Maple Hurst proposes 22-unit rental development

September 11, 2009
By

David Taber

EGLESTON SQ.—Local developer Maple Hurst Builders is planning to build 22 units of rental housing at 80 Walnut Park, Maple Hurst principal Chris DeSisto told the Gazette last week.

The proposed four-story building will have mostly two- three- and four-bedroom apartments with “a couple of one-bedrooms,” DeSisto told the Gazette.

The proposed development will be wood-frame with an elevator and underground parking, he said.

DeSisto said he proposed to build nine condominium units at the same site two years ago, but the current housing market in Egleston will not bear that project, he said.

He said he has submitted plans to the city and expects to hear back soon that he must apply for a few zoning variances, including for the floor-area to lot size ratio of the proposed building.

The city setting a hearing date will trigger a community review by the Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Council Zoning Committee, which regularly makes recommendations to the city zoning Board of Appeal about local zoning issues.

In the meantime, Maple Hurst is planning a community meeting for Wed., Sept. 16 at 6:30 p.m. at the Egleston Square Branch Library community room at 2044 Columbus Ave. to introduce its proposal to the community.

DeSisto told the Gazette he is still pushing for funding for a mixed-use condo/retail project he won approval for last year on Green Street near Washington Street. A couple of investors are interested he said, but, while he still hopes to begin construction this fall, he may have to wait until the spring.

“The market is stronger on Green Street than in Egleston Square for condos,” he said, noting that the resale price for condos he built on the other side of the Green Street Orange Line T Station has “held steady.”

“Condos in today’s market in Egleston is a non-starter,” he said.
DeSisto told the Gazette Maple Hurst is also close to finalizing the purchase of the now-closed Mississippi’s Restaurant building on Terrace Street in Mission Hill. He plans to renovate that building into a smaller restaurant, offices and a workshop for a “tradesperson” in the back.

DeSisto said he is in discussions with an unnamed JP restaurateur about the Mission Hill site. He said he hopes to finalize the purchase by mid-September.

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