Art Park lawsuit heads to trial in December

October 2, 2015
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The lawsuit over the proposed Art Park development will go to trial on Dec. 14 and 15, according to Steven Azar, director of development for Sebastian Mariscal Studio, Inc. (SMS).

The Art Park site is City-owned land between Parker and Terrace Streets that is slated to be redeveloped into community gardens and residential and retail space. The site currently contains murals, mosaic footpath tiles and colorful furniture, and community gardens that were operated by local residents.

SMS plans to redevelop the Art Park site into 44 apartments with 10 affordable housing units; 58,000 square feet of green space; and 4,000 square feet of retail space. The site will have 30 parking spaces and 82 bike-parking spaces.

The site will also have community gardens on the roof of the buildings, along with a solar-panel farm towards the Terrace Street side. It is expected to be LEED-certified at “Platinum,” which is the construction industry’s highest energy-efficient rating. The site is slated to produce more energy than it will use.

The Boston Redevelopment Authority and the City’s Zoning Board of Appeals both approved the project in 2014 after a two-year community process.

Mission Hill residents Oscar and Kathryn Brookins filed a lawsuit last year over the City’s Zoning Board of Appeals’ decision to grant variances for the project.

Over the past 15 years, the Brookinses have filed lawsuits against several real estate projects in Mission Hill and the Longwood Medical Area, sometimes gaining settlements, sometimes having the suits tossed out of court. In 2012, they were among the plaintiffs who settled a lawsuit out of court, reportedly for a large sum of money, over zoning approval of Northeastern University’s controversial East Village dorm project.

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