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12-story, 195-unit residential building proposed along S. Huntington Ave. in Jamaica Plain

Posted by Matt Rocheleau  July 17, 2012 09:00 AM

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(Boston Redevelopment Authority)

A rendering of the proposed building at 105A S. Huntington Ave. in Jamaica Plain. The rendering shows the front side of the building that would run along S. Huntington Avenue,

A developer is proposing to clear a wooded lot to construct a 195-unit residential building that would stand about 12 stories tall along South Huntington Avenue.

Mission Hill-based Cedar Valley Development, LLC outlined its proposal for the 1.1-acre site at 105A S. Huntington Ave. in a detailed filing submitted to the city’s redevelopment authority last week.

The developer’s plan was first outlined in much less detail in early April and has drawn some concern because another similarly-sized project has been proposed for a nearby site.

The building at 105A S. Huntington Ave. would comprise 202,450 square feet of “high quality” rental housing space and 1,600 square feet of ground-floor retail use above 176 spaces of garaged parking, according to the filing.

The back portion of the building near the Jamaicaway would be between four and five stories tall, the plans said. The front portion would climb to a maximum height of 130 feet.

The residential component would be a mix of townhouse style and apartment style housing and would include some one-bedroom, two-bedroom and three-bedroom units, the proposal said. About 26 of the units would be designated as affordable housing.

The plans call for the property to have vehicular access to and from S. Huntington Avenue.

The developer hopes to start construction in spring of 2013, the proposal said. The project would take about 18 months to complete and would create about 180 construction jobs and 14 permanent jobs.

Zoning changes would be needed and approval is subject to the city’s large project review process overseen by the Boston Redevelopment Authority.

“The [developer] initially explored constructing an office/research and development/lab building on the site, given its proximity to the [Longwood Medical Area (LMA)],” Cedar Valley Development wrote in its proposal. “Although there was considerable interest in the site for LMA-oriented uses, this concept became financially infeasible after the economic downturn in 2008, and no formal permit filings were made for these uses.”

“Although the project site was analyzed for a variety of other uses, the [developer] determined that a residential building was the most appropriate use for the property,” the filing said.

The developer paid the state $1.5 million for the property in September 2005, public records show. The property is assessed by the city at about $1 million. The land sits near the MBTA Green Line E branch’s Heath Street terminus.

The parcel is also about 300 feet from a 3.5-acre plot at 161 S. Huntington Avenue where another developer recently filed plans that are still undergoing city review and call for demolishing a 98-year-old special education school building to construct a residential building with about 196 units and around 175 parking spaces.

The Home for Little Wanderers, which currently operates its well-known Knights Children Center on that property, has said that this coming fall the agency plans to relocate some programming and services from the center to a larger campus it owns in Walpole.

Directly adjacent to that property is the 85-year-old Shepley Bulfinch building at 201 S. Huntington Ave., which houses the Goddard House Skilled Nursing and Rehabilitation Center.

That nonprofit’s board announced last week that it plans to close the facility in early September. The board has said it has not considered yet what it may do with the two-acre property that the city has assessed as being worth $6.1 million.

On property abutting to the north of 105A S. Huntington Ave., a 39-room boutique hotel said on its website and social media pages that it expects to open later this summer. Construction of that building at 81 S. Huntington Ave. began about two years ago at the site of the former Pond View Nursing Home, which closed in 2008, according to the Jamaica Plain Gazette.

Abutting to the south is the North American Indian Center of Boston. Directly south of that property is the 47,000 square-foot AstraZeneca Hope Lodge Center, which opened at 125 S. Huntington Ave in fall 2008. The facility offers free temporary home in 40 suites to cancer patients and their families.

Cedar Valley Development does not mention in its latest filing how much it expects it would spend to build the project.

E-mail Matt Rocheleau at
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(Boston Redevelopment Authority)

A rendering of the proposed building at 105A S. Huntington Ave. in Jamaica Plain. This rendering shows the north-facing side of the building.

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