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Building with 108 apartments eyed for growing 'Green District' near Allston, Brookline border

Posted by Matt Rocheleau  January 19, 2013 10:00 AM

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A development company is seeking city approval to build a 108-unit apartment building in Allston along the same block of Brainerd Road where the company opened a 100-unit apartment building in the summer and recently began construction on another 79-unit complex.

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The Mount Vernon Company is proposing to develop the five-story, 93,260-square-foot building at the corner of Brainerd Road and Redford Street, located near the Boston neighborhood’s border with Brookline. The project, called the Icon, would include 108 parking spaces in a garage below the building.

About half of the units would be studios and the rest would be one-bedroom apartments, said company founder and chairman Bruce Percelay. He said there would also be a roof-top fitness center that connects to an outdoor roof patio, "so you can work out and then chill out."

The building would span two parcels at 75 Brainerd Road and 10 Redford St., which together comprise just over a half acre. The properties have housed a single-story warehouse building, which was recently razed, and an auto repair shop, which will soon be torn down.

State records show the developer bought the Brainerd Road property for $2.5 million in July. Percelay declined to say how much the company will spend to buy the Redford Street property or how much the project would cost.

He noted that the final plans for the project are subject to approval, and thus there is potential for change.

"This plan is our intention, but we're still awaiting city and neighborhood approval," Percelay said.

The proposed building would join a two-block area that the prominent Back Bay-based real estate company recently dubbed the “Green District.”

The company has taken an environmentally-friendly focus at several apartment buildings it owns and leases there, including at two new developments one of which achieved LEED Silver status and the other LEED Gold.

Percelay said the proposed project at 75 Brainerd Road hopes to achieve the highest energy efficient rating of LEED Platinum.

To do that, he said the current design for the building includes electric car charging stations, purified water dispensers on each floor to promote less bottled water use, access to a nearby Hubway station, European-style appliances that are smaller and more efficient, super-insulated windows and a white reflective roof. The building would be constructed primarily with recycled materials.

This past summer, the company completed a year-long, $23 million project to build a 100-unit apartment building on abutting property at 65 Brainerd Road.

The five-story, 135,000 square-foot building called the Element includes 101 parking spaces in a ground-level garage. The company razed single-story auto repair garages to develop the site, which is about four-fifths of an acre.

As tenants began moving into that building, the Mount Vernon Company began work on another $14.5 million project to build a 79-unit apartment building across the street at 60-66 Brainerd Road.

The frame for the four-story, 83,500 square foot building called the Edge has begun to take shape and is scheduled to open to tenants by the summer. It will include 79 parking spaces, some in a garage below the building, others in a lot behind it.

The company razed an about one-and-a-half-story warehouse building to develop the 1.2-acre site. About two-thirds of the property is in Allston; the rest is in Brookline.

The Mount Vernon Company bought the 60-66 Brainerd Road site for $3.25 million in March 2011, and purchased the 65 Brainerd Road for $4.65 million in December 2010, state records show.

Within the so-called Green District, the company owns other properties that it has planned to undergo environmentally-friendly renovations and other changes, including 80 apartments at 1298-1302 Commonwealth Ave.; 83 units at 74-86 Brainerd Road and 20 units at 8 Griggs St. and a retail strip at 1304-1312 Commonwealth Ave.

(To see photos of Allston’s "Green District," click here)

The city’s redevelopment authority said on its website that it plans to hold a public meeting about the proposed project for 75 Brainerd Road on Wednesday, Jan. 30 at 6:30 p.m. in the community room of the Jackson Mann Community Center in Allston.

The public review comment period for the project is scheduled to run until Feb. 11, according to the city website.

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