By John Lynds
Gove Street Citizens Association Co-Chairs Jack and Gina Scalcione called the new owners of the Loftel project before their group to address some community concerns since the new group took over ownership.
Boston Trade International, owned by brothers Pravin and Sudhir Patel, bought the large former industrial building on the corner of Orleans and Porter Streets from developer Paul Roiff last month for $14.75 million.
Since the purchase, the Scalciones said neighbors in the GSCA area have complained of an increase in trash, dust, noise and improper snow removal.
“The developer needs to understand this is a residential neighborhood and people work very hard and don’t need to be disturbed at night,” said Gina Scalcione.
Jack Scalcione said some complaints have been about the plastic sheathing that is being used to confer the building’s exposed windows while construction progresses. The sheathing has been regularly tearing off, flapping loudly at night and littering the neighborhood. The damaged sheathing has also allowed dust to blow out of the building and around the neighborhood. Also neighbors have complained about work inside the building late at night.
“Also during the last snow storm some of the neighbors have complained that when the lot was plowed, the snow was piled against neighbors’ fences and caused damage,” said Jack Scalcione.
Before the Sudhir Patel arrived at the meeting, Rep. Adrian Madaro said he had made several calls to the new owners to address some of these concerns but never received a call back.
However, once Patel arrived he apologized profusely about the current condition and made a pledge to address the concerns of neighbors and begin rectifying the issues at the building.
Patel said his company is looking at a more durable wrapping for the windows, will direct its maintenance crews to do a better job with snow removal, will make sure the doors are locked and secured and perform regular cleanups around the property.
However, some at the meeting, like members of Jeffries Point Neighborhood Association last month, requested more updates and perhaps a rendering of what the Patels’ plan to do at the building.
One GSCA member said he was a little disappointed that the project changed hands and part of the appeal and why he voted for the project is that it was not some ‘cookie cutter’ hotel and was to be a unique, independently owned boutique hotel.
Again, Patel said that while the project will be replaced with a national corporate brand the boutique-style aspect of the original plan remains.
“We are not going to invest millions of dollars to create an inferior product,” Patel told the crowd Monday night.