JPNC opposes Norbert School project

December 7, 2012
By

HYDE SQ.—The Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Council (JPNC) approved a motion during a Nov. 27 meeting to oppose the plan to turn the Norbert School building into 21 market-rate apartments unless the developers show a good-faith effort to include affordable housing.

The vote was split, with seven members approving the motion, two members opposing and three members abstaining.

Meanwhile, Boston Redevelopment Authority (BRA) spokesperson Melina Schuler said the BRA is undecided whether or not to hold the developers to the City requirement of having at least 15 percent affordable housing in residential projects. The project normally would fall under the requirement, but it is part of the Blessed Sacrament Church campus, which already has many affordable units.

The Norbert building is located at 26 Sunnyside St. The Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Development Corporation (JPNDC) and New Atlantic Development purchased Blessed Sacrament Church campus in 2005. The Norbert building originally housed the COMPASS School, but it left in 2009, leaving the building abandoned.

The developer, Norbert School Associates, said given the purchasing price, offering affordable housing is not a viable option, but would look at it. The developer has said it is exempt from affordable-housing requirement because the project is part of the Blessed Sacrament campus master plan. The campus currently has 81 affordable housing units.