JPNA Votes Down Webster Street Project

Members of the Jeffries Point Neighborhood Association (JPNA) voted 20 to 7 Monday night against the proposed residential project at 182 Webster St.

Owner Julius Sokol is proposing to change the occupancy from a three-family to a four-family, construct a rear addition on the fourth floor, construct an exterior rear deck and build a stairway to extend the first-floor living space into the basement.

Currently the home is a rental property, but Sokol’s attorney, Patrick Mahoney, said once the project was completed it would convert to market-rate condo units to increase homeownership opportunities in the area.

Mahoney said his client has already been before the JPNA as well as JPNA’s Planning and Zoning Subcommittee. Sokol also hosted two abutters meeting on the project and tried to shape the proposal to address some of the comments and concerns from residents.

The architect for the project, Owen Thomas of Bloom Architecture, commented that the historic brick bowfront on Webster would be rehabbed extensively because it is currently in ‘pretty rough shape.’

Thomas said Sokol would not change the footprint or height of the building and only extend an already existing two-floor rear addition to the third floor. This would increase the living space for that top floor unit. 

While the project pales in comparison to some of the larger projects being proposed across Eastie and going from a three to a four family is usually a slam dunk for most developers, the development-weary group still thought the project would have a negative impact on the community.

Some at Monday night’s meeting said they were apprehensive of support for adding an additional unit in a building that does not have off-street parking. Others feared changing the roofline in the back in order to extend the rear addition would impact the homes next door that are connected to 182 Webster St.

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