Changes coming to Burney Street development

May 4, 2018
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The Boston Planning and Development Agency will host a community meeting May 10 when the developers for the 9-11 Burney St. project will present new plans that include a smaller project with fewer residential units.

The meeting will happen at 6 p.m. at the Tobin Community Center.

The developers—Mitch Wilson and Russell Preston—said in a statement to the Gazette that, “the dialogue with the community has resulted in great support for the Laneway [project], and it was also clear that improvements to the project were possible. The redesign fully removes the 6th story penthouse and steps back the 5th story significantly resulting in a building scale that is more harmonious with the Burney Street. The project is now only 25 units and removed 8,661 square feet or 27 percent of the density from the building. The new building design also reduces the height from approximately 65′ to 44′ in the front and 54′ in the rear. We are thrilled that we have been able to make these modifications while preserving the design for the Laneway as a neighborhood amenity.”

A defining feature of the development is the “laneway,” which will be a public alley space that will include public seating and lawn games.

The original proposal called for a new six-story, 27,779-square-foot building with 31 residential units. The units would be studios, one-bedrooms, and two-bedrooms. Four units would be affordable at 70 percent Area Median Income (AMI), which means rent would be $1,086 for a studio, $1,267 for a one-bedroom, and $1,448 for a two-bedroom. There would also be a 1,800-square-foot retail space, which developers have indicated may be a restaurant.

The original proposal garnered support, but also opposition. Daniel Junkins, a member of an opposition group, said “the abutters and neighbors to the Burney Street project, have not yet seen the details of the updated proposal. So far, we have collected over 220 letters and signatures from neighbors and abutters against the existing first proposal.”

He said that the group has invited Brian Golden, director of BPDA, as well as city councilors and local state Rep. Jeffrey Sanchez to come out Burney Street so “they may understand better our concerns.”

“If the new updated proposal addresses our major concerns of the height, density, footprint and commercial aspects of the building within the existing zoning requirements (without variances), we then feel that the project would add and attract pride, respect and admiration to the existing community and culture of this part of Mission Hill,” said Junkins.

He went on to say, “We believe then that the developer would have that same commitment as well. We look forward to examining the new proposal and its updated details with the developer.”