OHNC Approves Six-Unit Development for Bennington Street

Some thought it was too big, others thought there were too many units, but at the end of the day Orient Heights Neighborhood Council members voted 18 to 12 in favor of a six-unit, residential development on Bennington Street.

The single-family, ranch-style home at 1225 Bennington St. was purchased by Joseph and Jason Ruggiero in July.

“My brother and I bought the house with the intention of redeveloping the property so we can remain in East Boston,” said Joseph Ruggiero.

The Ruggieros’ plans call for the demolition of the single-family home that sits on a 5,000 sq. ft. lot, and replace it with a four-story, six unit residential building. The mansard-style victorian home the Ruggieros are planning received praise from several OHNC members.

Both Joseph and Jason plan to live in the two separate three bedroom units on the top two floors of the home while the other four units will be sold as condos. The other units will all be 995 sq. ft. two bedroom units.

There was some concern over parking at the last OHNC meeting regarding the project. Attorney for the Ruggieros, Jeff Drago, said the project consists of two off-street parking spaces and the Ruggieros are currently looking to lease additional spaces at the parking lot across Bennington Street from their home. The Ruggieros also provided photos of that stretch of Bennington Street near Belle Isle Marsh on different times of day and different days to show the amount of ample on-street parking on any given day.

Another issue that came up was the height of the building. At 39 ft. some said the building was too tall compared to neighboring homes. However, Joseph Ruggiero said he was conscious of this and the design attempts to soften the height impacts.

“It’s a true mansard building so the third floor looks more like the building’s roof and the fourth floor that will consist of the top two units’ master bedrooms and decks are set back so they are not very visible from the street,” said Ruggiero.

Drago also pointed out there a four story commercial building directly across the street and a recent city approved multiunit condo project less than a block away was approved for four stories.

The project will now go before the Boston Zoning Board of Appeals for approval. Drago said variances needed will include Floor Area Ratio, Height, Side Yard, From Yard, Rear Yard and Parking.

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