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VA medical center building 5-story, 500-space parking garage on Jamaica Plain campus

Posted by Matt Rocheleau  June 19, 2012 04:11 PM

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A 500-space parking garage is being built on the Department of Veterans Affairs medical center campus along South Huntington Avenue in Jamaica Plain near the neighborhood's border with Mission Hill.

The $8-million, five-story garage is being built on the site of a former 100-space surface parking lot and adjacent to an existing 290-space parking garage, said Diane Keefe, spokeswoman for the Veterans Affairs Boston Healthcare System, which also oversees campuses in West Roxbury and Brockton.

Construction on the garage began in April and is expected to take between 12 and 16 months to complete, she said.

“Simply put, we need more parking,” Keefe said in an e-mail. “The new garage will add much-needed additional free parking for the veterans who utilize this facility for their care. The new garage should alleviate the parking congestion on the neighboring streets and traffic backup onto S. Huntington Ave.”

The Jamaica Plain Gazette, which first reported on the garage’s construction earlier this month, said no public notice of the project, aside from a notice posted shortly before work began on the medical center’s website, boston.va.gov, was given.

The city’s redevelopment authority requires any project that adds at least 20,000 square feet of gross floor area undergo a “small project” public review process. Any project that adds over 50,000 square feet of gross floor area requires approval through a “large project” public review process.

But, according to Keefe, the VA medical center’s 129,600 square-foot garage did not need approval because it is a federal project.

“We did contact the [Boston Redevelopment Authority] and the BRA indicated that review and approval of federal projects is not required,” she said in an e-mail.

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