Boston regulators have approved construction of the city’s first condominium complex with no parking for residents’ cars, a project expected to be a test case.
The Boston Redevelopment Authority approved the 15-story, 175-unit building at Lovejoy Wharf in the West End, where a new headquarters for athletic shoe company Converse Inc. is under construction. The authority voted Thursday to change previously approved plans, eliminating a 315-space parking garage.
In recent years, Mayor Thomas Menino’s administration has begun backing away from city requirements that all new residential buildings come with parking spaces. It’s part of an effort to cut down on traffic jams and pollution.
“This development is going to seize on that existing infrastructure to create a new way of living in this neighborhood and getting around Boston,” Peter Spellios, an executive with developer Related Beal, told The Boston Globe. “I don’t think the parking situation is ever going to get fixed simply by building more garages.”
Related Beal executives have said there already is ample parking nearby. The area contains several large parking garages and is served by commuter rail and the MBTA’s Green and Orange lines.
“The access to public transportation in this neighborhood is second to none,” Spellios said.
Some area residents and business owners are skeptical.
“It doesn’t make sense to have 175 luxury condominiums and no parking spaces,” said Scott Nogueira, a resident of a neighboring building and owner of Porters Bar and Grill.
Nogueira has been pushing the city to build more parking in the area for more than a decade, saying the neighborhood has become inhospitable to short-term parkers and overnight visitors.