The 3200 Washington St. project was sold to Berkeley Investments and Nixdorf Family for $6.2 million last month, but the original development team is keeping the Montebello Road portion of the project and developing it under a new City program.
Dan Mangiacotti and Paul Iantosca had planned to build a 76-unit development project at 3200 Washington St. with 18 affordable units.
Berkley Investments did not respond to a request for comment.
“Given how long that project has been approved, the sale isn’t that surprising,” said Kevin Koppes of the Video Underground, which is located near the proposed development. “One company navigating the permit process only to sell to another has happened several time on Washington Street in the past couple years.”
“I guess I’m glad this means construction will probably start sooner, but these arrangements really undercut an aspect of the development process that I think is intended to build a relationship between developers and neighborhoods,” Koppes continued. “If this buy-permit-flip trend continues, a lot of the residents here who were very active in providing input might cease to become as engaged.”
The Mangiacotti and Iantosca development team, which sold the project, said that the reason for selling the property was the three year long approval process, which included a six month delay to resolve the Open Meeting Law violation the City’s Zoning Board of Appeals committed during a hearing on the proposal. The delay caused the developer’s financing to expire. The developers were seeking a partner to team up with to deliver the project as planned, but found no willing partner due to financial difficulties and complications.
Justin Iantosca, part of the development team that sold the property, is under the impression that Berkley Investments has retained the same legal and architectural team that they were working with, and that they plan to build the project as it was designed.
“When completed, 3200 Washington St. will be a successful transformation of abandoned warehouse space into a well-designed mixed-use development that will provide housing and two commercial storefronts for the Jamaica Plain community,” Iantosca said.
The development team has begun work at 52 Montebello Road to develop the existing building into six affordable rental units. Iantosca predicts that work at 52 Montebello will be completed by the end of this year, at which time it will be transferred to Urban Edge for use as affordable housing.
“As a resident and long term members of the Jamaica Plain community, our top priority throughout the entire 3200 Washington process has been and continues to be ensuring that we meet all of our promises and commitments to the community and the neighbors who helped shape the 3200 Washington St. project,” Iantosca said. “The creation of six privately funded affordable rental units for families to begin living in within a few months is something that we as a development team are very excited about.”
The Montebello property will be used as part of the City’s pilot Diversity Preservation Policy, which was announced recently. The policy is to be tested on the Montebello property, and will give preference in accessing new affordable units to current residents of communities where tenants are at a high risk of displacement.
Montebello’s six units of affordable housing will be deed-restricted in perpetuity, and will be available to households making no more than 60 percent of Boston metro area median income, or about $53,000 for 3-person household.
A household’s eligibility for preference under the policy depends on two criteria: where a potential applicant lives, and their household income and specific characteristics.
In smaller developments (fewer than 20 units), preference will be given to residents living within a quarter-mile of the development;
In developments of 20 – 50 units, preference will be given to residents within a half-mile of the development; In larger developments (50 units of more), preference will be given to households currently residing within a three-quarter mile of the development.
To qualify for preference, households also must be either rent-burdened and not living in a subsidized housing unit; elderly homeowners, aged 62 and older, with household income below 80 percent of the area median income (AMI); renters who have a disability and a household income below 100 percent of AMI; or a renter household with income below 80 percent of AMI, with children who are enrolled in a Boston school.
The program will run until the end of 2017, when the City will evaluate the impact of the policy.
Press materials were used in this article.