By Dan Murphy
Neighbors got another look at the latest plans for what will be the largest residential redevelopment project in Beacon Hill’s history on Monday, May 16, at the second public meeting sponsored by the Boston Redevelopment Authority.
Dedham-based JDMD Owner, LLC intends to transform the interconnected, six-story Hiriam J. Archer and Frank J. Donahue buildings at Temple and Derne streets, which were previously owned and occupied by Suffolk University, into a 75-unit condominium development. A 60-car basement garage beneath the Donahue building would be operated by a professional valet service and accessed via an elevator on the side of the building from “Donahue Alley” off Temple Street. Two penthouses would sit atop the existing buildings, increasing the height from its current 98 feet by 33 feet.
Miriam Bredella of Hancock Street expressed concern that the penthouses would look directly into her bedroom. “I don’t know if wee need another apartment on top of a very large building,” she added.
Others in attendance are apprehensive that the increased height of the project would impede views from the State House park, while others asked the developer to make more multi-bedroom units available in an effort to attract more families to the neighborhood.
Temple Street resident Betsy Peterson said the project would result in another 60 cars on the street, effectively doubling the number of vehicles currently on what she described as “the most pedestrian friendly” street in the neighborhood.”
Regarding mitigation for the project, some in attendance asked that the developer take over maintenance of the adjacent “pocket park.”
While some residents suggested moving access for the garage to Derne Street, Christopher Tracy, senior project manager for the BRA, said he believes the Boston Landmarks Commission would look unfavorably on this idea.
Comments on the proposal can be submitted until Tuesday, May 31, to Christopher Tracy, senior project manager, via email at Christopher.Tracy@Boston.gov, by phone at 617-918-4259 or by fax at 617-742-4464. They can also be mailed to Tracy at the Boston Redevelopment Authority, One City Hall Plaza, Boston, MA 02201.