Boston Planning and Development Agency Gives Go Ahead for Project at 121 Brookside Avenue

The project at 121 Brookside Ave. in Jamaica Plain by developer Scott Johnson received Boston Planning and Development Agency board approval last Thursday at the board’s May meeting.

Johnson plans to develop a four-story residential loft-style building on two parcels totaling 8,679 square feet. The project will replace a parking lot with quality transit-oriented housing that includes artist live/work and residential unit.

The property abuts a one-story brick structure to the left, parking lot parcels to the rear and an area used for parking by a light industrial abutter to the right.  Across the street is a new mixed use residential and artist work space development already under construction close to Bartlett Square.

The BPDA approved building will contain 23 homeownership units–including two artist live/work condominium spaces on the ground floor as well as a ground floor parking garage for 11 vehicles.  Upstairs are an additional 21 condominium residences or seven units per floor. 

The units are a blend of studios, one bedrooms and two bedrooms.

“The project is compliant with the affordable housing, urban design, green building and open space recommendations outlined in PLAN: Jamaica Plain/Roxbury which was approved by the BPDA Board in March 2017,” wrote the BPDA board in its ruling. The PLAN: Jamaica Plain/Roxbury initiative changed some zoning in the areas while ‘preserving, enhancing and growing’ the two communities.

Positioned on the site to allow for wider sidewalks and street trees consistent with the Boston Complete Street Guidelines, the proposed building is designed to complement, and be compatible with, the architecture of the surrounding area, according to Johnson. 

The massing is articulated to break down the scale and to relate to neighboring buildings, and at 45 feet, is consistent with the PLAN: Jamaica Plain/Roxbury new zoning .  

The first floor includes two live/work units with separate entrances and larges glazed openings. Cladding will be a combination of brick, metal siding and cement board allowing a mix of textures with multiple colors that is reflective of the variety found in the neighborhood.  “Balconies are included to provide access to private outdoor space, and a roof level amenity space provides access to a common outdoor roof deck,” wrote Johnson in his BPDA filing. “The building is designed to provide appropriate access to daylight and fresh air for residents, with durable materials and energy efficient systems and technology.” The BPDA cited the fact that the project will replace a parking lot and industrial use coupled with the pedestrian environment on Brookside Avenue being improved  with wider sidewalks, landscaping and active ground floor uses as community benefits  for Jamaica Plain.

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