Letter: Serenity project meets neighborhood needs

We have read a few critical comments about the plans for the development on the empty lot at 105A S. Huntington Ave., and we’d like to respond.

We think the architectural drawings that have been shown are attractive and offer a positive modern alternative to the valued historic brownstones and bay-fronts that have dominated the area. The design also accommodates larger units for families and will help diversify the neighborhood, which now has a predominance of students living here.

Our neighborhood, like many in Boston, needs ore housing at a variety of rent levels, and this project will not only create needed homes, it will also fill an empty hole, enliven the street on both sides, and add a modest amount of commercial space for both residents and the rest of the neighborhood.

We think the combination of a section of lower floors that mimic the existing neighborhood architecture and the upper floors that assume more of the form of institutional neighbors up the street on S. Huntington Avenue is a creative mixture of styles. And the deep setbacks on the upper floors from the Jamaicaway significantly reduce the impact on the west side.

No one likes high rents, but that is something no one can control. Any quality new building will have market-rate rents or won’t be built. The project proposed by Cedar Valley Development and Anthony Nader and his family company will provide more than two-dozen affordable apartments along with the others.

There will always be some who oppose anything that is new. But we think the plans for this project have broadly accomplished the needs of the neighborhood—this could have been an office or institutional use—and are fully in support of it.

Ralph Spears


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