By Seth Daniel
A newly established, and official, group of residents charged with negotiating with Legatt McCall regarding their major project on the Albany/Harrison corridor have raised early concerns over the height of the buildings – which are slated to go as high as 19 stories.
The Impact Advisory Group (IAG) for the project has been appointed and met with the developers recently – prior to a public meeting of all residents last Thursday, April 14 – and reportedly had some concerns over the 200-foot height of the tallest building.
The zoning in the area calls for a maximum height of 125 feet, and the project would exceed that by 75 feet.
Members of the IAG were not immediately available for comment with the Sun. It is officially within the boundaries of the Blackstone Franklin Association.
The IAG for the project (officially known as Harrison Albany Block) includes:
- Donny Goris-Kolb – Blackstone Franklin
- Derek Valentine – Worcester Square
- John Connelly – Old Dover
- Sue Sullivan – Newmarket
- Jenny Effron – Washington Gateway
- Joe Cefalo – Flower Exchange
- Waleska Figueroa – Cathedral Housing
- Maggie Costa – East Canton Housing
- Mark Haley – business owner/SEBA
- Helaine Simmonds – resident
- Kristin Phelan – resident
- Jamie Curtis – resident
- George Sterios – resident
The IAG is appointed by elected officials within the neighborhood, and it is charged with identifying issues and proposing mitigation for those issues.
Boston Redevelopment Authority (BRA) spokesman Nick Martin had no specific comment on the early concerns of the IAG. However, he said that at the outset, they informed Legatt McCall that they would have to win community support for the increase in height over zoning.
“We’re of course early in the review process, and we expect to facilitate a robust conversation between the development team and the community on this and other significant issues,” he said.
Leggat McCall Properties of Boston is proposing the large-scale project of four buildings with 710 residential units, 14,100 sq. ft. of retail space spread out through three of the buildings and 40,100 sq. ft. of commercial office space. The office space would be located exclusively within the Gambro building, which is an existing three-story building that will be kept as is on Harrison Avenue, and a renovated five-story building at 575 Albany St.. A neighborhood park will be constructed next to the Gambro Building. Two new buildings will be constructed in a campus-style layout, including a 19-story and 11-story building for residential (which includes an amenity floor and roof-top swimming pool). A new five-story building at 575 Albany St. will be renovated and will be mostly office and retail, according to plans.