05.16.2007 Neighborhood Meeting Minutes
May 16, 2007, 7:30 p.m. Susan Bailis Center
Vice President, Chris Coffin welcomed a group of about 20 members and neighbors to the meeting, mentioned our summer block party on June 21, Red Sox fundraising raffle tickets, and then introduced Lee Steele, Chair of our SBNA Architectural Review Committee.
A long-time resident of Durham Street, Lee has worked with the Landmarks Commission, the BRA and, more recently, with the developers for the dorm housing at the top end of St. Botolph Street., behind the YMCA. He introduced Jay Rourke, Project Manager of the BRA who explained the extensive review and comment process for these types of large projects, invited comments and gave his e-mail address: email@example.com, 617-918-4317. The BRA invites neighborhood input at this stage of the approval process and will meet again 6:00 p.m. May 30 at the YMCA library on Huntington Avenue. The BRA website has further information and there are copies of the project proposal at the Y for study there.
Next to speak was John Cappellano, with Lincoln Property Company, which has developed numerous housing projects. This private development venture is called Grand Marc. Lincoln is in the process of buying the back portion of the Y, its former gym and the Hastings Wing which would form an L-shaped complex between Huntington, the Y and New England Conservatory. The Huntington Avenue building facade will not change in appearance to preserve the look of that stretch of the neighborhood. The Y is using some of this sale revenue to consolidate and upgrade its facilities and will continue to be available to the neighborhood. The Y management will have 16 parking spaces in the new building, but, other than that, there will be no parking in the complex and no local stickers given out to student residents of the housing. Contact information here is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Cappellano mentioned other development team members: Phoenix Property Company, a Texas-based developer of privatized university student housing; JPI Management Services, also Texas-based, the residential manager of the proposed project; and Brookfield Capital, the institutional financing source, from of Toronto. The 12-34 story complex including 1140 dormitory and suite-style beds is a private development that will lease at about $1100/bed/month, furnishings and utilities included, directly to students, co-signed by parents. There is no financial or business arrangement with any area institution. The rental market includes upper classmen, graduate, technical and non-traditional students. Leases are for 12 months, units furnished, cutting down on moving and trucking needs in the neighborhood. There will be a staff of about 20 for the building plus resident advisors and perhaps some city police.
As the building is not part of a university, the building management can work directly with police, enforce strict leases and evict problem tenants. Food service is still being discussed as a convenience to tenants but also its impact on local food service businesses. The building’s ground floor will contain offices, a café, common areas; its main entrance is off St. Botolph with another entrance also on Huntington. Security entrance cards will be assigned to residents and give them access to their own floors; visitor cards typically take 24 hours. Opening of the building is slated for the 2010 school year. In the meantime, BRA and neighborhood reviews will continue as well as market surveys to better configure the building and its service. Mitigation reviews will be ongoing. The building currently exceeds zoning and density limitations, and the developer is working with the BRA to resolve that.
John Cappellano then introduced a representative of the architectural firm who provided boards illustrating the building.
Looking ahead, it is likely that the building will be sold to an area institution but management will continue by the current development and management team.. The agreements and conditions put in place to permit construction would stay with the building and bind future owners.
The next Board Meeting is Wednesday June 6th at 7:30 at 5 Durham Street.
Next neighborhood Meeting—the BBQ—June 21, 6-9 p.m.
The meeting adjourned at 9:00.
Refreshments were provided by Vice President, Christian Coffin
Doubletree Guest Suites Boston
Jay Rourke, Project Manager of the BRA who invited comments and gave his e-mail address: email@example.com, 617-918-4317
John Cappelano, Lincoln Property Company, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Helen Powell, Clerk
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