‘Serenity’ approved by BRA

(Courtesy Illustration) An illustration of “Serenity,” as seen from 70 S. Huntington Ave.

(Courtesy Illustration) An illustration of “Serenity,” as seen from 70 S. Huntington Ave.

S. HUNTIGNTON—After over a year in development, the luxury apartment building at 105A S. Huntington Ave., called “Serenity,” was approved by the Boston Redevelopment Authority (BRA) last week. It still needs significant variance approvals from the Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA).

The 195-unit apartment complex will be no higher than five floors on the Jamaicaway side of the property, but a 13-floor tower will be located on the S. Huntington Avenue side, increased from the original 10 stories. Construction is expected to begin early next year, with the project’s completion planned for late 2015 or early 2016.

“A blank site will be transformed into a handsome building that will provide much-needed housing for individuals and families who revere the Jamaica Plain and Mission Hill neighborhoods. We are gratified it has taken a big step forward,” developer Anthony Nader said in a press release.

Serenity will have a mix of units overall including studios, one-, two- and three-bedroom units, 32 of which will be affordably priced.

The S. Huntington side of the project will have 2,100 square feet of retail space, an increase from the 1,600 originally proposed. The lobby will be mostly see-through, allowing views of Leverett Pond from S. Huntington Avenue.

The project will require zoning relief for retail use; height; floor-to-area ratio, a measure of density; and for its proximity to Emerald Necklace parks. According to project attourney Matthew Kiefer, the developers expect to be heard by the ZBA sometime in the fall. Because of these variances, the Jamaica Pond Association and Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Council can request their own reviews.

Serenity will offer residents 24-hour concierge and security services, a 24-hour sports club/fitness center, an HDTV lounge and billiard room, library and computer room, a private courtyard with water feature and children’s play area, swimming pool with lounge and deck, wifi in common areas, on-site management, electric-car charging, and underground garage parking for 195 bicycles and 147 vehicles.

During the corridor plan process, some residents expressed concerns that the newly-created “South Huntington Framework for Future Development Review” corridor guidelines were too friendly to the Serenity project, particularly by creating a “special height zone” that would accommodate a taller project like “Serenity.”

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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