S. Huntington ‘vision’ plan discussed

The Boston Redevelopment Authority’s (BRA) first community meeting about creating a “corridor vision” for upcoming S. Huntington Avenue redevelopment drew both questions and support from about 80 residents, officials and developers on Dec. 12 at the Hennigan School at 200 Heath St.

A follow-up meeting was scheduled for Jan. 9, after the Gazette’s deadline.

The BRA is conducting its “corridor study” in response to community demands following rapid, large-scale redevelopment on the street, including high-end apartment buildings at 105A and 161 S. Huntington and the undetermined future of the former Goddard House at 201 S. Huntington.

The study will create “guidelines” that the BRA will apply to projects during design review. They will cover land use and transportation issues.

Among those praising the corridor study was Serenity developer Anthony Nader.

“We, like the rest of the community, welcome the BRA’s process allowing the public to express its vision for this important city street,” Nader told the Gazette.

But local City Councilor Mike Ross expressed concern that the guidelines could be a stumbling block for the Serenity and a “tool to re-litigate” the highly controversial, already-approved 161 S. Huntington project.

A major suggestion from residents was to require more affordable housing on that street. The Serenity and 161 projects have drawn heated criticism, especially in Jamaica Plain, for being high-end rental projects.

The BRA’s website for the study can be seen at bit.ly/SHcorridorplan.

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