City, developer still working on Art Park site

The City and the developer of the Art Park project are still working on the proposal, hoping to bring it to fruition several months after a court case over it closed, according to Department of Neighborhood Development spokesperson Kerry O’Brien.

The project had been held up as Mission Hill residents Kathryn Brookins and her husband Oscar filed a lawsuit against the Sebastian Mariscal Studios (SMS) and the City’s Zoning Board of Appeals over the variances for the proposal. But a motion to dismiss that lawsuit was granted several months ago and the City and SMS have been working on the proposal since.

The City first began exploring redeveloping the Art Park site in 2012. The site is City-owned land between Parker and Terrace streets that formerly contained murals, mosaic footpath tiles and colorful furniture, and community gardens that were operated by local residents. Locals were initially against the City’s plan, but many were eventually won over during a two-year process with the community benefits the project would provide, including a community garden.

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


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