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West Roxbury Residents Drop Lawsuits Over 124-Unit Project

Two lawsuits against a Dedham-based developer over a residential project in West Roxbury have been withdrawn.

A rendering of Upton+Partners' 124-unit residential project at 361 Belgrade Ave. in West Roxbury.

The suits were filed against Upton+Partners, which proposed a 124-unit project on the site of an auto shop at 361 Belgrade Ave. in West Roxbury in 2022. Both lawsuits were dropped before they were set to be heard in the state's Land Court, Universal Hub reported

One of the lawsuits was filed in September by seven Roslindale residents who said the development would lead to “increased traffic that will jeopardize pedestrian and vehicular traffic.”

That suit was dropped in March after the judge overseeing the matter told the group it could continue with its suit if the participants were willing to put up a $200K bond to compensate the developer for any delay-related costs if the group lost, Universal Hub reported.

The other lawsuit, filed in September by the Bellevue Hill Improvement Association, was dropped on Wednesday.

The 129K SF project was proposed in August 2022 and approved by the Boston Planning & Development Agency in March 2023. The project includes 21 affordable apartments and 83 below-grade parking spots.

The site has become a battleground between the developer and community members after Upton+Partners' first proposal in 2017 for a new Roxbury Prep charter school stalled for four years, forcing school leaders to look elsewhere to build the campus, the Boston Globe reported.

Upton pivoted to a residential development after hearing community feedback.

“The school proposal received both strong public support and organized opposition against the school use and site at this location (by a new community group and certain nearby residents),” the developer's attorney wrote in the letter of intent. “Instead of a new school for Roxbury Prep, opponents expressed strong preference and offered support for a multi-family residential conversion of the site.”