BRA Unveils, Seeks Feedback on Plan JP/Rox Draft Recommendations

The Boston Redevelopment Authority (BRA) this week released draft recommendations stemming from the massive Plan JP/Rox effort, and officials are holding a series of public meetings aimed at gathering feedback from neighborhood stakeholders. The landmark study is examining the future of the Washington Street corridor from Forest Hills to Jackson Square. The study area is made up of 160 acres including more than 50 acres of former industrial or vacant land that could potentially undergo change in the next 15 to 20 years. What emerged from a series of neighborhood workshops during the past year was an emphasis on guiding development in six key areas:

Neighborhood character and land use
Housing affordability and development without displacement
Jobs and business
Transportation, mobility and connectivity
Open space, place making and public realm
Sustainable development and green buildings

The full Plan JP/Rox working draft is currently available on the Boston Redevelopment Authority's website at http://bit.ly/planjprox. Officials are gathering feedback on the plan this week at the following locations:

July 20: MBTA Green Street Station, 8 to 10 am
July 22: Egleston Square Peace Garden at the intersection of Washington and School streets, 11 am to 1 pm
July 27: 225 Centre St.

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Affordable Housing Advocates Call For 3-Month Delay in Massive Rezoning Plan

Plan B went into full effect at the 6th Plan JP/Rox workshop last Wednesday as 50 protesters marched into the room clapping. Just as the emcee, Senior Planner Marie Mercurio, was concluding  her opening remarks, the protesters grabbed what they called "the people's mic" to "fight not for profit but for the community." For over an hour, "Keep it 100% for Egleston," a well-organized and well-rehearsed group, listed its demands to stop the Boston Redevelopment Authority-sponsored Plan JP/Rox for three months. Plan JP/Rox is a once-in-a-generation rezoning process for the whole Washington Street and Columbus Avenue corridors in Jamaica Plain and Roxbury. The protest group, which is comprised both young people as well as adults, alternated speakers using a call-and-response format.

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JP/Rox Plan Workshop on May 11 at English High School

The Boston Redevelopment Authority will host the sixth planning JP/Rox workshop on Wednesday, May 11 to present and discuss the refined recommendations for the study area as a whole and for smaller focus areas in the Washington Street Corridor. The public meeting will be held at English High School Cafeteria (144 McBride St.). There will be open house at 5:30 pm, followed by a presentation at 6 pm and then groups will breakdown into focus tables at 6:30 pm. The refined recommendations are based on the considerable detailed public comments that came out of the March 5 workshop at which preliminary ideas were displayed. The Egleston Square and Stonybrook Neighborhood associations are already on record with their concerns and specific preferences for the their two neighborhoods in relation to study.

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Washington Street Population Could More than Double

If you want evidence why the city has finally launched a long-awaited planning effort for JP, look no further than this eye-popping prediction: Planners expect the Washington Street corridor to see population growth of as much as 2.5 times current levels. That possibility was among the top topics of discussion last Monday as the first neighborhood review of the proposed development guidelines at the Egleston Square Neighborhood Association monthly meeting. Chaired by Alvin Shiggs and Carolyn Royce; the discussion was led by Sue Pranger. Marie Mercurio, senior planner for Jamaica Plain and coordinator of Plan JP/Rox, was joined by her colleague Tim Davis, senior housing advisor for the Boston Redevelopment Authority, to answer questions and clarify concerns about the draft development guidelines. The planning push is a once-in-a-generation effort to shape the neighborhood's future.

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Six-Story Apartment Building Proposed for Green and Washington Streets

A developer who is familiar to Jamaica Plain has proposed to build a six-story apartment building at Green and Washington streets. The approximately 46,690 square foot residential building is being proposed by Mordechai Levin, who among other projects, is known for building the Stop & Shop plaza on Centre Street in Jackson Square. Levin says the project would cost $18 million and take 12 months to build, according to a development proposal submitted to the Boston Redevelopment Authority. The proposed start date of the project is during the first quarter of 2017. Zoning relief would be required by the Zoning Board of Appeals because among other reasons, the building would exceed the 35-foot height limit.

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First Look: Proposals Emerge From Giant ‘Plan JP/Rox’ Effort

The once-in-a-generation planning effort that goes by the name "Plan JP/Rox" has started to produce specifics about what our neighborhood will look like. "We've listened to you. Now it's time to respond to you with your ideas wrapped up into planning policies," announced senior BRA architect John Dalzell at a packed Saturday morning workshop,  the fifth in a series which began in September 2015 to plan the future of the Washington Street corridor from Forest Hills to Jackson Square. Because there's so much information to digest, we've broken down this report into several posts. You can read about overarching concerns here in this story.

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Plan JP/Rox: Forest Hills to Host 15-Story Buildings

The once-in-a-generation planning effort that goes by the name "Plan JP/Rox" has started to produce specifics about what our neighborhood will look like. For Forest Hills, the transformation is already well underway. Forest Hills: "Forest Hills is another gateway to the neighborhood," said Dalzell. " A large portion of it will come to the city from the MBTA"  when the Arborway Yard is subdivided. "More housing.

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Plan JP/Rox: Green Street Needs Commercial-Business Mix on Ground Floors

The once-in-a-generation planning effort that goes by the name "Plan JP/Rox" has started to produce specifics about what our neighborhood will look like. Here's the vision for Green Street. Green Street: This area between Amory and Washington Street is identified as neighborhood commercial center of mixed use buildings and "21st century commercial business" spaces are proposed for the rear of the BMS paper company at 3390 Washington Street  and at Amory Street next to Bartlett Square I where the Interstate Trucking yards are located. "The most important part of this," said John Dalzell, a senior architect for the Boston Redevelopment Authority, "is a need for mixed commercial business on the ground floor. Some business are new and don't have that obnoxious quality about them."

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Plan JP/Rox: Egleston Square Is Defined by Access to Parks

The once-in-a-generation planning effort that goes by the name "Plan JP/Rox" has started to produce specifics about what our neighborhood will look like. Here's a vision for Egleston Square. Egleston Square: "It's characterized by access to parks," said John Dalzell, a senior architect for the Boston Redevelopment Authority, "but what also seems to be emerging is a new commercial area northerly of the square." That's toward Westminster Avenue

Seven scattered development areas are proposed for multi-family residential buildings over retail or cultural ground floors ranging in height from 4-6 stories. One suggested new residential location includes 3012 Washington Street  at Westminster Avenue, owned by the Eizabeth Stone House.

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Plan JP/Rox: Jackson Square Could Be Gateway With 15-Story High Rises

The once-in-a-generation planning effort that goes by the name "Plan JP/Rox" has started to produce specifics about what our neighborhood will look like. Here are the ideas being put forward for Jackson Square. Jackson Square: "A neighborhood gateway that anchors a lot of businesses," said John Dalzell, a senior architect for the Boston Redevelopment Authority. "It has a clear residential character along Columbus Avenue [and] that is where housing focus should be." There are five areas in the plan with a high spine from Dimock Street along Columbus Avenue.

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