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Kraft backs college's plan to sell some of its Brookline land

Posted by Brock Parker  February 8, 2013 11:21 AM

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New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft is backing a proposal by Pine Manor College to subdivide a piece of its Brookline property so it can be sold and developed as a home.

Robyn Glaser, a representative for Kraft and his son, Patriots President Jonathan Kraft, spoke on their behalf in support of the proposal at a Brookline Planning Board meeting Thursday night.

The small liberal arts college in Chestnut Hill is seeking to subdivide about 5.2 acres of its property so it can be sold and developed as a single family home.

The Boston Herald has reported speculation that New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady and his supermodel wife Gisele Bundchen are interested in building a house on the property.

Robert Allen, a Brookline attorney representing the buyer interested in the property, has declined to say whom he is representing.

Allen told the Planning Board Thursday that the home that would go on the 5.2-acre lot would have a separate structure for domestic employees, and the buyers are also seeking to build a separate 1,300 square-foot, glass yoga studio for their personal use.

Allen said there will be 100 trees planted around the property to screen in the studio.

“This will be probably the most amount of trees ever planted on one particular project,” Allen said.

Robert Kraft lives a few doors down for the property on Heath Street and Jonathan Kraft lives on Woodland Road, which is where the proposed home would have vehicle access.
Glaser said the Krafts were in an airplane Thursday night and were unable to attend the meeting, but both support the college’s plan.

Some other neighbors voiced concerns about the project, including how construction could affect traffic in the area.

Stephen Wald, an attorney representing 16 neighbors in the area, said his clients have a number of concerns, but are working to address them with the college before the proposal goes before Brookline’s Zoning Board of Appeals later this month.

Louis Miller, an attorney representing Pine Manor College, said he’s cautiously optimistic that the school will be able to address neighborhood concerns.

“We’re doing the very best we can to try and work things out,” Miller said.

The Planning Board voted to recommend to the Zoning Board of Appeals that previous rulings about the Pine Manor College property be modified so the College’s proposal can go forward. The Planning Board also voted to recommend approval of the yoga studio if the College’s subdivision plan is approved by the Zoning Board of Appeals, which will hear the matter on Thursday, Feb. 21.

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