Groups favor Washington St. study

June 20, 2014
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Some local neighborhood groups appear to be on board for the Boston Redevelopment Authority’s (BRA) potential planning study for the Washington Street Corridor, with one group even calling for the study to be extended to Jackson Square.

The BRA announced last month that it might conduct a planning study on Washington Street between Egleston Square and Forest Hills. That section of Washington Street has several proposed projects on the horizon, including a 283-unit apartment project called “The Commons” at 3593-3615 Washington St.

Nick Martin, spokesperson for the BRA, said in an email to the Gazette that there have not been any new developments and that the study is “very much in the formative stages, and we look forward to working with the community on a process that takes into account the concerns and desires of all stakeholders.”

Several local neighborhood groups have voiced support for such a planning study.

The Stonybrook Neighborhood Association sent a letter last month to Mayor Martin Walsh requesting that a study be done because “the time is now to develop a corridor plan for this portion of Washington Street.” Without one, it said, the community “will not fully leverage the benefits of future private investment.”

Luis Edgardo Cotto, executive director of Egleston Square Main Street (ESMS), said the organization’s board recently voted in favor of writing a letter to the mayor requesting a planning study for Washington Street and that it be extended to Jackson Square.

He noted that ESMS’s district extends along Columbus Avenue until close to Jackson Square. Cotto said with all the development in the area, ESMS wants to be proactive rather than reactive.

Tim Reardon, a member of ESMS’s Economic Development Committee and the Egleston Square Neighborhood Association, said the time is ripe for a planning study.

“Washington Street and Columbus Avenue present unparalleled opportunities to create new homes and jobs in Jamaica Plain,” he said in an email to the Gazette. “The time is right for a major planning effort by the City of Boston to establish a bold new vision for this corridor, and we must follow through with the policies and investments to make that vision a reality.”

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