Apartment project hits roadblocks

May 11, 2012
By

S. HUNTINGTON—The Boston Landmarks Commission (BLC) voted this week to delay demolition of the 1914 Knight Building at 161 S. Huntington Ave. to make way for luxury apartments.

The BLC vote came on the heels of a Jamaica Pond Association’s (JPA) vote in opposition of the project earlier this week. The project’s developer, Boston Residential Group, wants to demolish the entire Home for Little Wanderers site to make way for 190-200 luxury apartments.

“The Commission voted that, in the public interest, it is preferable that the 1914 Knight Building…is preserved or rehabilitated rather than demolished,” BLC staff architect Gary Russell wrote in the BLC’s determination.

The BLC encouraged the developer to work with the community for a compromise. The 90-day delay expires Aug. 7.

Part of the JPA’s opposition to the project stems from the fact that another project for 190-200 luxury apartments is planned for 105A S. Huntington Ave.

Concerns raised at the JPA meeting included the very large size of the proposed apartment building and its design, the façade of which would create a very long wall along S. Huntington Avenue, JPA Board President Jack Fay said.

The proposed developments at 161 and 105A S. Huntington Ave. “are both very large in scope and very close to one another,” Fay said. “The impacts for traffic, construction, and on the community need to be considered together and not in isolation from each other.”

“Given the short time frame and the number of concerns and issues raised at the JPA meeting, the JPA Board voted to oppose the project as currently proposed,” Fay added.

The Boston Redevleopment Authority’s deadline for comments on the 161 S. Huntington project is May 16. Comments can be sent to John.Fitzgerald.BRA@cityofboston.gov.

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