By John Lynds
After four community meetings and several abutters’ meetings the Gove Street Citizens Association took a vote Monday night on the proposed residential development project at 114 Orleans St. that resulted in a tie. GSCA members voted 14-14 on the project after the developer made several more changes after holding off on a vote scheduled for last month.
Attorney for the developer, Jeff Drago, said his clients, City Realty, made further changes to the size, scale and scope of the project since the last GSCA meeting.
“We worked diligently with abutters and the GSCA to get to a project that we think works for both the developer and residents,” said Drago. “While we are not going to please everyone we addressed a good amount of the concerns.”
The developer agreed to reduce the building from five floors to four floors. This reduced the overall height of the building from 66 ft. to 57.75 ft. Height and massing, Drago said, was a major concern for abutters.
City Realty first proposed 28 units but that dropped down 25 units with 25 parking spaces at the GSCA meeting in February. At Monday night’s meeting Drago said the developer has reduced the number of units even further to 23 units with 25 parking spaces. City realty also added bike storage space that can accommodate 28 bicycles after meeting with neighbors.
The architects for the project also moved the entrance and lobby from the side of the building to the front of the building along Orleans Street.
The crowd was split with some thanking the developer for all their work to address community concerns while others still felt the building was ‘too big’.
City Realty has already begun a partnership with the community and recently donated Chrome Books to the Sam Adams School. They also have other projects and partnerships in the community.
For example, City Realty was recently approved by the Boston Planning and Development Agency and the Zoning Board of Appeals to build a $21.6 million, 63-unit condo project on Border Street between Eutaw and Lexington Streets. As City Realty underwent that permitting process, the developers charitable arm, City Kids, partnered with the Mario Umana Academy and purchased Chrome Books for the students. They also do regular upkeep and maintenance at school’s skate park. City Realty has also been helping NOAH to fund ongoing maintenance of the stairs and park that connects Border Street to Meridian Street.