Hotel completes $25K donation to Jamaica Pond

January 11, 2013
By

S. HUNTINGTON—Four years after first committing to do so, the enVision Hotel at 81 S. Huntington Ave. has completed its promised $25,000 donation to the upkeep and maintenance of Jamaica Pond Park.

Boston Parks and Recreation Commissioner Antonia Pollak (second from left) accepts a $15,000 donation from Global Vision Hotels President Gautam Sharma, as (from left) Jamaica Pond Association member John Iappini, developer Tom Donnelly and Global Vision Hotels COO Stephen Koch look on. (Gazette Photo by Rebeca Oliveira)

“It’s meant exclusively for the maintenance and restoration of Jamaica Pond,” Jamaica Pond Association (JPA) member John Iappini told the Gazette at the check presentation in the hotel lobby on Dec. 12. Boston Parks and Recreation Commissioner Antonia Pollak accepted the check.

The donation came from enVision management company Global Vision Hotels and developer Tom Donnelly. The JPA asks developers looking to work in the area, including the developers for the controversial housing projects at 161 and 105A S. Huntington Ave., to donate up to $50,000 to the Boston Parks and Recreation Department.

The $15,000 donation was the second half of a $25,000 donation, agreed upon at the request of the JPA while the project was under development.

That does not mean, however, that a donation is required to develop in the area. The Boston Redevelopment Authority (BRA), the agency that makes the ultimate decision, has no such requirement.

“You can deny it,” enVision developer Tom Donnelly told the Gazette. “While Parks and Recreation like the donations, they don’t demand one.”

“No one has ever been denied” by the BRA for not making a donation, Pollak said.

“It’s a generous gesture to the neighborhood. It’s win-win for everyone,” Iappini added.

The JPA is asking smaller developments to donate $25,000 and larger projects, such as those approved for 161 S. Huntington Ave. and proposed for 105A S. Huntington Ave., to donate $50,000.

Other developments that have netted donations include the former Gormley Funeral Home on Centre Street and Willowbank condos at the Jamaicaway and Burroughs Street.