BPDA Board Approves Rockwood Street Project

By Michael Coughlin Jr.

The Boston Planning and Development Agency’s (BPDA) Board of Directors approved a project at 96-100 Rockwood Street in Jamaica Plain during a meeting on Thursday, August 17.

At this meeting, Christopher Tracy, a consultant on the project team and a Vice President at O’Neill and Associates, indicated that different plans concerning this project date back to 2018.

“A letter of intent came into the BPDA on this site — in this current plan — in July of ‘21. So throughout the pandemic, we had numerous meetings both hosted by the BPDA and both on our own,” said Tracy.

Tracy also mentioned that the project team had met with the Jamaica Hills Association multiple times and even hosted them and others from the impact advisory group and the BPDA at the site.

“The process was very robust. We feel the project has matured in a very good way,” he said.

During last week’s Board meeting, Caitlin Coppinger of the BPDA outlined the project that would construct 13 separate residential structures and renovate an existing farmhouse on the site to provide a total of 36 residential units with a mix of two and three-bedroom condominium units.

Additionally, Coppinger indicated that the project would contain 36 parking spaces for cars and a minimum of 36 interior residential bike spaces.

Donald Wiest, permitting counsel for the project, also gave some other specifics about the development, including that the new structures — in a contemporary way — would share elements like a strong gable form to coincide with the existing stone farmhouse.

He also mentioned that the design team has made “great efforts” to respect the terrain and topography of the site. “There will be minimal cut and fill — much of that is used to bring the access roads through, but in general, this project will sit lightly on its site,” said Wiest.

Moreover, the project is also committed to employing mitigation strategies and other community benefits, such as adding more greenery, making a voluntary payment of over $1.9 million to the City’s Inclusionary Development Policy (IDP) fund, and a total of $50,000 in voluntary payments to Jamaica Plain organizations, $20,000 to the Eliot School, $15,000 to Bikes not Bombs and $15,000 to the Hyde Square Task Force.

The project team will also bring some transportation commitments, which include providing the design and funding for a sidewalk the length of Avon Street and a portion of Rockwood Street.

A pedestrian path from Rockwood Street to Avon Street along a private way and the installation of speed humps on portions of Rockwood and Avon would also be provided, among other things.

When the project team wrapped up its presentation, the BPDA Board unanimously approved the project without questions.

To learn more about the project, you can visit its webpage on the BPDA’s website at https://www.bostonplans.org/projects/development-projects/96-100-rockwood-street.

Also, if you would like to watch the BPDA Board meeting and the project presentation in its entirety, you can view it at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Z_aKfme28U&ab_channel=BostonCityT.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *