The Residences at Forest Hills

Project Update

This will be our last posting on our CoUrbanize page. While the page will remain online for record-keeping purposes, we’re wrapping up online outreach, and comments are now closed. We will continue to be available to answer any questions or comments from the community at info@criteriondp.com. As always, we welcome your input and will continue to be responsive to your inquiries. 

It’s hard to believe that it has been 3 years since Criterion Development Partners introduced The Residences at Forest Hills to our neighbors. Through 2 years of meetings with our neighbors, the community at large, and, local and state agencies, the Project was refined into a better fit for the neighborhood. It represents the culmination of a cooperative, constructive relationship between Community and Developer. The Residences at Forest Hills will be an exciting landmark along the vibrant Arborway and serve as a dynamic gateway to Forest Hills. 

We look forward to being part of the Forest Hills community and hope you will stop by to visit us when the Project is complete. 


And now for the update:


CONSTRUCTION

Construction is proceeding at The Residences at Forest Hills and we are thankful for a mild winter (hopefully we don't jinx anything!). We anticipate that the residential buildings will be substantially complete by the end of 2019 and final completion of the Project, including all site work and landscaping will occur in Spring 2020.


LEASING

Leasing activity will not begin for several more months. On-site leasing activity will be announced through signage at the site. The timing of the lottery for affordable units is dependent on the City of Boston and we believe it will be 3 to 4 months before applications are available. If you are interested in an affordable unit, we suggest that you subscribe to the City of Boston's Metrolist website (https://www.boston.gov/metrolist/subscribe) by providing your name and email address. Once subscribed you will receive updates on new housing opportunities, including The Residences at Forest Hills.





February Construction Update

Construction at the Residences of Forest Hills has been ongoing for approximately a year. Those of you who live nearby know that things have been progressing quickly. For those who don't pass by the site, we've provided an aerial video that represents our work from January 2018 - January 2019.


View our aerial time lapse footage here!


Going forward, we'll be posting here every month with an update on the latest construction activities.

We appreciate our neighbors' patience with the ongoing construction and are working hard to minimize any disruptions. Should you have any questions regarding the ongoing work please post a comment here or call Jay Zachariah of Criterion Development Partners at (781) 890-5600 x106.

NATIONAL GRID UTILITY WORK

Starting on Sunday night, May 6, National Grid will be installing our gas line connection in the vicinity of the Site Drive on Washington Street. We anticipate that the work will take 2 to 3 nights. During nighttime construction periods, traffic and pedestrian restrictions can be expected on Washington Street. During the day, road openings will be covered with plates and traffic and pedestrian flows should return to normal.

Thank you for your continued patience while the utility connections are completed.

OFF-SITE UTILITY WORK

Over the coming weeks we will be installing utility services for the Project that requires us to tie in to existing water and gas mains in Washington Street and Orchardhill Road. Unfortunately, this work will have temporary impacts to some of our neighbors, as described below:


Washington Street at Site Drive: Accessing the water main in Washington Street will require trenching along the Site Drive. Work within the driveway will occur between Saturday (April 28) and Wednesday (May 2) and steel plates will cover the trench during non-work hours. The actual water main connection will occur late Wednesday night (May 2) into early Thursday morning (May 3). During this time, water service to the businesses between the Site Drive and Tower Street will be unavailable. We have coordinated with each owner/tenant in person. Utility connection work in this area will require pedestrian traffic to be rerouted to the westerly side of Washington Street. Appropriate signage and safety measures will be implemented.

In addition to the water main connection, we will also be installing a connection to the gas main in Washington Street in this same area. National Grid will be doing this work and they have not yet provided a date. We will post an update when confirmed.


Orchardhill Road south of the Arborway: Accessing the water main in Orchardhill Road will require trenching within the roadway on Monday & Tuesday (April 30 & May 1). The roadway being disturbed is outside of the area recently improved as part of the Casey Overpass Project. The work will be conducted between 9 am and 3:30 pm and flaggers will control traffic at the location.

The actual tie in will occur Wednesday (May 2) between 9 am and 3:30 pm which will interrupt water service to Orchardhill Road residents. We distributed informational flyers to all impacted residences on Tuesday (April 24). If this interruption poses a life safety risk for any resident please contact us immediately to make appropriate accommodations. 


We appreciate our neighbors' patience with the ongoing construction and endeavor to minimize any disruptions.


If you have any questions regarding the upcoming utility work please ask them via this website or call Jay Zachariah of Criterion Development Partners at (781) 890-5600 x106.

Thank you.

Red Sox Opening Day!

Opening Day and the sun is shining. Despite last week’s snow it looks like Spring is here!

Although we haven’t posted in a bit, we’ve continued to work hard to bring the Project to fruition. As you know, the BPDA Board approved the Project in January. That decision became final in mid-February. Around that time we filed plans with the Inspectional Services Department (ISD) to initiate the City’s zoning process. As soon as we have a more definitive schedule for the ZBA we will post an update.

Since the BPDA approval, we’ve continued to engage our abutters, DCR, MassDOT and others to refine aspects of the Project. This work will continue and we remain committed to engaging the community in the Project. If you have questions or comments, we want to hear from you!

Have a great day.

BPDA Approval - Thank You!

CDP is excited to announce that the BPDA Board approved our project! We could only have achieved this with the Forest Hills community's input at meetings, in one-on-one conversations and on coUrbanize. Your ideas helped us shape a better project for the community and we are so appreciative of the time you took to work with us.

With the BPDA approval in hand, we can now move on to the Zoning Board. We will need your support and input during this critical process and will keep you informed of our progress.

Please continue to share your thoughts on the project and ask questions here on the project page.

Again, thank you.


Jamaica Plain Neighborhood (JPNC) Meeting

At the request of the JPNC Zoning Committee, we will be presenting an introduction to the project on Wednesday, January 4, 2017 at 7 pm at the Farnsworth House at 90 South Street in JP. This is an informational meeting only as we have not yet made any application for zoning relief. The Zoning Committee will not be taking any action at this meeting.

December Update

Thank you for continuing to provide input and monitor the project page on coUrbanize, and for attending the IAG and/or BPDA Community Meetings last month. Thank you also to St. Andrew Ukrainian Orthodox Church for graciously allowing us to use their hall for both meetings.

December continues to be a busy month for us in the community. We met with the Boston Civic Design Committee (BCDC) on December 6th, gave a presentation to the JPNC Housing & Development Committee on December 12th and provided an update to Tower Street abutters on December 15th.

Based on feedback from the community and City agencies, we continue to update the project plans. The latest elevations and site plan are included in the coUrbanize photo gallery. We’ve made great strides with the architectural and landscape designs. A link to a document showing the architectural & landscape details presented at recent meetings can be found in the Info & Plans section located at the bottom of the project INFO page. The site plan will continue to be refined as we continue through the community process. We are currently working on an update that includes an additional 10-foot setback & buffer along the Arborway.

As a reminder, the PNF comment period closes on Friday, December 23rd. We will be providing the BPDA with copies of all comments posted to the coUrbanize project page. If you’d like to post comments directly to the BPDA website, a link can be found in the Info & Plans section at the bottom of the prior page. 

CDP wishes everyone a joyous holiday season!

Upcoming Meetings

As part of the BPDA's (formerly BRA's) Development Review of the Residences at Forest Hills, the Community Meeting is scheduled for November 30th, at 6:30 pm at St. Andrew Ukranian Orthodox Church, 24 Orchardhill Road, Jamaica Plain. We look forward to continuing our discussions with the community.

To accommodate public input following the Community Meeting, we have extended the Public Comment Period on the PNF through December 9th.

Revised Concept Plan

As described in a prior update, we have been reworking the proposed site layout to incorporate comments from our Tower Street neighbors. Specifically, we have moved the building approximately 45' away from the Tower Street property line and included a parking area and additional landscaping in this buffer area. Our tenants will access & egress the parking area from the proposed parking garage under the building. We also intend to allow the adjacent funeral home to use these spaces on an as-need basis. We've also reduced the building height to 5 stories along the entire portion of the building closest to Tower Street. The following site plan conceptually illustrates the proposed changes. Abutters@Tower Street and others, we'd appreciate hearing your thoughts on this new proposal.

 

PNF Filing

We are pleased to announce that the PNF for The Residences at Forest Hills has been filed with the BRA, now operating as the Boston Planning & Development Agency (BPDA). Click here to view the PNF.

Highlights of the proposed Residences at Forest Hills, include:

• 252 residential apartment units with 5,500 square feet of retail/commercial space fronting Washington Street;

• An affordable housing component of 20% of the total unit count, as compared to the current requirement of 13%

• A minimum of 38 units available at 70% AMI with up to 6 units each available at 50% AMI and 120% AMI:

• A mix of unit sizes, including studios, 1-, 2- and 3-bedrooms:

• Varied layouts, including townhomes, a Certified Artist live/work unit, and innovation units with 3 bedrooms, en-suite bathrooms, and shared common space.

October Update

As promised in this forum and at meetings with interested parties, we have continued to modify the proposed development program to reflect input from our neighbors and the community at large. While we continue this work, we also need to keep the formal review process moving forward. To this end, we will be filing a Project Notification Form (PNF) for the Residences at Forest Hills with the Boston Redevelopment Authority, now doing business as the Boston Planning & Development Agency, later this week. We will upload the PNF to the project page upon filing.

The site plan and building program evaluated in the PNF addresses many of the concerns and suggestions voiced by the community. It reflects many changes from our original plan including a reduction in number of units, an increase in the buffers along the easterly property boundary, and elimination of a site drive, pedestrian access and service areas from Orchardhill Road. The building layout will continue to evolve as we incorporate input from our Tower Street neighbors. These changes will not significantly impact the overall project findings and analysis presented in the PNF.

We look forward to taking this next step and continuing our work in the community.

September Update

As Summer comes to a close, we wanted to provide an update on the project. We've continued to receive very constructive feedback on our proposal through this forum as well as at small group meetings. To those of you who have welcomed the development team and your neighbors into your home to discuss the project, thank you. We have received support for the project but we understand that the community has several key concerns: height; buffers and landscaping; affordable housing; community benefits; and the loss of commuter parking. We are working diligently to address these items and will have additional information for you in the coming weeks. 

Have a safe and enjoyable Labor Day weekend!

Welcome to our Project Site!

Thank you for visiting our site. We're using this platform to help the Forest Hills community easily find information about The Residences at Forest Hills project, including plans, documents, and updates to the project status.

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