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So. Huntington Property to Become Rental Apts.

The city Zoning Board of Appeal approved the plan to raze the former site of the Home for Little Wanderers to clear the way for rental apartments.

The former Home for Little Wanderers property will be torn down due to a ruling by a city board.

The Boston Zoning Board of Appeal approved the project Tuesday morning, which will bring a new building of rental apartments to 161 So. Huntington Ave.

Boston Residential Group will build a development at the site that will contain 196 one, two and three-bedroom rental units – 33 of which will be designated affordable housing, according to a statement from Bishoff Communications on behalf of BRG.

“It will also enable The Home for Little Wanderers to exit the property, pay for its new residential program in Walpole, and sustain the organization’s future,” the statement says.

Additionally the site will generate property taxes for the first time in 100 years, according to the statement.

BRG estimates the project will be ready for occupancy in spring 2014. The project will cost $75 million, according to the statement.

MarkBoston November 14, 2012 at 01:53 PM
What a complete waste of time and a sham it was to pretend to have constructive talks with the community going into this ... Money talks folks ! This venture adds NOTHING to JP at all . It subtracts from us ... full of transient wealthy people holding one year rental leases . I suggest a sidewalk protest when the wrecking ball comes to destroy a chunk of our towns history ... Whats next? The Footlight club so they can build a Papa Johns Pizza place . all thats needed is for them to donate money to the politicians in charge during the consideration process .. Ask Sanchez about that
Bob from JP November 14, 2012 at 03:20 PM
Just keep in mind the next time you go to Longwood that the doctor trying to solve your health issues may be one of these "Wealthy Transients" that you disdain so much. Perhaps you should refuse service until they can prove they don't live in this development?
Rich P November 14, 2012 at 06:07 PM
Bob, brilliant point. I am always amazed at what the looney crowd can conjure up. I will say this, I was pleased to see that the Gazette, [ typically the mouthpiece for our left of left of left ; as fox is the voice of the far right ] finally came around and endorsed whole foods !
Guy Pondside November 14, 2012 at 07:58 PM
Other than the fact that this project is architecturally uninspiring, I don't see what the fuss is about. JP needs to accommodate people from all walks of life and all income levels. This is how neighborhoods survive. This is how JP will thrive.
yannaro November 15, 2012 at 10:30 AM
Both the process and the content were flawed. This was a rush job. The IAG was for show. The IAG met officially in a public forum twice. The scoping sessions do not count because they were not forums where there was give and take. There was no regard for coordinating this project with the other 195 unit apartment complex proposed for 105 A S. Huntington Avenue. Don't bet against that project also being approved. (A monstrous 10 story building with even worse architecture) Then there's the architecture for this project. In a word....ugly. And the building completely fills the land. Completely. Truth be told, although there was merit to saving the 1914 building many involved in the process did not see that as a deal breaker. As for rents, $3,000 is not the highest rent. No substantive discussion was entered into with the IAG or the community by the developer and the city. Changes in response to concerns were minimal. Once these two developments come to fruition there will be tremendous pressure brought to bear on the neighborhood. We will eventually see other properties along S. Huntington acquired and demolished so more huge developments can be constructed. One final comment. When was the last time so many diverse elements in Jamaica Plain united so strongly to oppose something?
Rich P November 15, 2012 at 02:55 PM
Brilliant as well as pragmatic.
Rich P November 15, 2012 at 03:01 PM
I would add, again, that only those who oppose things come out of the woodwork. If there was a valid, truly independent, unbiased Gallup or Harris style survey done, by poll takers in person in the street, on the phone etc - a truly random sample, only then could we truly know how all 37,000 people feel. You cannot gauge a community's pulse by meetings that are in some, perhaps many ways designed to bring out the acrimonious. Many people who support something are afraid to attend such shouting matches where they would be booed and hissed at. My guess is that those people contacted the ZBA directly to voice their support. That piece is missing from this - how much support was send in directly to the ZBA?
MarkBoston November 15, 2012 at 08:32 PM
Rich you obviously don't live on S. Huntington Ave. do you?
yannaro November 16, 2012 at 04:14 AM
Rich, I didn't just come out of the woodwork. I was, in fact, a member of the IAG for this project and I've been around the block more than a few times involved with other large and small projects in Jamaica Plain, some of which I supported, some not, and some where with the help of concerned residents we were able to reach a solution agreeable to all parties.
Rich P November 16, 2012 at 08:44 PM
I live a block from South huntington and am on it daily. My head is not in the sand about JP's appeal to many who, too, would like to live here. I accept the realities of living in a desirable location. One of those realities is that others will want to live here also, and it seems reasonable to make accommodations for them. One thing that 'colors' my perspective as of late is the anti everything chorus around here. When groups are against everything, I [ and i think many others] just go numb. The whole foods foolishness is the biggest example. I will admit that Whole foods made me WANT everything that the vocal 'activists' were 'against'. It almost seems as if that is the mark of good things to come! If the vocal whiners are against it, then by 'definition' it must be good! The new 'definition' of good for JP and Mission Hill being whole foods that hits 10's on all targets. Perhaps that is unfair, perhaps I am no longer critical when i should be .. but alas, that has been the 'whole foods effect' on me. In fact, the head of the JPNC, Ben Day made such a fiasco of this development, that even the Gazette came out strongly opposed to him and demanded his resignation. Such extremism is yet another reason why I am 'for' anything that such people are against .
Rich P November 16, 2012 at 08:47 PM
I will add that I think it is power grab for JP to claim this stretch of s hunting for their own, when is clearly Mission Hill. I think it is patronizing for JPers to imply that Mission Hill cannot speak for itself, and take the microphone from them. I think this is 90% Mission Hill's domain and I for one, look forward to hearing what their "man in the street" has to say.

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