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Brookline selectmen ask state to block proposed 21-story Coolidge Corner tower

Chestnut Hill Realty proposes to build a 21-story apartment building in Brookline’s Coolidge Corner.
Chestnut Hill Realty proposes to build a 21-story apartment building in Brookline’s Coolidge Corner.Chestnut Hill Realty

Brookline’s selectmen have called on state officials to help block a proposed 21-story tower in Coolidge Corner, saying in a draft letter that the development’s size and scope is too large for the neighborhood.

Late last year, local developer Chestnut Hill Realty proposed The Coolidge, a 320-unit residential building, which would be built under the state’s Chapter 40B affordable housing law.

But selectmen blasted the project for having “inappropriate size, massing and scale” in a draft copy of their letter to state housing agency MassDevelopment.

“It will be, by far, the tallest building in Brookline,” selectmen wrote.

Selectmen voted Tuesday to send a letter to MassDevelopment that laid out their opposition to the project, asking officials to deny the developer’s application for eligibility under 40B.

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Selectmen’s draft letter also noted that the tower would be less than a half-mile from six other Chapter 40B developments that include a total of about 500 residences. One 10-story project is across the street from the 21-story tower, selectmen said.

“The proposed building fails miserably in meeting the fundamental guideline that a 40B development honor its surrounding context,” according to a draft copy of the letter.

Town officials hope to work with the project’s developer to come up with a mixed-use proposal that includes a hotel, residential, and business space as an alternative for the property.

But town officials want to prevent any chance of a residential tower on Waldo Street. And the Coolidge Corner proposal contributed to selectmen’s request for a moratorium on further proposals under 40B late last year.

Last month, the state Department of Housing and Community Development declined to issue the moratorium, but granted the town additional time to review 40B proposals.

The town is facing 10 simultaneous development proposals under the affordable housing law.

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Neil Wishinsky, the board’s chairman, said during a meeting Tuesday this was the first time that selectmen made asked state officials to move against a project.

“In no other letter do we ask for a denial,” said Wishinsky.


John Hilliard can be reached at john.hilliard@globe.com.