Another apartment building has been officially proposed for the Forest Hills area. This latest proposal calls for three apartment buildings totaling 260 rental units to be built on an asphalt parking lot across from the Forest Hills MBTA Station and next to Forest Hills Liquor Market.
The Residences at Forest Hills would comprise three mixed-use residential and retail buildings with wood frames over a single-level garage with 136 parking spots, plus 10 surface parking spots. The building would include studio, one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments and three-bedroom townhouses. The parking garage would also include bicycle storage areas and charging stations for electric cars.
The project would also feature 5,500 square feet of street-front retail or restaurant space, extending the commercial area along Washington Street in Forest Hills. According to the project letter of intent filed with the Boston Redevelopment Authority, the proposal calls for affordable units in excess of the number required by the city's Inclusionary Development Policy, which went into effect last December.
In the letter of intent, John L. Englert of the Criterion Development Partners said the development firm has engaged for several months with area residents, including members of the West Roxbury Courthouse Neighborhood Association. He added that in April, the company sent a letter of introduction describing the project to 230 homeowners on several nearby streets, including Orchardhill Road, Bremen Terrace, Lennoco Road, Tower Street, Woodlawn Street, Asticou Road, Yale Terrace and Morton Street.
Englert described attending neighbor gatherings as well, adding that his firm has modified the project design following these meetings.
The proposal is the latest in a residential development boom in Forest Hills as housing is increasingly built near transportation hubs. The 283-unit Commons at Forest Hills Station project is under construction, and 124 residential units are planned at the so-called “Parcel U” on Hyde Park Avenue near Ukraine Way.
Due to the size of the project -- 91,730 square feet -- the development company needed to file a letter of intent under the Article 80 process as a large project. In large project reviews, the BRA leads a process that is "guided by comments from the public, examines the impacts of a project on its immediate neighborhood and on the city as a whole," according to the BRA's A Citizen's Guide to Development Review Under Article 80 of the Boston Zoning Code.
Depending on a large project’s size, location and use, the Article 80 process may examine the project’s impacts in a variety of areas, including traffic and parking, environmental protection, design character of the area and infrastructure systems. Large projects under Article 80 review are also required to adhere to the US Green Building Council's LEED Certified standard.