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Brookline Residents React To Boylston Street Building Plans

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It was not a public hearing held by the Planning Board or even the Select Board that drew a crowd of concerned residents to a Town Hall meeting room on Nov. 28, but a small design team meeting on a new building intended for Boylston Street.

On Nov. 28 the Design Advisory Team reviewed the proposed design for a new building going to 20 Boylston Street, replacing the former Dunkin Donuts.

Located at the corner of Boylston Street and High Street, the proposed building is mixed-use with the first level for commercial space and three levels of residential. The three residential floors are proposed to hold 14 units with varying number of bedrooms.

The building will also include a parking lot for 14 cars as well as a garage, according to the designs.

Around 35 residents filled the meeting room, occupying nearly every chair in the room. What drew the crowd was the newly released designs for the building.

Upon seeing the designs for the building ahead of the meeting, Precinct 5 Town Meeting Member Faith Michaels shared the plans on Facebook, and neighbors flooded her inbox with comments and emails. Many felt the building was too big for the space and the designs did not compliment the neighborhood.

The building will have a prominent location marking the entry to the Boylston Street corridor as it stretches through Brookline. According to Michaels and other residents, this makes the design of the building critical.

At the start of the meeting Steven Heikin, chairman of the Design Advisory Team and the Planning Board explained that as is typical with “high impact projects” the advisory team’s purpose is to work with the architect to provide feedback and to make a recommendation to the Planning Board.