JPNC Housing & Development Committee Discusses Three Proposals

The Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Council (JPNC) Housing & Development Committee met virtually on October 19 where they heard three presentations for proposals in the neighborhood, including one at 3409 Washington St., one at 127 Amory St., and one at 10 Stonley Rd.

3409 Washington St.

Dave Traggorth of Traggorth Companies said that the proposal at 3409 Washington St., which is currently a “tow lot with a chain link fence around it,” is to create a four story residential building with parking.

Last summer, the original proposal of a boutique hotel was changed to this residential proposal after hearing feedback from the community that a hotel use is not the best use of that land.

Kevin Deabler of RODE Architects said that the proposed four story building will “maintain a strong streetwall presence.”

The building will feature 29 residential units—14 studios, eight one bedrooms, and seven two bedroom units. There will also be seven parking spaces and a total of 32 bike parking spaces for residents and visitors. Five of the units will be affordable, and one will be accessible.

Deabler said that two zoning variances are required for the project: Floor Area Ratio and building height. The project will be fully compliant with the city’s Building Energy Reduction and Disclosure Ordinance (BERDO), will be all electric with potential solar PV panels, and will aim for LEED Silver certification, he added.

For community benefits, the ground floor will feature a community space, and the project will improve walkability” and “traffic flow” in the area, according to a slide presented, as well as create jobs and tax revenue. The slide also states that the affordable units are “in excess of [Inclusionary Development Plan] and at 50 percent [Area Median Income] (AMI).”

Committee member Marvin Mathelier said that he has a “tad bit of concern with the development that’s going on in that corridor,” as well as “congestion in that area during development or post development.”

Traggorth said that the project team will be coordinating with the Boston Transportation Department “from a construction management planning perspective,” and that it’s the city’s responsibility to coordinate sidewalk permits and the like.

There was also concern raised about the larger number of smaller apartments proposed, as many families are looking for larger affordable units in the neighborhood.

Traggorth said that in Jamaica Plain, there are “lots of triple deckers with multiple bedrooms, and people do appreciate studios and one bedrooms.” He also said that the unit that will be at 50 percent AMI will be a studio unit.

Committee member Carolyn Royce said that there are definitely concerns about the affordable units and the fact that there are not enough of them.

The committee decided that they would discuss this further at next month’s meeting, when the project team will return.

27 Amory St.

John Harding, a project manager at The Community Builders (TCB), talked about a proposal for 127 Amory St., which he said is currently a Boston Housing Authority site that TCB is partnering with Urban Edge and JPNDC to develop.

“The entire site went through Article 80 years ago,” he said, but the proposal now is to change the affordability of the previously approved project to make it 100 percent affordable. He said the team has “recently submitted a notice of project change,” and hoped to receive support from the JPNC because it is “helpful in our applications for funding,” Harding said.

Harding explained that the building envelope will remain the same as previously approved, but the originally approved 140 units of mostly studio and one bedrooms is now proposed to be 96 units, more than half of which will be two and three bedroom units. Originally, the building was to have an underground parking garage, but now there will be “14 outdoor and 16 indoor” parking spaces, a decrease from the original 14 outdoor and 56 other spaces that were set to be included in the garage. The building is proposed to be six stories.

The affordability is  a “totally even mix” of one third of the units at 30 percent AMI, one third at 60 percent AMI, and one third at 80 percent AMI, he said.

There is also green space at the front of the building, and Harding said that the “main goals here are to connect with the outdoors.”

After a few questions and answers, the committee voted to write a letter in support of the increased affordability and increased number of family units.

10 Stonley RD

Matt Henzy, a consultant for JPNDC, presented the proposal for 10 Stonley Rd., which used to have a different developer but has been taken over in a partnership between JPNDC and Traggorth Companies.

The proposal is for a 45 unit affordable home ownership units, with five artist live/work units. It will be new construction on the existing lot at 10 Stonley Rd.

“This project had a prior iteration under a different development team and different ownership,” Henzy said, and was set to be rental units that were “primarily market rate.”

In 2019, the previous project went through a process with the Stonybrook Neighborhood Association (SNA), which had several concerns with the proposal. Both the BPDA and the ZBA also approved the prior project.

Henzy said that the 45 units of affordable home ownership being proposed now will follow passive house standards. The building will be four stories, and consist of studio units, as well as one, two, and three bedroom units. He did said that it is ‘heavy on studios and ones,” and the “unit mix is subject to some minor modification.”

He also said that the team met with the SNA on October 6.

The committee ultimately voted to write a “qualified letter in support” that will be based on the now 100 percent affordability. There were also discussions on deed restrictions for the property, but the committee decided the letter would not discuss that for now.

“That very much fits within our goals and priorities ad we’re very excited to see 100 percent affordable homes for sale,” said committee member Micah Sachs of the new proposal.

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