Apartments slated for Indian site

S. HUNTINGTON—A large apartment complex with 190 to 200 units is being planned for a parcel next to the North American Indian Center of Boston (NAICOB) on S. Huntington Avenue, according to a Letter of Intent filed with the Boston Redevelopment Authority (BRA) last week by Cedar Valley Development.

The multi-building development will include townhouses and apartment buildings of one-, two- and three-bedroom, high-end units targeted at graduate students and families, Cedar Valley Manager Anthony Nader told the Gazette. The project would also include ground-floor retail space.

“Renting to undergraduates would negatively affect our ability to rent to families,” Nader said.

Cedar Valley purchased the 1.1-acre parcel at 105A S. Huntington Ave. from the state in 2005, amid controversy. The site had been used by NAICOB since the 1970s.

Nader said he expects to rent the luxury apartments—which are planned to include granite countertops, stainless steel appliances and hardwood floors—at market levels, which, according to Nader, may mean $2,600 to $2,800 for a one-bedroom and $3,200 to $3,600 for a two-bedroom.

Nader said there are few three-bedroom units planned, so rents for those units have not yet been discussed. The project will also include affordable units, as required by city guidelines.

“I’m sure the development itself will be a substantial improvement to the community,” Nader said. “I really think that it will be received popularly. The pressure of lack of housing is causing the prices to go through the roof.”

The complex is planned to include an on-site gym, underground garage and 24-hour security. While the exact number of parking spaces has not yet been decided, Nader is estimating that there will be fewer than one parking space per unit.

Most of the units are planned to have balconies facing Leverett Pond. Nader added that the development is aiming for LEED certification, which identifies a high standard of environmentally-conscious building techniques.

The project is still under development, Nader said, but added that it should be submitted to the BRA in the next two months.

The property lies in the Greenbelt Overlay District associated with the park, which would require Parks Commission review. It is currently a large, fenced-in field, surrounded by trees.

The state auctioned the land off in 2005 against the wishes of NAICOB and some in the neighborhood who wanted the future of the land to be determined by the community or kept under the control of NAICOB, not private developers. The auction price was $1.54 million.

The lot at 105A S. Huntington Ave. was where NAICOB held regional powwows, weddings and other large outside events. NAICOB has occupied the formerly abandoned youth detention facility for women at 105 S. Huntington Ave. since 1973 under a nominal dollar-a-year lease. It is currently in a 99-year lease with the state.

“It was always known that that piece of property was going to be sold and developed,” state Rep. Jeffrey Sánchez told the Gazette last week. “We’ve been able to work with [the developers] so that [NAICOB] is respected in the property.”

Sánchez was a vocal supporter of NAICOB during the controversy.

NAICOB serves 6,000 constituents from 40 North American nations a year with counseling, day care, health services and job training.

Gazette calls to NAICOB Executive Director Joanne Dunn were not returned by press time.

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