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Developer proposes converting old Brighton funeral home into housing

Posted by Matt Rocheleau  June 6, 2012 03:56 PM

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(Boston Redevelopment Authority)

A rendering of the new, three-story building planned to be built next to the old funeral home on Washington Street. The funeral home will be renovated and converted into four residential units.

This story was updated on Fri., June 8 at 3 p.m. to include additional information about the development from a complete copy of the plans filed with the city.

A local developer is proposing to convert an old former funeral home building in Brighton into housing.

The building at 458-460 Washington St. is believed to have been built prior to 1875, city officials have said. The McNamara Funeral Home business operated there for 77 years before closing last year.

The two-story, 5,100 square-foot structure would be renovated to include four residential units, according to the development proposal.

A new, three-story building would be built on the partially vacant lot. That 23,300 square foot structure would house another 24 residential units, the filing says. A 19-space parking garage would be build below the new building. The site would also include 29 outdoor parking spots.

The plans call for be one studio, 19 one-bedroom units and eight two-bedroom units

Changes to vehicular and pedestrian access to the property would be made as part of the proposal. It also calls for improvements to the site’s landscaping.

If the project is approved, developers expect it would take about one year to complete the work and the undertaking would employ up to 30 construction workers.

After receiving resident and city input about an earlier proposal made in March, the development plans were scaled back from a 38-unit, 54-parking space project, according to the project filing.

The plans were filed with the city on May 24 by Washington Victory Apartments Limited Partnership, an entity headed by Stephen M. Chapman that officially formed in March by Watertown-based real estate company SMC Partners, LLC.

SMC Partners is led by Chapman and John H. Halvorsen, according to state filings. Stephen M. Chapman and Suzanne M. Chapman also run SMC Management out of the same office in Watertown.

In Dec. 2011, Washington Oak Square Limited Partnership, another sub-entity of SMC Partners, purchased the property – divided into two parcels that total nearly three quarters of an acre – for about $1 million from John B. McNamara, state records show.

About six months before that property transaction, a different developer, Brighton-based Hera Development Corporation, told it hoped to raze the former funeral home and replace it with a 9,000 square-foot organic- and natural-foods grocery store that would have included a 35-space parking lot.

The proposal filed about two weeks ago will under go a small project public review process led by the Boston Redevelopment Authority.

That city agency has scheduled a public hearing on the project for June 19 from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at the Knights of Columbus on Washington St. in Brighton.

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