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Huntington YMCA moving forward with redevelopment plans

Posted by Patrick Rosso  March 28, 2012 10:57 AM

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(Image courtesy BRA)

A rendering of the work the addition the YMCA would like to make to its parcel on Huntington Avenue.

The Huntington YMCA is moving forward with its development plans.

The YMCA filed a Letter of Intent Tuesday with the Boston Redevelopment Authority for its proposed redevelopment of the property, at 316 Huntington Ave.

According to documents from the BRA, the project would subdivide the center’s parcel into two lots. The YMCA’s lot will be approximately 45,191-square-feet and there will be three owners of the lot.

The YMCA would own one of the three unit, which contains the YMCA’s community center, a chapel, and administration offices. The YMCA has proposed rehabbing the building.

The second unit, located on the top four floors of the community center, would be owned by Huntington House Affordable Housing, LP and contains 37,181-square-feet.

The third unit, the Hastings Wing, would be owned by Northeastern University and contain close to 76,541-square-feet of gross floor area. The Phoenix Property Company, is also building a 17-story, $75 million dorm for Northeastern University, which was approved by the BRA in April.

The scope of the YMCA’s project will focus on the demolition of an approximately 22,300-square-foot portion of the existing structure, which contains the YMCA’s pool, and squash courts. In their place the YMCA will construct a 23,000-square-foot addition, which will include a handicapped accessible aquatics center, gym, and handball/racquetball courts.

The addition will be three-stories high and the remaining portions of the YMCA community center’s interior will be renovated, to bring the facility up to code and accessibility standards.

Although the project has been in the works for some time, it has faced resistance from the community. According to an article on written in May, some residents objected to the work because of the historical significance of the building, which was built in 1912, and the impact to the community by Northeastern’s plans to construct a new dorm.

The Boston Landmarks Commission in May, declined to upgrade the historical significance of the building, paving the way for the YMCA and Northeastern’s plans.

The YMCA’s Letter of Intent said the neighborhood would experience very little impact from the project.

“The proposed project is limited in scope and is expected to have very little, if any impact on the surrounding abutters or neighborhood as a whole. The project will allow the YMCA to better serve the community’s needs for generations to come,” said the letter.

While the Letter of Intent is a big step forward for the YMCA’s project, it must still go through the BRA’s Large Project Review process before any ground is broken. Along with review by city agencies, the project review also includes a community process that takes community input about the project.

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

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