JPNA Votes Down Marginal Street Project

By John Lynds

After eight community, abutter and planning and zoning meetings, the Jeffries Point Neighborhood Association (JPNA) voted 18 to 14 against a condo development project at 298 Marginal Street.

Attorney for the project, Diane Modica, and architect, Beth Whittaker, again made their pitch to JPNA members to transform a vacant lot with dilapidated garages into a modern, three-story building that will include seven condo units and seven parking spaces.

Despite reducing the height of the building to 34 feet, recessing balconies and reducing some of the building’s massing, some JPNA members still were not convinced that enough was done to address community concerns.

Residents like Nick Martin said while there were some reductions here and there of a couples of inches or a few feet he was not really satisfied with the changes.

“I keep hearing six inches or a foot here and there but the proposal ignores all the major issues,” said Martin. “The building is still almost 100 ft. long, there are the same amount of units and while we’ve had a lot of input we haven’t gotten to what we’ve asked for.”

Another resident said the main issue for her was that the project is on a dead end street and felt that such a large development would add additional stress to the street. She also feared that her skyline views would be blocked even though Boston Zoning Code suggests no one has water and skyline views for a project on a buildable lot that is under 35 ft.

Former City Councilor Mike Ross supported the project. Ross moved from Mission Hill to Eastie to 282-286 Marginal St.–another condo project that Whittaker designed to great fanfare in the neighborhood. There Whittaker and the development team created a 4-story, 9-unit condo development on a vacant lot–similar to the proposal at 298 Marginal St.. The lot, located at 282-286 Marginal St. has long been empty and an eyesore in the neighborhood. Those condos sold in the high $300K and up depending on size of the units.

Ross said he and his neighbors at 282-286 Marginal supported the project because the parcel has been an eyesore for far too long and pointed to the great work Whittaker did at his condo development.

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