BPDA Approves Maverick Street Project

Last week the Boston Planning and Development Agency (BPDA) approved the mixed-use project at 205 Maverick St.

The project approved by the BPDA has been modified after members of the Gove Street Citizens Association (GSCA) voted 12 to 12 at a recent meeting regarding the project. The tied vote meant the GSCA will send a letter not supporting or opposing the project.

However, at the time of the GSCA vote owner of the convenience store and laundromat on Maverick Street planed to convert an ‘underutilized’ commercial space into a five story, 55 unit housing development.

The plans approved by the BPDA during their November meeting called for the demolition of the existing single-story commercial structure that occupies the site in order to construct a five-story, mixed-use building with 49 residential rental units, seven of which will be affordable units. As currently proposed, the 49 residential units are anticipated to consist of 12 studio units, 17 one-bedroom units, and 20 two-bedroom units.

The project will also feature two commercial retail spaces, 34 off-street parking spaces, and at least 49 on-site bicycle storage spaces.

Attorney Joe Hanley said his client has dubbed his project ‘development without displacement’ because he plans to bring back the laundromat and convenience store if the tenants want to return after construction is complete. The two tenants, Maverick Street Market and Swish & Swash Laundromat, are popular businesses in the area.

Architect Joel Bargmann said since the team’s first presentation to the community the owner has made some changes. First, the fifth floor would be stepped back to create more continuity with the roof lines on Maverick Street. The step back would also give the allusion of a lower height when looking at the building from the street.

Bargmann added that after listening to the community the proponent has moved the entrance to the 34-space parking lot from the left side of the building to the right. Bargmann explained that residents expressed concern that it made more sense to have the entrance to the parking accessible for vehicles traveling down Frankfort Street to the building. With Maverick Street being a one way, potential tenants would have not been able to access the garage from Frankfort St. and would have to turn right, then left, go around the block and back down Maverick Street. Residents said it just made more sense, from an environmental standpoint, to move the garage entrance and cut down on vehicles having to circle the area.

Overall the mixed use project is situated on an approximately 18,000 sq. ft. parcel and will include a courtyard for the two businesses, patio and balconies.

In order to soften the garage the developer has planned a roof decked open space or ‘green roof’ concept over the garage in order to hide the cars from view from abutters living on Maverick and Everett streets.

A $20,000 contribution will be used to fund a transportation analysis, and/or implement pedestrian safety enhancements, vehicle calming measures, and public realm improvements in and around the Maverick Street corridor upon consultation with the City of Boston Transportation Department, Public Works Department, and other applicable public agencies.

The developer also plans to make donations to the Piers Park Sailing Center as well as the East Boston Social Centers.

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