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Developer proposes 289 residential units, retail in Jamaica Plain

Posted by Matt Rocheleau  June 19, 2013 04:38 PM

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A developer is proposing to build 289 residential units, ground-floor retail, and parking at the former Hughes Oil site in Jamaica Plain.

The 300,000-square-foot development plan for 3593-3615 Washington St. is led by an entity called Forest Hills Arborway, LLC. State records show the firm is owned by Richard J. High, president of the John M. Corcoran Company, a Braintree-based real estate development, investment and management firm.

The project would consist of two buildings with apartments and street-facing, ground-floor space for retail, service, restaurant, or residential amenity use, according to a basic outline of the proposal file with the Boston Redevelopment Authority.

There would be a mix of studio, one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments, with townhouse-style units facing Washington Street. Within the complex, screened from sidewalk view by the buildings and landscaping, would be parking spaces and other open space. The project would include parking for bikes and car-sharing vehicles.

The site between New Washington and Burnett streets and abutting Orange Line and commuter rail tracks measures about 2.8 acres, is occupied by three partially-vacant, low-level industrial buildings and parking lots and is worth about $1.6 million, according to city records. The property is owned by Cambridge-based Arborway Corporation, which bought the site in 1980 for $350,000.

"The proponent intends to transform this underutilized industrial land into a vibrant, green, transit-oriented and mixed-use residential community that will be an important components of the redevelopment of the Forest Hills area," the developer's filing says.

The site is next door to where another development has been proposed recently.

Two summers ago, another developer filed with the city a proposal to build a five-building, 208,000-square-foot, mixed-use development with 42 housing units, a 130,000-square-foot self-storage facility, 28,000 square feet of retail and 115 parking spaces. It is on a 3.4-acre plot at 3521-3529 Washington St. currently occupied by warehouse space that is vacant or in limited use.

The Jamaica Plain Gazette reported last month that the proposal is moving forward again after it had stalled for about a year when hazardous chemicals were discovered on the former car lot site and the developers had to figure out how to remove the chemicals from the site and how to fund the clean-up.

This story was updated on Friday, June 21, to include additional details about the project from a letter of intent the developer submitted to the city.

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