City Realty files Green Street development with BPDA

October 26, 2018
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City Realty has filed plans with the Boston Planning and Development Agency (BPDA) for a mixed-use development with 23 residential units and about 700 square feet of retail space at 197-201 Green St.

The project was originally filed as part of a larger development that included space along Washington Street, but City Realty has since withdrawn that proposal and is attempting to sell the Washington Street parcels.

BPDA is scheduled to hold a community meeting on the Green Street proposal on Oct. 25, after the Gazette deadline.

The project would be a 20,480-square-foot building with four floors; a mix of studios, one-bedroom units, and two-bedroom units; six parking spaces; and a bike room.

“City Realty’s goal when conceptualizing this project was to revitalize the neighborhood by replacing the existing outdated free standing single-family dwelling and vacant land with a mixed-use building that will add new housing units to the increasingly popular Jamaica Plain community,” said the filing.

City Realty expects to begin construction on the project next spring.

City Realty recently presented its proposal to the Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Council’s Housing and Development Committee. Chair Carolyn Royce said the committee had two main issues with the proposal:

– The proposal is at 17 percent affordability, and JPNC asks for 25 percent; The committee wants to see an increase in the number of affordable units.

– The developers need to finish their community engagement process with Union Ave. and Green St. neighbors; they had promised further meetings, then did not follow through.  Neighbors will live with the project and often have good insight into the details that will make a project work better. It is essential that the developers take action to consult with neighbors, answer questions, and revise the project as needed.

Clifford Kensington of City Realty responded, “Our affordable percentage for this project is significantly higher than the 13 percent currently required by law and like all other dimensional aspects of the project, is completely in compliance with the regulations implemented in the Plan JP/ROX study for the entire neighborhood. That standard was arrived at after a multiyear process featuring deep economic analysis, dozens of public meetings open to all members of the community and smaller workshops with direct stakeholders.”

He also said that City Realty is in the middle of its community outreach and that it is “not accurate to say that we have ever refused to meet on this or any other development project.”

“We have been meeting with abutters and the Union Ave association for almost two years as this project has changed over time,” said Kensington. “This recent meeting with the JPNC was merely one of a number of meetings scheduled in the upcoming weeks to present the latest version of the project. We are working to meet again with the Union Ave group and the JPNC again before the process is completed and we will continue engaging the neighborhood as the process continues.”

 

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