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Approval eyed for 4-story building, underground parking near Brighton Center

Posted by Matt Rocheleau  August 3, 2011 03:15 PM

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375marketbrighton.jpg

(Boston Redevelopment Authority)

A sketch of the proposed four-story residential building at 375 Market St. in Brighton.

This story was updated Wed., Nov. 9, at 12:30 p.m. to include added details and a design sketch photo provided in a more complete project description and official filing developers submitted to the city in November. The full plans submitted to the city can be found here.

A developer is seeking city approval to construct a four-story, mixed-use building and 22,400 square-foot underground parking garage along Market Street in Brighton.

The proposal for 375 Market St., outlined in an intent letter submitted to the city in August and detailed in an official project filing in November, calls for demolishing the site’s existing commercial building, most recently used as a carpentry training facility.

The new building, scaled in recent months back from an initial idea, would include 39 residential units above around 3,500 square feet of ground floor commercial space, “as well as related improvements in open space, landscaping and vehicular and pedestrian access at the property,” the intent letter reads. The $15-million proposal would build a total of 65,700 square feet, including room for 58 below-ground parking spots.

The project would take between 12 to 15 months to complete and developers hope the building would open by April 2013, according to plans.

Brighton Park Associates, LLC, a sub entity of the project's developer Chestnut Hill-based Brookline Development Corporation, purchased the property near Brighton Center from the Boston Carpenters Apprenticeship and Training Fund last June for $1.5-million, state land records show.

Development officials said in the August project intent letter that they began meeting with direct abutters and other neighbors of the property around one month after purchasing the land and have held several more site meetings since.

After receiving concerns about the project’s scope during an initial presentation before the Brighton Allston Improvement Association in early April, the developer said they solicited city redevelopment authority officials’ help to reduce the building’s size from 103,000 square feet, including 44 residential units and 27,500 square feet of underground parking to the current plans.

At a subsequent site meeting in late-May to present the scaled-back plans, “no concerns were raised by those in attendance,” the development company’s head, Jeffrey M. Feuerman, wrote to the Boston Redevelopment Authority last week.

But, early last month, the city’s inspectional services department denied the developer’s attempt to receive permits allowing construction to move forward because the project needed variance and conditional use relief from the city.

The developers instead are seeking approval through the redevelopment authority’s large project public review process.

“The current project represents nearly a year of extensive community outreach and significant reductions in size to achieve smart growth development which will properly integrate into the Brighton community,” the developer wrote. “We look forward to working with the BRA, other city agencies and the community throughout the review process.”

The site is located near Brighton Center, less than a half-mile south of a 100-acre chunk of the neighborhood the city is currently studying development options for, and across the street from a historic cemetery that the city says contains the graves of many of the original settlers of the area once known as “Little Cambridge.”

Public comments can be submitted in writing to: Mr. Erico Lopez, Project Manager, BRA, Boston City Hall, Boston, MA 02201 or by email to erico.lopez@cityofboston.gov by Thurs., Dec. 8.

E-mail Matt Rocheleau at mjrochele@gmail.com.

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