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Developer eyes four-building retail, housing project for Brighton Center

Posted by Matt Rocheleau  April 4, 2013 12:44 PM

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A developer is proposing an 80,000-square-foot housing and retail project consisting of three new buildings and the refurbishment of an old home in Brighton Center.

The proposal calls for 60 residential units, 10,000 square feet of ground-floor retail and 106 parking spaces, 83 of which would be in an underground garage, at the corner of Washington and Parsons streets, said developer Babak Veyssi.

An old, two-story home at 10 Parsons St. would also be renovated and preserved as a residence.

The project would encompass about one acre and would raze an existing one-story bank, a two-story office and retail building, a greenhouse and an about 40-space parking lot, he said.

All of the new retail space would be located in the first floor of a four-story building along Washington Street. Veyssi said he does not know yet what type of shops might move in there, but the proposal calls for the existing bank to stay, including in a temporary space during construction.

The upper floors of that building would have about 30 residential units.

Another 30 units would be housed in an adjacent four-story, 35,400 square foot building that would form a “residential village” and courtyard that includes the restored home at 10 Parsons.

A small management office would also be built.

The height and scale of the buildings would transition to become smaller as they move away from the commercial area of Washington Street and down the residential area of Parsons Street.

Veyssi said the residential units would be built as apartments that he hopes will eventually be converted into condos. The units might be considered “upscale” or “luxurious” compared to some other surrounding housing “but not so high-end luxury that people can’t afford them either,” he said.

The project will include the city-required minimum for affordable housing units.

He said the project would include between four and eight parking spaces reserved for car-sharing vehicles.

He said the project would aim to achieve LEED certification for environmental sustainability.

Veyssi said he does not yet know an estimate of the project’s cost or timeline for when construction might start and how long it would take to complete.

He said some neighbors had voiced opposition to earlier plans that called for demolition of the home at 10 Parsons.

“I wanted to grant that wish to basically save the house and to try to incorporate it into the design of the entire site,” he said by phone Wednesday.

A filing his team submitted to the Boston Redevelopment Authority this week said: “The applicant has responded to the strong community sentiment for saving the existing house, which is not on any historic register or in an historic district but is highly regarded in the neighborhood as a unique example of Arts and Crafts homes.”

“The applicant has conducted extensive community and abutter outreach and this proposed project is the culmination of that community process,” added the filing from Kandu Development, LLC. Veyssi, a Brookline resident, heads that Newton-based entity.

The project will require approval through the city redevelopment authority’s large project public review process.

The project would be built on three parcels assessed by the city as being work a combined $2.7 million.

State land records show that in Jan. 2011 Veyssi bought those three properties – 423-425 Washington St. and two abutting properties on Parsons St. – for $4 million from Denis Minihane, who ran a popular florist shop at 425 Washington St. for four-and-a-half decades before closing the store in late 2011 to retire.

Another florist shop has since opened in that space. It is located in one of the buildings that would be torn down under Veyssi’s proposal.

That building, abutting a CVS, also houses the Boston College Neighborhood Center other offices.

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