Apartment project sent back to drawing board

June 22, 2012
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S. HUNTINGTON—The Boston Redevelopment Authority (BRA) will send developers back to the drawing board with a luxury apartment project proposed for 161 S. Huntington Ave.

After strong community opposition, the BRA will send a scoping document to Boston Residential Group, the developers of the proposed 190 to 200 units, later this month.

Scoping documents outline the feedback the BRA has received from the community, BRA spokesperson Melina Schuler told the Gazette. The developer can alter the project in response to the community feedback or abandon it.

“The details will be worked out in the coming weeks,” Schuler added.

“The development team has not seen the scoping document as of yet,” said Janey Bishoff, spokesperson for Boston Residential Group. “The team looks forward to reviewing it and proceeding at that time.”

Among the complaints sent to the BRA are the small size of the proposed units, precluding families from living in the building; its “ugly” facade; the number of units; expected low percentage of affordable units; the proposed removal of 53 mature trees; failure to restore or adapt the historic 1914 building; and hidden identities of investors in the project.

The developers can file a draft project impact report, a revised draft of the project, if they want to continue developing the property.

If that happens, the BRA will open another public comment period and host at least one more public meeting.

The Home for Little Wanderers is moving out of its three-building complex at 161 S. Huntington Ave. this year.

Corrected version: Due to a reporting error, a previous version of this article stated that the BRA sent the scoping document to the developer in mid-June. The document was prepared in mid-June, but the BRA did not send it to the developer until June 25.

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