‘Serenity’ scheduled for BRA vote

June 7, 2013
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After over a year in development, the proposed luxury apartment building at 105A S. Huntington Ave., called “Serenity,” is scheduled for a vote from the Boston Redevelopment Authority (BRA) on June 13, three days after a community meeting.

“The schedule for this appears crafted specifically to prevent adequate time for the community to review whatever it is that the developer and the BRA have agreed upon,” BRA-appointed Impact Advisory Group (IAG) member Kevin Moloney told the Gazette in an email. “This is wrong and does not serve well the interests of Jamaica Plain and Mission Hill.”

The developer is not required to hold any more community meetings at this point. Projects are not scheduled for a BRA vote until it is expected that they will be approved.

According to BRA spokesperson Melina Schuler, the developers have attended every meeting of the recently-approved “South Huntington Framework for Future Development Review” corridor plan, which address the types of developments preferred by the community and acceptable exceptions. The plan itself was prompted by the announcements of luxury apartment developments at 105A and 161 S. Huntington Ave.

The June 10 meeting was scheduled to update the community on changes made to the project since it was first presented in a public meeting last July, before the corridor plan process. Developer Tony Nader declined to comment on what those changes are, saying he’d rather wait until the meeting, “where everyone can be heard.”

“We’ve attended every public meeting on the [corridor plan] and listened to what all members of the community have had to say. We’ve met individually with many who care about the neighborhood and worked hard for months with the BRA to make this right,” Nader told the Gazette in an email.

“The BRA should immediately postpone any consideration of this matter by the BRA board for at least a month,” Moloney said.

During the corridor plan process, some residents expressed concerns that the guidelines are too friendly to the Serenity project, particularly by creating a “special height zone” that would not hinder the latest plan presented to the community called for a 10-story building.

Nader’s company, Cedar Valley Development, purchased the 1.1-acre parcel at 105A S. Huntington Ave. from the state in 2006.

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