Community Meetings to Discuss Holding State & MBTA to Promise of Affordable Housing at Arborway Bus Yard

The Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Council is leading two community meetings this week to discuss the future of the Arborway Bus Yard. Specifically, community input and ideas are being sought for the future of the site, and for how to get the state and MBTA to keep their promise of putting affordable housing on the site. For almost 20 years, the MBTA has "temporarily" kept buses at the location at the corner of Washington Street and the Arborway. State Rep. Liz Malia, D-Jamaica Plain, has continually worked on redeveloping the Arboway Bus Yard, "The reality is acres on the Arboway Yard are abandoned and underutilized since around 1986 and we can’t get the city and state to partner to do something substantial," said Malia earlier this year in an interview with Jamaica Plain News. The first meeting on Tuesday, Aug.

Proposal for five-story mixed-used building, "The Gate" on site of former James's Gate Pub

‘The Gate’ — 5-Story Building Would Take James’s Gate Spot

The neighborhood will get a closer look Wednesday at the five-story mixed-use development that would rise where a much-loved pub once stood. James's Gate Pub, fireplace and dual bars included, closed abruptly in September 2015. The developer is scheduled to give a presentation on the plan on Wednesday at the Zoning Committee of the JP Neighborhood Council. If you'd like to go, the meeting is 7 p.m. at Farnsworth House, 90 South St. The parcel is at the corner of South and McBride.


Green Street Condo Building Approved by Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Council

The Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Council Zoning Committee unanimously approved a 9-unit, 3-story condominium building at 65 Green St. at its May 4 meeting. Designed by Embarc Studio, an architecture and design firm, the building is unique in three ways; The owner of the property Ricardo Austrich, Sr. not only  has been involved in the planning, but will live in a ground floor unit; It will have the first below-grade car lift parking garage in Jamaica Plain that will include all nine parking spaces on site; And the developer Watermark Development absorbed the costs of changing the design from a contemporary to a traditional design and reduced the height to three stories at the request of abutting resident property owners. In order to reduce the height from 55 feet to 38-feet 6-inches and at the same time address neighbors concerns about parking, the developers designed a car lift in the ground floor garage. The total development cost is estimated to be $4.3 million; the underground parking and car lift line item is estimated at $32o,000 to build.

Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Council logo

Twelve Members Elected to Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Council

Three hundred thirty-six Jamaica Plain residents went to the polls on April 30 and voted 12 members to the Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Council. Under the by laws of the Neighborhood Council the eight seats not filled on the 20-member council will be selected by appointment. The first neighborhood council meeting of the new session will meet on Tuesday, May 24 at 7 pm at the Farnsworth House, 90 South Street. This is a public meeting. Interesting note is 14 votes were disqualified. Elected were:

Carolyn Royce

David Baron

Catherine White

Jeffrey Wiesner

Kevin Rainsford

Priscilla Yang

Gert Thorn

Meg Wood

Kyle Smith

Kevin Moloney

Bernard Doherty

Michael Reiskind



JP Neighborhood Council Election Day Set For April 30

The Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Council will hold its election for members on Saturday, April 30, from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m.

The JPNC is an elected advisory board whose recommendations are usually, though not always, accepted by the city's Zoning Board of Appeals, Licensing Board and other civic boards. The poling places are:

Stop and Shop. 301 Centre St,  Jackson Square
JP Licks. 659 Centre St. Jamaica Plain center
Harvest Co-op 3815 Washington St Forest Hills

There are currently 19 members on the JP Neighborhood Council; four at-large and 15 area members.


Yale Terrace Group Gains Support in Effort to Revoke Permit at Bicon Dental

In the latest chapter in a long, strange saga, neighbors of Bicon Dental Implants won a small victory. Calling the matter "unique and a challenge," Dave Barron, chairman of the Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Council Zoning Committee opened a hearing at its Wednesday meeting to consider whether Bicon Dental Implants at 501 Arborway should have its certificate of occupancy revoked. In a years-long struggle with the company, the Yale Terrace Association and Gerard O'Connor, acting for himself "seek to untangle the confusing, incomplete and inaccurate regulatory history of the property" as its Dec 14, 2015 zoning appeal states. Recusing himself as a member of the JPNC Zoning Committee and moving to the opposite side of the room, O'Connor (a resident of Yale Terrace, a private way with nine homes on it) said "We are looking for support from the Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Council to require Debbie LLC (the owners of the Bicon building) to put right in the regulatory files a clear and accurate record of what  is" happening inside 501 Morton Street (also listed as 123 Morton Street). "The current uses are dental clinic, clinical laboratory and professional school," O'Connor said.

18-24 Hyde Park Ave., former home of the Forest Hills Mart, on Friday, Jan. 29, 2016.

‘Forest Hills Fine Wine’ Aims to Replace Shuttered Convenience Store

A Hyde Park Avenue space that most recently housed a convenience store where you could get beer, wine and booze along with your salty snacks could morph into "Forest Hills Fine Wine." The proposal for 18-24 Hyde Park Ave. is among the items on tap at Tuesday's meeting of the JP Neighborhood Council's Public Service Committee. The meeting is at 7 p.m. in the community room at the E-13 police station at 3347 Washington St. Formerly "Forest Hills Mart," the location is currently empty, aside from old shelving.

File photo: Olmsted Place Apartments under construction on Nov. 19, 2014 at the site of the Home for Little Wanderers.

Lottery Announced for 37 Affordable Apartments at Olmsted Place

The Boston Redevelopment Authority on Tuesday announced a lottery for 37 affordable apartments in Olmsted Place, a luxury complex overlooking Leverett Pond and Olmsted Park. The development has been a center of controversy, including a lawsuit by the JP Neighborhood Council that led to the developer creating a $150,000 mitigation fund. That money will be split between two JP non-profits, with most of it going to City Life/Vida Urbana to aid in tenant organizing. The market-rate units at Olmsted Place begin at $2,600 a month, according to the development's website. Below is the announcement from the BRA, including important details on income limits and how to apply.


Neighborhood Board Deadlocks Over 3200 Washington St. Development

In the end the Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Council Zoning Committee was as divided as the rest of Egleston Square on the fate of 3200 Washington St. At its Wednesday meeting the Committee voted 5-5 on a motion to deny approval of the largest development in Egleston Square history. (One member of the 11 in attendance was ineligible to vote). Developers Dan Mangiacotti and Justin and Joseph Iantosca can now take that deadlocked vote together with what their attorney Joe Hanley said was "over a hundred-plus letters of support" to their regularly-scheduled Zoning Board of Appeals hearing on July 21. It was a packed house of over 60 people.

Detail from draft menu for Casa Verde, as of Tuesday, May 5, 2015.

Three Dollar Tacos to Anchor New Mexican Restaurant ‘Casa Verde’

New details emerged Tuesday about a Mexican restaurant proposed to fill the Ghazal space at 711 Centre St. — including a draft menu featuring $3 tacos. The eatery, to be called "Casa Verde," is from the team behind existing JP restaurants Tres Gatos and Centre Street Cafe. Co-owner David Doyle described the project Tuesday to members of the Public Service Committee of the JP Neighborhood Council. "We believe a Mexican restaurant, really affordable, family friendly, would be a good fit for Jamaica Plain," Doyle told those at the meeting, which was held at Curtis Hall Community Center.