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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Jamaica Pond Association meeting

The Jamaica Pond Association will meet Monday, July 1, in the community room at Jamaicaway Tower, 111 Perkins Street, Jamaica Plain, beginning at 7:00 p.m.

The board and community will hear a presentation by the new owner of J-Pizle (formerly Robinwood Café, 536 Centre Street, Jamaica Plain) with regard to an application for a new wine and malt beverage license. This is an open meeting. Residents who live near 536 Centre are especially welcome to attend and to ask questions or make comments. There is limited visitor parking to the right of the main entrance. Jamaicaway Tower is about a five-minute walk from the #39 bus stops at Perkins and South Huntington Avenue.

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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Dusk at Jamaica Pond, June 2014

Armed Robberies at Pond Spark Emergency Community Meeting

Police and residents have organized a community meeting at 4:30 p.m. Friday at the Jamaica Pond boathouse/bandstand area to address two brazen armed robberies. The district police captain for Jamaica Plain, Alfredo Andres, will be there to discuss the police response to the incidents, which took place last week on Wednesday night. In one, a bicyclist was robbed and left tied to a tree. In another, the robbers approached a group of three people. Police Officer Carlos Lara encouraged residents to contact Capt. Andres at 617-343-4604 with any questions or comments that you may have about the meeting.

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Jay Gentile, director of Caffè Nero's U.S. operations, shows a rendering of the chain's proposed JP location to board members of the Pond Association on Monday, Sept. 8, 2014.

Neighborhood Group Okays Caffè Nero By Wide Margin

While two local business organizations — JP Local First and the JP Business & Professional Association — have come out strongly against Caffè Nero opening in JP, the first neighborhood group to hold a vote gave it strong support. On Monday night the European coffee giant, a family-owned company that has grown to more than 650 cafes in seven countries, sought the blessing of the Jamaica Pond Association for the city licenses they'll need. The coffee house aims to open at 733 Centre St. That's the former Commonwealth Bank location across from Blanchards. London-based Caffè Nero brought significant executive firepower to Monday's meeting, including Michael Ford-Deegan, brother of the company's founder, Gerry.

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Caffè Nero, 560 Washington St., on June 20, 2014.

Pond Association Takes Up Caffè Nero Monday

Rise and shine, JP! Here's your Morning Memo for Monday, Sept. 8. Neighborhood Group to Consider Caffè Nero Request: One of JP's biggest issues these days is whether Caffè Nero will indeed wind up opening in the old Commonwealth Bank space beside Blanchards on Centre Street. JP's business organizations launched a united front against the idea.

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Red boat — Jamaica Pond

Jamaica Pond Assoc. To Discuss Casey Arborway Project

Hi neighborhood. Here's your Morning Memo for all things JP for Monday, June 2. Jamaica Pond Assoc. Meets Monday Night: The agenda for the Pondside neighborhood group includes discussion of Shea Circle and the Casey Arborway project. Other items include pedestrian crossing over the Arborway and across Perkins Street.

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