Upcoming 125 Amory St. meeting; JPNC writes BPDA asking for more affordability

November 10, 2017
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The Boston Planning and Development Agency (BPDA) is hosting a community meeting to discuss a redevelopment proposal at 125 Amory St. on Nov. 27.

Boston Housing Authority (BHA) owns the existing mid-rise building at 125 Amory St., which is federally subsidized and provides about 200 units of elderly and disabled public housing. Due to a shortfall of federal funding, BHA issued a request for proposals in 2015 to revitalize and redevelop the building, and Amory Street Partners’ proposal was selected for the project.

Amory Street Partners consists of Urban Edge, Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Development Corporation, and Community Builders.

New large developments are required to go through the Article 80 approval process with the City, which requires that the developers present and engage with the community at a community meeting and impact advisory group meeting.

Meanwhile, the Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Council (JPNC) has written a comment letter to the BPDA in favor of the project.

Kevin Moloney, chair of JPNC, wrote on Oct. 26 that the proposal comes from a respected development team, preserves public housing, significantly improves the pedestrian environment, and meets Plan: JP/Rox guidelines in height and setbacks. The letter supports the project because community engagement efforts have been “extensive,” and the development team has committed to meeting or exceeding Boston Residents Jobs Policy resident and minority-hiring requirements in the construction work.

He also applauded the fact that the project will substantially improve the energy efficiency of the existing buildings and all new buildings will be at least LEED silver.

JPNC’s letter did come with some asks.

“We urge the development team to pursue increased affordability, more affordable units at deeper levels of affordability on these six acres of public land,” Moloney wrote. “We ask the development team for further presentations as the project secures financing, including the topics of enhanced affordability, increased energy efficiency and sustainability, and the quality of construction and post-construction jobs.”

Residents of the existing building at 125 Amory St. and neighbors mostly expressed concerns about parking and traffic at an initial design proposal meeting held in May of this year. Neighbors were concerned that they would have to compete for parking with the new tenants since there would be enough parking spaces for 47 percent of the development’s tenants.

The public meeting will be held on Nov. 27, 6:15-7:45 p.m. at 125 Amory St. For more information, contact Dana Whiteside at Dana.Whiteside@Boston.gov.

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