JP group: Developer is fulfilling lawsuit path promise

The developers of a large apartment project at 161 S. Huntington Ave. are “drawing up plans” for a pedestrian path as agreed to in a lawsuit settlement, Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Council (JPNC) member Kevin Moloney has told the Gazette.

The path would connect S. Huntington Avenue and the Jamaicaway as a mitigation of the project’s large size and location on the Emerald Necklace park system.

The path was agreed-to as part of a settlement that ended a year-long suit by the JPNC against developer Boston Residential Group (BRG) and the City’s Zoning Board of Appeals.

The JPNC alleged that zoning variances for the redevelopment, now called Olmstead Place, were improperly granted. A judge threw out the case, saying the JPNC had no right to sue, but the council appealed and used expensive delays in the project to leverage a settlement deal.

“We were concerned about whether they making progress” on that point, Moloney told the Gazette. According to him, the developers are “drawing up plans” but have not yet filed for any permits.

A Gazette call to developer Curtis Kemeny was not returned.

If it’s not legally possible for BRG to create that path, despite their best efforts, they will pay $150,000 to the JPNC, which the JPNC would be required to spend in support of neighborhood organizations, Moloney explained.

The settlement boosted the number of “affordable” units in the future 196-unit building from 33 to 37, with all the new ones being “family-sized.” In addition, the settlement “significantly” lowered the rent on the previously planned affordable units, a statement said late last year, without specifying dollar amounts.

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