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Olmsted Place Developer Objects to Adjacent Development of Goddard House

Last updated on December 16, 2015

Here’s a new NIMBY trend: one developer doesn’t like the development of another developer right next door.

Curtis Kemeny, CEO and president of Boston Residential Group, which just completed Olmsted Place Apartments at 161 South Huntington Ave., wrote and hand-delivered a letter to the Boston Redevelopment Authority on Dec. 7 “strongly object[ing]” to the proposed plan for redevelopment of adjacent Goddard House; adding that “significant further discussion is required before it should be allowed to proceed.”

A BRA spokesperson said the matter was a “simple misunderstanding.”

Goddard House was a nursing home that closed in 2012. It has been acquired by Eden Properties and Samuels Associates, which has plans to renovate the main building originally built in 1927, and add two 4-story additions and build a free standing 4- to 6-story building on the southern side of the site.

The free standing building designed by Prellwitz Chilinski Associates would contain 57 1- and 2-bedroom units; the renovation and addition also by Prellwitz Chilinski Associates would include 110 apartments for a total of 167 new homes.

An Article 80 public hearing, part of the city’s process for large developments, was held on Nov. 23.

Kemeny’s letter stated that, “We are the owners of Olmsted Place Apartments which directly abuts [Goddard House project]. We… have not been notified of any public meetings concerning the project.” [The Nov. 23 Article 80 meeting was advertised on the BRA website, as well as in the Jamaica Plain Gazette].

He went on to say that Boston Residential Group “has met twice at the request of the proponents and we expressed concern about massing, setbacks, height, view corridors and density … traffic, shadows and drainage and construction noise … We are concerned about the impact of constructing two new additions to an existing structure and other potential impacts that  the project might have on Olmsted Place…”

Goddard House is at the bottom of the photograph. Olmsted Place is under construction in this 2013 view
Goddard House is at the bottom of the photograph. Olmsted Place is under construction in this 2013 view.

Kemeny — who just opened one of the most expensive rental housing developments in Jamaica Plain, added “that a consistent standard of affordability should be considered for multi-family residential projects being developed in the area.”

Apartments at Olmsted Place start at $2,600 a month, according to the development’s website.

In response to the Jamaica Plain News for comment on the letter, Eden Properties and Samuels Associates said, “Our team has had many meetings about the Goddard House site including publicly advertised community meetings. Our team has worked diligently to put together a plan for the Goddard House site that preserves the historic building and maintains important view corridors and adheres to the South Huntington Guidelines developed through an extensive community process.”

Nick Martin, spokesperson for the BRA said, “This is a simple misunderstanding. Mr. Kemeny thought he was signed up to receive email notifications but he had not been registered. We have added him to our list to receive future notifications. Mr. Kemeny and his team have always been a pleasure to work with and we look forward to discussing his concerns as part of the continued public review process for the Goddard House.”

Here is the full letter:

Kemeny letter re Goddard House by JamaicaPlainNews

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