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Twilight Zone: Olmsted Place against Goddard House

Upon hearing of Boston Residential Group CEO Curtis Kemeny, owner of Olmsted Place, raising issues such as affordability and density about the Goddard House, one might be think that the neighborhood has turned into a Twilight Zone.

As Kevin Moloney of the Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Council correctly points out, the same concerns Kemeny has over the Goddard House project, the majority of Jamaica Plain had against his Olmsted Place development. Kemeny, at that time of proposing his development, had no interest in listening to the neighborhood. It was only after significant public blowback and a lawsuit by JPNC that the project was changed.

The community reaction to Olmsted Place also ushered in the S. Huntington Avenue corridor study, which has helped guide the Goddard House project. That proposal has been less controversial than Olmsted Place, especially since the developers respected the community wishes in the S. Huntington Avenue guidelines to preserve the 1927 Goddard House building. Kemeny seemed never to truly consider not knocking down the 1914 Knight building at 161 S. Huntington Ave. to make way for Olmsted Place, which angered many in the neighborhood.

Kemeny’s objections to the Goddard House project seem to stem from sour grapes over that proposal having an easier go of it than his development did.

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