For the past few weeks, the City of Boston has warned the owners of the Loftel project on Orleans Street that they had better clean up their act or face daily fines.
Boston Trade International, owned by the Patel family, has taken some hits in the community as abutters to the property have complained for years, and now the old industrial factory at 175 Orleans St, looks worse than ever. The Patels bought the Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) permitted and Boston Planning and Development Agency (BPDA) approved project from developer and restaurateur Paul Roiff for $14.75 million.
The Mayor’s Office, the City’s Department of Neighborhood Services, as well as Councilor Lydia Edwards and Rep. Adrian Madaro, all reached a consensus that if the Patels did not clean the project site, secure the building and begin getting it ready for construction, the city would start levying daily fines starting on the first of this month.
The city kept true to their word and last Thursday the city’s Inspectional Services Department (ISD) began issuing violations to the owners.
The city gave the Patels 24 hours to fix the buildings huge chimney that was ready to collapse, as well as close all openings–doors, windows, etc.–that have been exposed to the elements for years or face daily fines.
Eastie resident Nat Taylor also began an online link so residents can continue to report the condition of the building to ISD’s Problem Property Task Force. That link can be found at www.liveeastboston.com/public/175-orleans/.
Since 2016 residents living in the Gove Street area have compared the eyesore on Orleans Street to something you would see in war-torn Damascus rather than Eastie.
At the last Gove Street Citizens Association meeting Attorney Richard Lynds, who was brought in by the Patels a few months ago to get the project over the goalline, said the delays in construction were largely due to the telecommunication antennas on top of the building, as well as other issues.
However, Lynds said the plan to wrap up the building remains on track and residents may have noticed some building clean up that has started in preparation.
“However, since the last Gove Street meeting, the building owner was cited by ISD at the request of the Mayor’s Office of Neighborhood Services including a citation for an unsafe condition concerning the chimney,” said Lynds in a statement. “There is a process that is followed from there including an obligation by the property owner to demonstrate a work plan prepared by an engineer to address the issue immediately or face fines and possible court action. That has been in process. The owner’s representative and ISD were on site (last) Thursday to discuss next steps. An engineer will be on site with a boom truck to evaluate the Chimney and the contractor engaged to wrap the building will be back on site Thursday morning to finalize measurements for the material. The goal is to address the Chimney which will dispose of the open violation and then complete the building wrap as discussed at Gove Street.”
Lynds added that the ownership has been made aware of everyone’s frustration and is moving as expeditiously as possible in an effort to make this right.