Tenant vows to fight Hughes Oil development

June 21, 2013
By

One of the tenants of the former Hughes Oil property at 3593 Washington St. has promised to fight his organization’s potential eviction, which would make room for 285 studio, one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments and townhouses, retail space and open space.

The lot currently includes several industrial buildings, some of which are occupied by the Neighborhood Assistance Corporation of America (NACA), a nonprofit community advocacy and homeownership organization, and Forest Hills Electrical Supply, Inc., a construction supply company.

“We’re going to fight the eviction,” NACA CEO Bruce Marks told the Gazette. “We’ve been a part of JP for many years. It’s outrageous what they’re trying to do.”

The developers met with the Stonybrook Neighborhood Association (SNA) last week and provided more details on the project, but did not mention the property’s current tenants or the fact the project would require rezoning.

A Gazette request for comment from developers, Braintree-based John M. Corcoran and Company and Boston-based The Brennan Group, was not returned by press time.

The property is currently zoned as a local industrial subdistrict, meaning that the project will need rezoning to demolish the current buildings and build the proposed mixed-use buildings.

The developers presented more details to the SNA at a June 10 meeting, including proposed building heights, expected rents and a possible construction timeline.

SNA members were generally in favor of the project, though there was disagreement on how much parking should be offered to future residents.

No mention was made of the need to evict longtime tenants in order to demolish the existing buildings. NACA has been on the property for over 10 years and employs over 40 people. Forest Hills Electrical Supply has been on the site since 1995.

No plans have yet been filed with the City, the developers said, because “we want to be guided by what you think will be good for your neighborhood,” developer Jack Brennan said at the SNA meeting. “We’ve virtually adopted all your planning guidelines.”

The SNA guidelines were originally created for a neighboring development at the former Flanagan & Seaton Motor Car Company location at 3521-3529 Washington St. and outline the SNA’s preferences for developments in the area, including mixed-use and affordability guidelines.

Brennan said his team hopes to start the city process in the next two months, so construction can “hopefully start in the next 12 to 18 months,” he said.

Brennan added that he is aware that his construction would potentially coincide with construction for the Casey Arborway project, less than a quarter-mile away. But he said he doesn’t expect any conflict, as the Hughes Oil lot would be large enough to accommodate construction and staging without interfering with Casey project operations.

The buildings would scale down from a five-story building at the property’s southern end to a three-story facade at the northern end to more closely match the homes that abut the property.

The developers are estimating that a one-bedroom apartment could rent in the $1,600 to $1,700 range, and a two-bedroom for about $2,000.

The current owners have been making extensive clean-up efforts for the past three or four years, replacing 30,000 tons of contaminated soil, Brennan said.

The lot is located across the street from the former Flanagan & Seaton Motor Car Company location, which is also under consideration for mixed-use development, and the MBTA Arborway bus yard. The purchase from the current owner on city records, Arborway Corp., has not yet been finalized. The Gazette was unable to find a working number for that entity.

The lot extends almost to the edge of the Southwest Corridor Park and abuts a small MBTA building there. It extends almost as far north as Burnett Street, abutting houses on that street.

  • Whit

    The horror! Someone wants to build an apartment building? With apartments? For people to rent? On an ugly under-utilized property with easy access to the T that will improve the neighborhood 800 fold? How dare someone even think of doing such a thing. So glad these activists are stopping such an ugly low-down project. Afterall, why would anyone want to rent an apartment?