Brewery’s Landlord Sues to Stop Pine Street Inn Supportive Housing, Brewery Owners Have ‘Concerns’

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The landlord of Turtle Swamp Brewery is suing to stop a supportive housing development that the city has allotted millions to help create.

In November 2019, Mayor Marty Walsh celebrated the Boston Planning & Development Agency Board of Directors voting in support of the Pine Street Inn's and Community Builders project at 3368 Washington St.

The new project will be the city's largest supportive housing development. In total there will be 202 income-restricted units in the five-story, mixed-use building. There will be 140 units designated as supportive housing for individuals served by Pine Street Inn, and another 62 units will be available for low- and moderate-income households.

In January 2020, Walsh recommended $1.5 million of Community Preservation Act funds for the project. The city is also directing at least $5 million in linkage payments from a downtown Boston project.

Pine Street Inn's proposed supportive housing project at 3368 Washington Street, Jamaica Plain.

But the owner of Turtle Swamp Brewery's building across the street at 3377 Washington St., is suing to stop the project, stating there isn't enough parking and would affect their tenant. The project is approved to have 39 parking spaces.

“This project will, without question, significantly impact their ability to find parking, and therefore their ability to conduct their affairs in the manner they currently do,” wrote Stephen Greenbaum, a lawyer for Monty Gold, who owns Turtle Swamp’s building, in a letter to the Zoning Board of Appeal in March, according to the Boston Globe.

Turtle Swamp Brewery addressed the Globe's article in an Instagram post. The brewery is not part of the lawsuit, and they said they remain "supportive of the mission of our neighbors at the Pine Street Inn." They added that in "calmer times, through donations and free use of our brewery space for events, we’ve helped with Pine Street’s fundraising!"

And while they said they support Pine Street Inn's mission, co-owners John Lincecum and Nik Walther, said they have a large concern about the numerous projects being built along Washington Street.

"As business owners and residents we are concerned about the chaos that many years of construction will have on ALL our neighbors and small businesses on Washington Street," said the Instagram post.

Nearby projects include a four-story mixed use building with 23 residential units that's been approved by the BPDA board at 197-201 Green St.; 40 units of housing at 3193 Washington St.; a 5-story project under review by the BPDA at 3326 Washington St.; a BPDA board approved mixed-use 45 unit project at 3353 Washington St.; and construction has been completed of a 4-story, 21-unit mixed-use development at 3383-3389 Washington St.

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Today The Boston Globe published an article detailing the legal appeal of our property owner with the developers of the Pine Street Inn affordable housing project at 3368 Washington St across the street from our Jamaica Plain brewery and our patio. The Globe article lays out many of the issues at stake, but we would like to reiterate the clear position of Turtle Swamp Brewing. 1. Turtle Swamp Brewing is not party to the lawsuit or zoning appeal of our landlord. There is no issue between Turtle Swamp Brewing and The Pine Street Inn. 2. Turtle Swamp Brewing has been and remains supportive of the mission of our neighbors at the Pine Street Inn. In fact, in calmer times, through donations and free use of our brewery space for events, we’ve helped with Pine Street’s fundraising! 3. The real concern we have is a larger one: The number of simultaneous large projects scheduled for the area immediately surrounding Washington St/Green St corridor. As mentioned in the Globe article there are at least 8 active developments, including the Pine Street housing, in planning or approved within a 300 yard stretch of Washington Street, and there is NO integrated plan on how years of intense construction will impact the entire Stonybrook neighborhood. As business owners and residents we are concerned about the chaos that many years of construction will have on ALL our neighbors and small businesses on Washington Street. We are working with the City on these broader issues, associated with the JP/ROX plan, and Turtle Swamp will remain engaged in the planning of a vital Washington Street corridor for all. Stay well and cheers! Nik and John Co-owners, Turtle Swamp Brewing

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