Fox Point Neighbors Fight “Second Thayer Street"
FPNA leaders, local merchants, and Fox Point neighbors spent the summer months organizing a coordinated campaign to oppose a six-story development proposed for 269 Wickenden Street, at the corner of Wickenden and Brook streets. While the building proposal received initial approval with conditions at a four-hour August meeting of the City Plan Commission, neighbors have since redoubled their efforts to fight it into the Fall months and beyond.
“We can’t let Wickenden go the way of Thayer Street,” one neighbor commented at a recent meeting, naming several chain stores that have replaced small businesses on that street. Others agreed, saying that the proposed building on Wickenden Street could function as a tipping point. The proposal, at six stories and 64 residential units, would dwarf the current streetscape, neighbors argued, cause problems with parking and deliveries, cripple local businesses, and destroy neighborhood character—while opening the door to similar developments in the area. And since the units would be rented at market rates, neighbors contended that any claims that this development would make the neighborhood more affordable are false and misleading.
FPNA leaders were clear about their stance. ‘We don’t oppose all development,” said interim president Lily Bogosian, “We support smart developments that conform to the City’s Comprehensive Plan, which is why we are opposing this one."
Photo, Amy Mendillo