"This was a contentious project but it also had a lot ofsupporters," Meredith Baumann, spokesperson for the BRA, tellsGlobeSt.com. Part of the project's controversy is due to its 28stories, which, notes Baumann, is about twice as high as the area'szoning allows. The project still has to be approved by the city'szoning board of appeals but, as Baumann points out, part of theBRA's approval is a recommendation to the ZBA to also approve theproject, a recommendation, which, says Baumann, "carriesweight."

The project has been reduced 5% since it was first proposed andhas been set further back on its site in response to localconcerns. "There were a lot of Chinatown residents for this projectand a lot of residents against it," says Baumann. "It's been prettysplit throughout this process." Most recently, the ChinatownNeighborhood Council unanimously approved the project.

"We wanted to bring housing to the neighborhood," adds Baumann."What makes this project unique is its level of affordability." Theproject, developed by Charles E. Smith Residential and 1025 HancockSt., which is run by local developer Keven Fitzgerald, will include10% affordable housing with 20 units dedicated to low-incomeseniors, 14 affordable and 10 Section 8 units. The remaining 315units will be market rate. The project also includes ground floorcommunity retail space for lease to local businesses.

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