Group starts petition over 3353 Washington St. project

April 28, 2017
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A group of residents calling themselves the Green Street Renters Association has started a petition advocating for more affordability in developer Mordechai Levin’s 3353 Washington St. project.

Meanwhile, the project appeared before the Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Council’s Zoning Committee on April 12. Several motions were put forward on the project, but none were approved, according to Zoning Committee Chair Dave Baron. The full council was expected to take up the project on the evening of April 25, after the Gazette deadline.

The petition, which has more than 500 signatures, reads, “Mordechai Levin’s proposed apartment/commercial development at 203-209 Green St. and 3353-3359 Washington St. in Jamaica Plain, MA should include 25% affordable residential units. The affordable units should be affordable for households earning 70% AMI, and density-bonus units should be affordable for households earning 40% AMI. Mordechai Levin’s current proposal falls far short of the Plan JP/Rox affordability standards, the JP Neighborhood Council’s longstanding affordability standards, AND (most importantly) the affordability levels needed to preserve the racial and economic diversity of our vibrant neighborhood.”

When asked for comment on the petition and the Zoning Committee meeting, Terry Bruce of the development team replied in an email, “We continue to believe that this is a good project that hits all the boxes for thoughtful transit-oriented development in a neighborhood that is suffering from the lack of adequate housing for all income levels. We think we have an outstanding project, and we support the right of people to express their opinions. We were gratified by the considerable support that we received at the Zoning Committee meeting. We presented to the committee, we answered their questions, and its members could not find agreement. That’s democracy.”

Levin has proposed an $18 million mixed-use development at the intersection of Washington and Green streets. Levin is a well-known developer in Jamaica Plain who was behind the development of the Stop & Shop and the new Martha Eliot Health Center building in Jackson Square. His current proposal calls for a 45,737-square-foot building at 3353 Washington St. that would have six stories and include 45 residential units with about 2,000 square feet of ground-floor retail space. It would also have 24 parking spaces at the rear of the building.

The new building would consist of several residential floors over a ground-floor level, and would contain a mix of studios, one- and two-bedroom rental units, some with private outdoor terraces. The plans also call for interior storage for around 20 bicycles. The proposed building would contain eight affordable-housing units on-site.

As part of the project, two existing buildings would be demolished and five parcels of land would be combined into one. The project will need several variances, including for exceeding height limit and for not meeting the minimum parking requirement.

The Boston Planning and Development Agency board approved the project late last year.

 

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