In January, the city of Waltham, Massachusetts, approved a $150 million, six-story, four-story-high-rise apartment complex in the heart of the city’s historic downtown.
The building was designed by London-based Iron Chef Richard Gee and will house about 20 apartments and condos, plus shops, restaurants, and shops that offer retail, services, and entertainment, according to the city.
It’s the second building to be built in Walthamp’s historic district, and the third in the city to be constructed in the past year.
But the project, which was approved by the city and developer, is being criticized by some for its price tag.
The price tag for the complex, according the Boston Globe, is $1.9 billion, and is set to rise to $1 billion when the project is completed in 2019.
Some critics, including the Boston-based Center for Responsible Construction, say the cost is out of proportion to its potential use.
“If you’re going to build a high-rise residential building, that’s what you should be doing,” David Scharf, a senior attorney with the center, told Newsweek.
“It’s not a project to build low-rise apartments and low-income housing.
It is a highrise project to provide affordable housing.”
A report released by the Massachusetts Association of Realtors last month showed that while the median price of a home in Boston is about $300,000, the median rent for a one-bedroom apartment in Wollaston is $2,500.
Scharf and other critics say the building, with its high-rises and expensive amenities, is in no way “substantially more affordable” than a home with a smaller footprint.
“What’s more important than affordability is quality,” Scharf said.
“If you can’t provide the type of amenities that are affordable, then you’re just going to lose the money you’re spending on it.”
Iron Chef Gee says that the $1,000 price tag is not necessarily a concern, and that the building is a good investment for the city as a whole.
“I’ll pay a premium for it,” he said.
Walthamps new development is the latest in a series of projects by developers in the Boston area.
The city recently announced a $5 million development in Cambridge that will include 1,500 apartments and will be home to approximately 10,000 people.
The project is expected to create 1,300 jobs, according a press release.
The developers behind the Cambridge project, Gable Properties, and a consortium of developers have received approvals from the city for construction of an apartment building at the corner of Massachusetts Avenue and Broad Street in Cambridge.
The developer is expected begin construction in October 2019.
Gable recently announced that it is partnering with the City of Boston to construct a residential project at an apartment complex that will consist of roughly 10,500 units and include 1.3 million square feet of retail space.
The Boston Redevelopment Authority has also awarded a $100 million grant to Gable to complete a five-story development on the corner on Massachusetts Avenue near the intersection of Massachusetts and Massachusetts Streets.