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Goddard House expects to sell property on South Huntington Ave. in Jamaica Plain

Posted by Matt Rocheleau  December 11, 2012 04:12 PM

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(Goddard House)

The Goddard House Skilled Nursing and Rehabilitation Center closed in September after an 85-year run in the Shepley Bulfinch at 201 S. Huntington Ave. in Jamaica Plain.

The Goddard House nursing home property on South Huntington Avenue in Jamaica Plain is expected to eventually be put up for sale, according to a statement Tuesday from the board of the nonprofit that owns the facility.

But, the board said “we have not yet begun that process, nor have we proactively reached out to any potential developers.”

The e-mailed statement said that the board “is still considering next steps for the property,” but added that, “Because we do not anticipate using the building ourselves for future non-profit uses, we do expect the building will ultimately be put up for sale.”

The 85-year-old building at 201 S. Huntington Ave. housed what was the state’s oldest nursing home until it shut down in September.

The two-acre property is located along a stretch of South Huntington Avenue where recent property sales, construction and major development proposals have stirred controversy in JP and nearby Mission Hill. The concern has led city redevelopment officials to launch a study of current and potential future uses for the area.

Many have anticipated that the Goddard House property might be the next site on South Huntington to see significant change. But until Tuesday, the board of the 163-year-old nonprofit had not announced any plans for the property’s future.

Last month, the city gave final approval for a project next door to the Goddard House property. At 161 South Huntington, developers have been cleared to demolish a 98-year-old special education school building to construct a residential building with about 196 units and around 156 parking spaces. The Home for Little Wanderers, which operated its well-known Knight Children’s Center on that a 3.5-acre property, recently relocated some programming and services from the center to a larger campus it owns in Walpole.

City regulators are reviewing another housing proposal nearby at 105A S. Huntington, that would clear a 1.1-acre wooded lot for a 12-story, 195-unit building, with a parking garage and retail.

Both of those development plans have been criticized by some neighbors, who cite that, among other concerns, the projects are too large and have too few affordably priced units. Residents of Jamaica Plain have clashed in recent years over concerns about gentrification in the neighborhood.

Other recent changes along South Huntington include a 39-room boutique hotel that opened this summer at 81 S. Huntington, replacing a former nursing home next door to the wooded lot at 105A S. Huntington.

Across the street at 150 S. Huntington, a five-story, 500-space parking garage is under construction on the Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center campus.

At 81 South Huntington, a 39-room boutique hotel opened in the summer. Construction of that building began about two years before at the site of the former Pond View Nursing Home, which closed in 2008, according to the Jamaica Plain Gazette.

At 125 South Huntington is the 47,000 square-foot AstraZeneca Hope Lodge Center, which opened in fall 2008. The facility offers free temporary homes in 40 suites to cancer patients and their families. It is directly south of the North American Indian Center of Boston, which is abutted to the north by 105A S. Huntington Ave.

And, about a half-mile away, the redevelopment of the former Blessed Sacrament church campus on Centre Street has drawn criticism recently because revised proposals would build a higher mix of market-rate housing than originally planned for the site.

The Boston Redevelopment Authority plans to hold a meeting Wednesday to launch the corridor study and to hear community feedback and concerns about current conditions and potential development-related changes in the future along South Huntington Avenue. The meeting is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. at the Hennigan School cafeteria on Heath Street.

Officials at the authority have said they do not want the study to stop or delay development proposals.

The authority will use the study to determine whether any further action – including creating a master plan or making zoning changes – will be needed for the area, Shen has said.

The study will focus on development issues including: housing mix and affordability, transportation, parking, historic preservation, open space, access to green space, and the height, density, setbacks and use of buildings, according to Shen.

It will cover a three-quarter mile stretch of South Huntington, from its intersection with Huntington Avenue to where it meets Perkins Street.

The strip of South Huntington Avenue is part of a broad section of Jamaica Plain that was last rezoned nearly two decades ago. The city formally adopted the current zoning on Sept. 7, 1993.

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