Bremen Street developer offers mitigation package to IAG members

The developer proposing a large-scale, mixed-use development on Bremen Street offered a community mitigation package to the project’s Impact Advisory Group (IAG) at a meeting last week. 

Bremen Acquisitions filed the project with the Boston Planning and Development Agency (BPDA) last year that kicked off an Article 80 review by the BPDA and the appointment of an IAG made up of community members for the proposal. 

According to the filing with the BPDA, Bremen Acquisitions seeks to revitalize a non-conforming and outdated industrial use currently housing Gino’s Auto Body on Bremen Street into a development that includes a mix of residential housing and ground-floor retail space. 

The proposed project consists of the construction of a mixed-use development with 145 residential units, up to 3,200 square feet of retail space, and up to 61 off-street vehicle parking spaces. The project also includes related upgrades in public realm improvements, including pedestrian and vehicular access, landscaping and streetscape design.  With a combined land area of approximately 34,160 square feet, the site consists of nine contiguous parcels of land with a series of non-descript automobile repair structures, one small wood-frame residential buildings, surface parking and multiple curb cuts off Bremen Street.

At last week’s IAG meeting Bremen Acquisition introduced its community mitigation package. The package is comparable to other projects of its size with $200,000 in direct money benefits Eastie. The developer agreed to doing 15 percent affordable onsite housing–two percent more than what is required under the BPDA inclusionary policy. 

“The package is great for East Boston,” said IAG member Joe Gaeta. “They are putting in 19 trees, expanding the sidewalks, some areas up to 18 feet, a safety bump out to make crossing Bremen Street easier for pedestrians as well as creating a more active Bremen Street in what has been an industrial area.”

Gaeta said Bremen Acquisitions has also agreed to expand the retail space to make room for a fresh grocer which is desperately needed in the area.

“The developer has been very receptive and responsive to the community even shaving a whole floor off the building,” said Gaeta. “The whole development of that area will take it from an unsafe and dreary section to a vibrant safe area.”

However, some concerns included the construction phase and how long it would take as well as rain and ground water drainage. 

This was the last IAG meeting before the developer asks for BPDA approval at the BPDA’s board meeting on Thursday, Jan. 16.  As the proposed project exceeds 50,000 square-feet of new construction it is subject to the BPDA’s Article 80 Large Project Review requirements under to Article 80 of the Boston Zoning Code.

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