On Monday night, the Jeffries Point Neighborhood Association voted 27 to 6 to approve developer Paul Roieff’s plans to build a ‘Loftel’ at a former industrial building on the corner of Porter and Orleans Street. Yanni Tsipis, representing Roiff at the meeting, showed the changes and modifications to the project.
Some of the changes the developer made were eliminating outdoor seating at the Loftel’s proposed restaurant. Tsipis said this was the biggest change to the project. The removal of outdoor seating at the restaurant that will occupy the first floor of the building was in response to GSCA’s members complaining that outdoor seating would create more noise to the abutters of the building.
However, many JPNA members who abutt the property argued that the outdoor seating should be put back into the plan.
Two members of JPNA who live at the Gumball Factory and Porter Street Lofts across from the proposed development and also sit on the project’s Impact Advisory Group expressed dismay that the outdoor seating was eliminated.
Furthermore, Melissa Tyler, who owns the Maverick Street Marketplace along with her husband, John, argued that her restaurant has outdoor seating for 38 people and has not received one complaint from neighbors. In fact, Tyler said, many neighbors are excited that there is an outdoor dinning venue on their block.
The JPNA board said they would include support for outdoor seating in their letter of approval to the project.
At Monday’s JPNA meeting Roiff and his team presented updated plans to the $20 million project.
Tsipis said the team has reduced the number of guest rooms from 127 to 123. This is the second reduction in the number of rooms. Previously Roiff reduced the number from 150 to 127 and eliminated an entire additional floor from the building.
The proposal now has more parking spaces, up from 65 to 68.
The development team will also add a shuttle bus to reduce the number of vehicles coming to and from the airport or other locations.
Roiff, owner of such celebrated restaurants as Mistral and Mooo Steak House as well as the renovation of the 1903 Beaux Arts building to create the luxury h
otel XV Beacon and The Inn at St. Botolph, wants to convert the former Sterlingwear factory building at 175 Orleans St. into a ‘Loftel”.
“All these changes were the result of listening to the concerns of the IAG that was appointed by the Mayor and elected officials,” said Roiff. “We heard that the height was to tall so we lowered it significantly, which reduced the number of rooms. These other changes allows us to address the concerns of the community while satisfying the desire to have something along Orleans Street that brings activity there.”
The project team also added a green roof, and additional lighting to make the building more appealing to the neighborhood that surrounds it while cutting down on noise.