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Tufts project picked for Powder House School redevelopment

Posted by Jarret Bencks  August 21, 2013 05:11 PM

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A proposal from Tufts University to convert the old Powder House Community School into office space and construct a second building on the lot either for offices or apartments has been selected by Mayor Joseph Curtatone from six development plans offered for the site.

An advisory group appointed by Curtatone has been reviewing the six proposals for the school since May. The Tufts proposal received 80 percent approval from the 15-member advisory group. Two other proposals also received recommendation from the group, but the Tufts plan had the highest approval, according to an announcement from Curtatone's office. Tufts has offered $2.65 million for the parcel.

The Tufts proposal was chosen over other plans -- including some from developers who offered more money -- because it was the only submission that added significant daytime office space, and it creates significantly more open space, the announcement said.

The other two proposals that received approval from the advisory group were from Diamond Sinacori Real Estate and Gate Residential/KSS Realty Partners.

Diamond Sinacori Real Estate planned 35 town house-style units with 58 parking spots and 40 percent of the lot set aside as public park space. Diamond Sinacori offered $1.02 million for the lot.

Gate Residential/KSS Realty Partners offered two proposals, one featuring about 30 units of housing and another with about 40 units. The proposals feature a park with a "dog wilderness run." They offered $2.75 million for the 30-unit proposal and $3.5 million for the 40-unit proposal.

Tufts, which owns an abutting building that used to be Western Junior High School and uses it for administrative offices, submitted two plans, one that features residential development and office space, and another with only office space.

The plans call for an addition onto the administrative building, and the construction of a separate building, either to serve as a 35-unit apartment complex, or as office space. The university has offered $2.65 million.

Read about the other proposals, here.

Jarret Bencks can be reached at bencks.globe@gmail.com. Follow him on twitter @JarretBencks.

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