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Welcome to your constantly updated resource for news and views on the Brookline Real Estate market. Here you will find commentary and statistics to explain the daily changes in the Brookline specific housing market.

Whether you're looking for an estate in Cottage Farm, a condo in Brookline Village or are just stopping by please feel free to read along and comment at will. If you are interested in speaking about renting an apartment, buyer representation or listing your home please feel free to contact me.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Bringing Down the House (Again)

Front page article in today's TAB about how a Newton developer wants to tear down three properties in "North Brookline." This is my neighborhood, so I take a strong interest in following these stories. The article references two key points in my mind. Also, see my earlier post.

1) This developer has a track record in Brookline when it comes to these projects.

2) My neighbors want to impose a historic district on our neighborhood so we can create our own review committee.

On the first point, I have been in the most recent Brookline work by this developer and I have to say, while the exterior seemed decent enough, I felt like he was making the same house over and over again with "nice" finishes but nothing special. Also, the layouts as I saw them were not as well thought out as they could be leaving me to prefer projects like the 99 Winchester development.

On the second, and much more important and interesting, point, I am all for it. Tell me where I can sign up! Don't get me wrong here, I am all for responsible development. Any time we can take a house that is in complete disrepair and turn it into a neighborhood gem it becomes an extreme benefit to us all. However, looking down my street (Winchester) and seeing super-modern exterior condo buildings on top of classic old Victorian houses upsets me. I know of one group of developers who are currently lying in wait to get the house next to them so they can tear down three houses in a row and build a massive development. Developers all impact most of our lives, whether we like them or not. I look at the buyer clients I see who want stainless kitchens, upgraded baths, parking garages, etc... and I know that they will most likely find them in a property that has been improved by a professional developer.

The project we represented on Atherton Road last year is proof of this. The developer took a completely run down house where the whole front portion was sinking into the ground, totally renovated it into amazingly beautiful condos and helped turn around that part of the neighborhood. As a show of thanks to his immediate neighbors, he also paved their driveways and parking areas for them.

My consistent theme when talking about these projects is to encourage the developer and his agent to get out and meet with the community to let everyone feel involved in the project. Being a successful developer is a lot like being a politician and you need to be great at public relations. It is the charismatic people who do well in this world, and I encourage the parties involved in this to start getting together and talking. Good, responsible development is needed to sustain EVERY neighborhood. Bad, irresponsible development is the easiest way to kill a neighborhood. It's a fine line, and maybe we need a committee to discuss it. Hildy Grossman, you know where to find me!


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The views expressed on these pages are the opinion of the author and any public contributors. They do not substitute for the advice of a legal or financial professional. These opinions are not representative of any firm or business. Please always consult an attorney, financial professional or sign a contract with a Buyer Agent or Seller's Agent for specific advice.