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BRA approves plans for Hood headquarters

A building at the facility in 1981. A warehouse will be transformed into office space.

John Blanding/Globe Staff/File

A building at the facility in 1981. A warehouse will be transformed into office space.

Boston officials have approved scaled-down plans for an office building at the former Hood dairy facility in Charlestown, where a developer is proceeding with a broader transformation of the 20-acre property.

The developer, Catamount Management Corp., will build 61,000 square feet of office space by renovating and expanding a warehouse at 500 Rutherford Ave. Construction is scheduled to start in May.

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The Boston Redevelopment Authority signed off on revised plans for the $25 million project during a meeting Thursday night. The developer previously planned a 158,000-square foot addition to the warehouse.

“We’re basically transforming the existing structure entirely,” said Yanni Tsipis, a representative of Catamount. He noted that the project will revitalize the facade with new glass and metal panels, but will not add any height to the warehouse.

The project is part of longer-term redevelopment of property that has unfolded over the last decade. Hood moved most of its operations off the property in the mid-1990s when it was purchased by Catamount, owned and operated by John A. Kaneb and his family. The Kanebs have redeveloped a portion of the property over the last decade, adding 330,000 square feet of new office space.

Their master plan calls for nearly 1.2 million-square-feet of development at the property, transforming the industrial site into a modern office campus with several new or renovated buildings and retail space.

The building approved Thursday night is expected to bring 450 jobs to the office park, currently occupied by a mix of technology firms, the Visiting Nurses Association, architects, and others.

The master plan calls for turning the industrial site into a modern office campus with several new or renovated buildings.

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In other business Thursday night, the BRA board approved Heather Campisano as the agency’s new chief of staff.

Campisano, who replaces James Tierney, has worked at the BRA for 14 years. She started as an intern and rose to director of development review. Over the years, she has led the review of large-scale development projects in neighborhoods and commercial districts across the city.

Mayor Martin J. Walsh has pledged a major overhaul of the BRA. During his campaign, he announced plans to replace the agency with a new economic development entity that would operate more independently from the mayor’s office.

So far, he has appointed John Barros as his new economic development chief and launched an audit of BRA operations. He has yet to nominate a replacement for former BRA board chairman Clarence “Jeep” Jones, who stepped down before former mayor Thomas M. Menino left office.

Casey Ross can be reached at cross@globe.com.
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