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Boston OKs building with 104 apartments in growing 'Green District' near Allston, Brookline border

Posted by Matt Rocheleau  May 17, 2013 12:06 PM

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(Boston Redevelopment Authority)

The city’s redevelopment authority board has unanimously approved a developer’s plan to build a 104-unit apartment building in Allston.

The site is along the same block of Brainerd Road where the company opened a 100-unit apartment building last summer and is preparing to soon finish construction on another 79-unit complex.

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The Mount Vernon Company plans to build a $17-million, 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 will be studios and the rest be one-bedroom apartments, the company’s founder and chairman Bruce Percelay said recently. City officials said 14 of the buildings units will be designated as affordable housing. Percelay said there would also be a roof-top fitness center that connects to an outdoor roof patio.

City officials said work on the building is scheduled to begin this year and would take about 16 months to finish. It is estimated the project will create 260 construction jobs.

The developer will also provide $100,000 in community benefits, as well as new streetlights, sidewalks, landscaped areas, trees, and improvements to pedestrian connections between Brainerd Road and Commonwealth Avenue, the Boston Redevelopment Authority said.

The building will span two parcels at 75 Brainerd and 10 Redford, 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 2012. Percelay declined previously to say how much the company will spend to buy the Redford Street property.

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

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

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

To do that, he said previously that the design for the building would include 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.

Last 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 four-story, 83,500 square foot building called the Edge is scheduled to open to tenants this 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.

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