than enough high end units going in down there. One building of a different sort of units, whatever they may be, is certainly not going to result in any loss. Hardly a shame.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I think he's worried there may be historical details within the building that they might rip out rather than restoring in an effort to get units on the market quickly.

Of course taking the time to restore any details would result in higher prices.

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Oh c'mon... Give me a break.

There are more than enough high end units going in down there. One building of a different sort of units, whatever they may be, is certainly not going to result in any loss. Hardly a shame.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Sorry, but I've got to disagree. The issue of the concern over "cheap" housing here isn't relating to the presence of inexpensive housing (in my opinion), but of a building done "on the cheap" which contributes nothing to the sense of safer and more prosperous Westminster as a neighborhood. And why only work on the upper floors? Couldn't the lower floors use some attention as well to build the streetscape?

It's certainly, as many have pointed out, a curious decision in light of everything going on.

I looked back in the archive, BTW, and found this is a David Brussat column from '03:

"...In the Lapham Building, a Vietnamese restaurant, as yet unnamed, will be opened in September by the owner of Boston's Pho Pasteur."

Anyone know what ever happened to this?

- Garris

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"...In the Lapham Building, a Vietnamese restaurant, as yet unnamed, will be opened in September by the owner of Boston's Pho Pasteur."

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Ah, so that's where I heard about that, and I was very excited to hear it at the time too.

When I worked in Watertown, MA we would make special trips into Chinatown to get Pho Pasteur for lunch. (we'd also make special trips into Central Square to get Toscanini's ice cream for lunch :silly: )

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Sorry, but I've got to disagree.  The issue of the concern over "cheap" housing here isn't relating to the presence of inexpensive housing (in my opinion), but of a building done "on the cheap" which contributes nothing to the sense of safer and more prosperous Westminster as a neighborhood.  And why only work on the upper floors?  Couldn't the lower floors use some attention as well to build the streetscape? 

It's certainly, as many have pointed out, a curious decision in light of everything going on. 

I looked back in the archive, BTW, and found this is a David Brussat column from '03:

"...In the Lapham Building, a Vietnamese restaurant, as yet unnamed, will be opened in September by the owner of Boston's Pho Pasteur."

Anyone know what ever happened to this?

- Garris

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

First of all, there are absolutely zero details about what is going on with the building. To lament a loss for something unknown or undecided is just silly.

Second, I didn't see anyone say that this was being done on the cheap. The exact quote was "student-affordable" housing. RISD is building "student-affordable" housing practically right next to that building and I don't think anyone here would dispute the quality of that work. Likewise, the guy would be a fool not to use historic tax credits to do the work, and there are very strict guidelines and oversight associated with that funding source. I don't think they'll be stripping detail.

I'm sorry, I read Mikepl's comments much differently...

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First, I think we can assume things are being done on the cheap. It's common knowledge that Pierre isn't the most, um, sensitive landlord. Second, there isn't much historical detail to destroy on the interior. Whatever was historic was ripped out in a bad gut job in the 70's.

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Ah. I had assumed the building was still intact of historical attractiveness and its not affordable housing that I worry about; its the high level of cheapness I would assume from someone who has been sitting on a building for 12 years and allowing an under-age bar to run.

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First, I think we can assume things are being done on the cheap.  It's common knowledge that Pierre isn't the most, um, sensitive landlord.  Second, there isn't much historical detail to destroy on the interior.  Whatever was historic was ripped out in a bad gut job in the 70's.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Thats pretty much what I figured. Regardless of whether the interior refit is on the cheap, it will certainly meet building codes, and other than the "type" of people that live there, will not outwardly affect any other residents or users of downtown.

(And if we are indeed talking about the "type" of people living there, then we have a problem. I am certainly not accusing anyone of anything here, but as we have talked about ad nauseum on these boards and in other places, it is an important issue pretty much everywhere in the city, but particularly downtown.)

As far as the exterior of the building, any renovation will be subject to more oversight than any other place in the city. Its on the National Register, its subject to the Downcity District Review Commision, the Historic District Commision, the State Historic Preservation Office (if going for tax credits), Inspections and Standards. No matter what the guy does, short of knocking down the building illegally, or emptying it out, will not harm, and will probably enhance, anything else that is going on down there.

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I think the biggest gripe from all of us is not what level of constuction will happen nor the cost of rent but just the simple fact Pierre has anythign to do with the project. I know I want Pierre out of my neighborhood. That building has the power to build this neighborhood a great deal or have the opposite effect.

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As long as it doesn't become a meth lab or homeless shelter, I agree with you. I should point out, he has a fully legal $3000 building permit up on the door.

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I've been merging and moving and editing and splitting posts today. In the process I split this discussion out to make a new thread.

Ari: Have you heard anything else on this proposal recently?

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Supposedly it's being converted into 42 apartments. There is some kind of seemingly shoddy contractor in there now...probably hacking away. Who knows with Pierre.

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That Streetscape works great. I understand what building it is now. I have seen people coming in and out of that place. When I looked in the the building it seemed to have a good setup for office units or living space.

Hotel project still seem to be alive Ari?

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