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Developer tentatively designated for 'green' residential project in Mission Hill

Posted by Patrick Rosso  November 12, 2013 05:01 PM

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(Image courtesy Sebastian Mariscal Studio, Inc.)

A rendering of the the development viewed from Terrace Street.

A $13.1-million “green” development could soon sprout in Mission Hill.

Last week, the city's Public Facilities Commission tentatively designated Sebastian Mariscal Studio, Inc. the developer of a series of city owned parcels along Parker Street and Terrace Street.

The organization, one of seven that applied for the project, was selected after a community process that included a publicly advertised proposal. The property, which was appraised for $990,000, will be sold to the developer for $600,000, according to the Department of Neighborhood Development.

The plan, which proposes bringing 41 new residential units to the vacant 57,757-square-foot site, is a continuation of the city’s push for more sustainable residential structures, such as the ones recently unveiled on Highland Street in Roxbury.

The units, 10 of which will be set aside for affordable housing, are actually expected to produce more energy then they consume, through the use of a 14,500-square-foot solar panel farm, energy efficient windows and construction methods, and geothermal heating. Developers estimate a 21-percent energy surplus could be generated once the units are up and running.

“Increasing housing stock in the city is incredibly important, but with this project we’re also not increasing energy consumption,” explained Sheila Dillon, director of DND, which manages the parcels. “We want to take the success of Highland Street and replicate it and bring it to scale [with this project].”

In addition to the innovative units, the project also includes a number of community uses such as a 15,000-square-foot community garden, 7,000-square-foot community art space, and electric vehicle charging station. A smaller community garden currently exists on the site.

Utilizing the elevation change between Terrace Street and Parker Street, the gardens will actually be located on top of the proposed units’ roofs, with the development divided up through a series of courtyards, pocket gardens, and community gathering spaces.

The project, which is just a short walk from the Roxbury Crossing MBTA Station, also includes parking for 30 vehicles, six car share spaces, and storage for up to 82 bicycles.

In addition to the residential uses an estimated 7,500-square-feet of space on Terrace Street will be reserved for retail use.

“With this project we’re getting an improved community garden, mixed use housing, and we’re not increasing our carbon footprint,” said Dillon. “We’re also using this as an example to show developers that projects like this are doable.”

With the tentative designation Sebastian Mariscal Studio, Inc., which represents a partnership between a slew of designers and developers, will begin the public approval process.

According to a DND timeline, over the next 30 days DND along with the Boston Redevelopment Authority will work with the developer to refine the plans before the project goes through the BRA’s Article 80 process.

The Article 80 process is expected to last six-months with the project possibly breaking ground next summer, according to Dillon.

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(Image courtesy Sebastian Mariscal Studio, Inc.)

A rendering of the the development viewed from Parker Street.

Email Patrick D. Rosso, Follow him @PDRosso, or friend him on Facebook.

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