The Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Council (JPNC) is questioning whether developer Anthony Nader of the 105A S. Huntington Ave. project and his company Cedar Valley Holding are violating a memorandum with the Boston Planning Development Agency (BPDA) by leasing units at the building to another company.
Meanwhile, BPDA says that leasing agreement does not violate the memorandum.
Nader has built a 195-unit apartment building at 105A S. Huntington Ave. that he has called “Serenity.”
Kevin Moloney, chair of JPNC, wrote in a June 28 letter to the BPDA that leasing of 24 units by Nader to Churchill Corporate Housing appears to violate a memorandum that states in addition that the lessee may not be a full-time undergraduate student provides that “the lessee must be a person living in the unit and may not sublet or assign the apartment. There will be only one lease per unit.”
“In addition to the apparent violation of the above provision, the leasing to Churchill of the 24 units for what appears to be a hotel operation, runs counter to the mayor’s goal of adding 53,000 new housing units to the city’s housing stock. We request the BPDA to advise the JPNC as to what the BPDA proposes to do to correct this situation,” the letter states.
BPDA spokesperson Bonnie McGilpin responded in an email to the Gazette that short-term corporate rentals do not violate the cooperation agreement between the developer and the Boston Planning & Development Agency (BPDA).
She added, “The City of Boston is currently coordinating resources and efforts across departments to better define and analyze the short-term rental housing industry in Boston in order to protect our long term housing stock. At the same time, the City recognizes corporate housing models serve many different visitors and residents of Boston that include families of patients at our hospitals, temporary employees at our universities, and people working in the arts and entertainment industry.”
Nader said in a statement that the development team is proud of the new housing the project is bringing to the community and that the building reflects the “extensive input, feedback, and support we received from Jamaica Plain and Mission Hill residents, as well as City staff and officials, throughout the course of a multi-year community review process.”
“Churchill will accommodate people relocating to Boston who are seeking shorter term or semi-permanent housing in a great neighborhood close to world-class institutions. Many are here for medical treatment or to be close to family members here for medical treatment, and cannot afford a hotel for the entirety of their stay—often less than a year. Others are teaching fellows or medical professionals on rotation that may only be here for a semester. These clients are a necessary component of the [Longwood Medical Area] ecosystem. Our agreement has strict enforceable provisions on resident behavior, including a full time Churchill-provided manager of these units, layered on top of the oversight afforded by building management,” said Nader.
Moloney’s letter also asked for an update on the developer’s affordable-housing commitment and his $200,000 contribution to installing a new signal system for the S. Huntington Avenue and Huntington Avenue intersection.
Nader originally proposed having 32 affordable units on-site, but then proposed building 42 affordable units off-site. The BPDA approved that change in 2015.
“Boston Planning and Development Agency staff has been working with the development team on an ongoing basis to identify an appropriate location in Mission Hill or Jamaica Plain for the 42 affordable units,” said McGilpin. “If the developer is unable to find an off-site location, the developer would still be required to make an $8.4 million payment to the Inclusionary Development Policy Fund. It is the BPDA’s goal that an off-site location is secured soon, so that the affordable housing resources from this project remain within Jamaica Plain or Mission Hill. The agreement states that the developer is required to have a building permit for the affordable units one year after the full certificate of occupancy is pulled. At this time, the developer has only pulled a temporary certificate of occupancy. As a reminder, this agreement was put into place under the previous Inclusionary Development Policy.”
McGilpin also said that the $200,000 for the intersection is due when the final certificate of occupancy is issued.