175 McClellan Highway Developer Addresses HVNA Members

By John Lynds

Gate Residential Properties, LLC and Bulgroup Colorado, LLC’s Damien Szary appeared before the Harbor View Neighborhood Association (HVNA) Monday night at the group’s September meeting to talk about plans to develop the 143,139 sq. ft. parcel at 175 McClellan Hwy. into a mixed use development.

Szary and his group, known for developments in Chelsea and Revere, filed a Letter of Intent with the Boston Planning and Development Agency (BPDA) last month but has yet to finalize  plans for the site.

“Aside from the Letter of Intent, we have not officially filed plans with the City of Boston,” said Szary Monday night. “Right now we are in the process of talking with the community and neighbors at meetings like this to get feedback and see what the community wants.”

The parcel currently houses Sterlingwear of Boston, a U.S. Navy peacoat manufacturing plant, Planet Fitness, the Veronica Robles Cultural Center, the East Boston Chamber of Commerce, the Christ the King Presbyterian Church and Swissport Fuel. The site is currently leased to Avis Car Rental who operates a surface parking operation on site.

Szary said his group has already met with some abutters to the property and has heard a litany of concerns raging from density, parking, limiting traffic and access to the site from Addison Street as well as green space.

Szary said currently the development team is proposing 300 residential units with 175 parking spaces in two or more buildings. There will also be 2,000 sq. ft. of ground floor retail and commercial space.

“We think retail is an important piece of the development that would help activate that part of the neighborhood,” said Szary. “We also conducted our preliminary environmental study and it was great to hear that despite some problems on the site it wasn’t nearly as bad as we thought it would be.”

Szary said the group anticipates submitting an Expanded Project Notification Form (PNF) by mid-February and looks forward to working with the BPDA, elected officials, community  members and an Impact Advisory Group that will review the project as time goes on.

“We also want to put a big emphasis on green space at the site,” said Szary. “Right now it’s just a big industrial site and we look forward to working with community members to get some ideas on how to approach green space at the parcel. One thing we want to do is hopefully connect the green space and the site with the rest of the surrounding neighborhood and make the development more inviting and approachable than it is today.”

Szary, a Chelsea native who now lives in Charlestown, and his group have developed the $50 million, 452 unit One North of Boston development in Chelsea. Szary’s group is also in the process of developing the former Shaw’s Supermarket site on the Revere Bach Parkway in Revere into a 132-room extended-stay hotel and 195 apartments.

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