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BRA Considers Approval of Huntington Ave. YMCA Demolition

YMCA outlines redevelopment plan for Huntington Avenue building.

Plans to demolish and rebuild the rear of the Huntington Ave. YMCA that houses most of the exercise facilities seem to be moving forward despite strong community opposition.

A team representing the Greater Boston YMCA on Huntington Avenue was before the Boston Redevelopment Authority Tuesday night, and described the organization’s plan to tear down the 100-year-old structure, which would be sold to Northeastern University and converted into dormitories for students.

The Y will then build a 23,000 square foot addition with a new pool, gym, and handball courts.

The plan has from a member-initiated “Save the Boston Y” campaign. Key among their concerns are the smaller size of the proposed gym, and deeper fears that management is ignoring current members by trying to attract more family and women members, and that Northeastern will buy the whole building in the future.

Kevin Washington, the president of YMCA Boston, told the BRA that the association will invest $26-30 million in the project, and already has financing in place.

Other notable items from the meeting:

  • Go Fish, the food truck operated by Brother Trucker in the Charlestown Navy Yard, will get to operate his business there for another year. The Boston Redevelopment Authority’s board of directors, at its regular monthly meeting Tuesday, unanimously approved an agreement to extend the truck’s license to operate on dry dock two for another 12 months. In other Charlestown news, the board also approved a cirtificate of completeness for the new Knights of Columbus on Medford Street.
  • The board approved a request to designate GFC Development, Inc. as the redeveloper in charge of a two hyper energy efficient townhouses on Catherine Street in Jamaica Plain. When completed, said John Dalzell, an architect with the Boston Redevelopment Authority, the properties should create more energy than they consume. The board also approved progress on a similar project in Roxbury.
  • Commonwealth Ventures, the firm behind the One Channel Center plan to install a 9-story building, park and parking garage in South Boston, told the board that its latest revision has increased the size of park planned for the site. Responding to criticism from an artist at the meeting, a representative of Commonwealth Ventures noted that the company plans to work with local artists by including an art gallery-style public walkway through the heart of its building and also work with artists on the exterior design of the parking garage.

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