Chase Redoing Storefront After Renovations Out of Character Rest of Area

Jamaica Plain residents, business owners and neighborhood associations banded together questioning the process that allowed Chase Bank to make unpermitted renovations to its new Centre Street location. Led by a triumvirate of licensed architects, who were either chairpersons or members of the former Jamaica Plain Centre/South Main Street's Design Committee, the permit process was doubted. After doing their own research, Ed Forte, Michael Epp, and current Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Council member Gert Thorn, learned that Chase Bank was doing work that required a design review, which had not taken place. They also felt that the renovations, specifically the metallic-look, was out of character of the area of 701 Centre Street. The trio wrote to a plethora of city departments, city officials, and elected officials, to voice their concerns.

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Proposed Retail Marijuana Business Reps Making Rounds to Neighborhood Orgs

The management team for the proposed retail marijuana business that wants to go into the old Milky Way spot on Centre Street will be speaking at two neighborhood groups in the next week. Core Empowerment's leadership has been performing its due diligence to inform the public about its proposed retail store/social justice museum. Representatives have been meeting with neighborhood groups, including the Jamaica Plain Business and Professional Association in October. "Things have been going well. We continue to get local support for the project, so we're thrilled by the reception," said Core's Chief Operating Officer Tomas Gonzales to Jamaica Plain News.

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Olmsted Place Developer’s $150K to Fund Tenant Organizing, Park Work

An example of the work done by City Life/Vida Urbana. This is a City Council hearing on "just cause" evictions. Credit: City Life/Vida Urbana

On Tuesday the Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Council voted 10-1 to recommend grants totaling $150,000 to two JP organizations. The money comes from the mitigation fund from the Boston Residential Group, developers of Olmsted Place Apartments at 161A South Huntington Ave. City Life/Vida Urbana would receive $145,000 for its two-year "Health Through Housing Justice" program along the Washington Street corridor; $5,000 would be given to  to the Fund for Boston Parks and Recreation on behalf of the Jamaica Pond Association for improvements to Jamaica Pond.

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632-638 Centre St. (left) is next to Southern Jamaica Plain Health Center, Monday, March 9, 2015.

What Future Do You See for Centre/South?

JP Centre/South Main Streets and the Jamaica Pond Association are hosting a series of meetings to discuss what vision the community has for land use along the corridor. How many stories should most buildings be on the stretch from Eliot to Pond? These issues will be front and center at a community meeting on Monday, 7 p.m., at First Baptist Church, 633 Centre St. On Thursday, the JP Centre/South Main Streets Spring Business Breakfast will tackle the same concerns. Here's how organizers describe Thursday's meeting:

"Do you own, manage, or work at a business in the JP Centre/South Main Streets district?

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Police Capt. Alfredo Andres, left, addresses a crowd of concerned residents during an emergency community meeting on Friday, Oct. 3, 2014.

Police Vow to Keep Up Extra Patrols Until Pond Muggers Caught

Police brass tried to reassure a crowd of more than 50 concerned residents who gathered at the Pond Friday that they're doing everything possible to find two young men suspected in at least two armed robberies. But although police said they increased patrols immediately after one armed robbery came to their attention, and though armed robberies are down 33 percent in JP's District E-13, some residents came away unconvinced. "We did feel safe here," said resident Carmen Watkins. "I feel like there's an escalation now." Indeed, the morning after the community meeting, scanner traffic indicated another incident about 12:15 p.m. Saturday.

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