161 S. Huntington slated for BRA vote

October 5, 2012
By

S. HUNTINGTON— The controversial luxury apartment project proposed for 161 S. Huntington Ave. is “anticipated” to be heard and voted on by the Boston Redevelopment Authority (BRA) board at its Thurs., Oct. 18 meeting, according to a BRA spokesperson. It has a high likelihood of being approved, as BRA staff only submit projects to the board when they consider the plans ready for approval.

No official meeting to present any changes to the plan has been scheduled prior to the BRA vote. The Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Council is holding a community meeting about the project on Mon., Oct. 15 at 6:30 p.m. at the Hennigan School, 200 Heath St.

The project was originally scheduled for a vote at last month’s BRA board meeting before being taken off the agenda three days before the meeting amid community opposition.

“The project is anticipated to be on the agenda” of the Oct. 18 meeting, BRA spokesperson Melina Schuler told the Gazette. A draft agenda will be available on the BRA website, bostonredevelopmentauthority.org, on Oct. 15.

The developer, Boston Residential Group, plans to create 196 units consisting of studios and one-, two- and three-bedroom units in a four- to five-story building on the former site of the Home for Little Wanderers.

Many Jamaica Plain residents have raised concerns over rental prices—expected to range from $1,900 to $4,000—the small size of the proposed units; its “ugly” facade; the number of units; expected low percentage of affordable units; the proposed removal of 53 mature trees; and failure to restore or adapt the historic 1914 building.

The plans were submitted in March and have already undergone one round of alterations, following strong community opposition.

The BRA board meeting is open to the public and will take place in City Hall at 5:30 p.m.