BPDA Approves Three Projects in Eastie

At its February meeting last week the Boston Planning and Development Agency approved three projects in East Boston that will increase affordable housing opportunities as well as enhance retail space in Maverick Square.

The BPDA board last Thursday approved the residential projects at 144 Addison St. and 101 Condor St. as well as a commercial development at 9 Chelsea St. in Maverick Square.

Gate Residential Properties, LLC and Bulgroup Colorado, LLC’s Damian Szary plan to develop the 143,139 sq. ft. parcel at 144 Addison St. into a large-scale rental development. 

Szary and his group, known for developments in Chelsea and Revere, want to create an transit-oriented residential development, creating 230 new housing units, 169 off street parking spaces, and landscape and streetscape improvements along Addison Street.

After numerous meetings Szary recently presented a scaled down version to the community. Instead of 270 units Szary first reduced the number to 250 units, and reduced the parking spaces from 179 to 173. He also set back one of the building 100 ft. from the back of homes on Saratoga Street and argued that is twice as far away from those residents than the homes directly across Saratoga Street.

The project was then further reduced to 230 units and 169 parking spaces, which was approved by the BPDA last week.

The project also includes 30 income-restricted units adding to affordable housing opportunities in the neighborhood.

Szary has also agreed to install a raised crosswalk at the corner of Addison Street and Saratoga Street to enhance pedestrian safety and visibility. In addition, the project will install a new Blue Bikes Station.

At 101 Condor St. the proposed project consists of the re-development of an 8,650 square-foot commercial site situated on the corner of Condor and Brooks Streets. The site was once used by Corner Stalk Farms.

 Corner Stalk plans to move to the Chelsea Creek side of Condor because the company that grows fresh produce in converted industrial shipping containers, outgrew its current location.

The developer plans to construct of a new four-story building containing 18 residential units and 18 off-street parking spaces located in the building’s below grade garage. The project also includes two income-restricted units.

According to the developer’s attorney the project would create a residential development combining market-rate and affordable housing opportunities

The four story building will have roof decks and a more modern facade with wood accents to match the somewhat industrial look of the building across the street along the Chelsea Creek.

Recently the Eagle Hill Civic Association (EHCA) voted 23 to 9 in support of the project at 101 Condor St.

The developer has also agreed to contribute $20,000 to the City of Boston’s Parks Department to invest in Eagle Hill’s Prescott Park.

Lastly the BPDA approved the retail project at 9 Chelsea St.  Linear Retail plans to take the 18,795 square foot lot that once housed the former Rapino Funeral Home in Maverick Square and construct a three-story commercial retail structure with on site parking for 5 vehicles and a loading area.

Linear’s attorney said his client’s proposal hopes to revitalize the site with approximately 39,000 square feet of gross floor area, with approximately 13,000 square feet being on the lower and upper two levels.

This process included numerous meetings held by East Boston Main Streets, the Jeffries Point Neighborhood Association (JPNA) and abutters.  In addition, the proponent has engaged in discussions with the local elected delegation and has had numerous discussions with the Urban Design staff of the BPDA.

After hearing from abutters and members of the community and based on that feedback the project has been increased in size from two to three stories adding approximately 13,000 square feet of commercial space from what was originally proposed.

Also materials and architectural features have been modified to reflect an exterior that is more complimentary to the surrounding neighborhood.

The developer also agreed to pay $75,000 for the restoration of a historic Howard Clock that once stood inside the Rapino Funeral Home parking lot. The clock was destroyed several years ago during a storm. Linear will not only restore the clock but site it appropriately outside 9 Chelsea St. or somewhere else in the neighborhood if that’s what resident want.

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