At its January meeting, the Boston Planning and Development (BPDA) Agency approved changes to the project at 28-30 Geneva St.
The board voted in favor of a Notice of Project Change (NPC) to allow the developer of the project to decrease the height of the building and eliminate seven residential units, one of which is income-restricted.
The project previously received BPDA approval back in May 2019 to construct a five-story, 26-unit building with three income restricted units. The project all included 19 off-street parking spaces.
In November 2020 developer Joel DeLuca submitted a NPC to the BPDA requesting authorization to revise the project. The proposed revisions include the elimination of one floor and seven units from the previously approved building, which would now result in a 4-story residential building with 19 residential condo units and 19 off-street vehicle parking spaces.
The BPDA board has written that, “28-30 Geneva Street advances consistent with the priorities outlined in the ongoing PLAN: East Boston initiative”. The PLAN: East Boston initiative hopes to change some zoning in areas of Eastie while ‘preserving, enhancing and growing’ the community.
DeLuca is proposing to tear down a former automotive storage facility at 28-30 Geneva St. and replace it with the residential building.
“This transit oriented development is located within a half mile of the MBTA subway and bus service, providing residents with access throughout the City of Boston and greater Boston area,” wrote the BPDA. “The project is expected to bring a number of public benefits to the East Boston neighborhood, including investments in roadway infrastructure and public realm improvements. Additionally, 28-30 Geneva Street is consistent with the planning and development guidelines identified in the BPDA’s ongoing PLAN: East Boston study.”
During the community process some Gove Street Citizens Association (GSCA) members were quick to dismiss a proposed residential development on Geneva Street as yet another large scale development that does not fit in with the surrounding community.
However, longtime Geneva Street residents welcomed the proposal as something that may start a rebirth on the long neglected street.
At the first meeting regarding the proposal, some GSCA members were wary of another large-scale development with one member commenting that the group has seen enough five-story proposals and didn’t like the modern design.
However, attorney for DeLuca, Jeff Drago, said Geneva Street is basically a blank canvas that needs some attention. Historically the unpaved Geneva, which connects Gove Street to Maverick Street, has been dotted with auto repair shops, auto storage facilities and a few homes.
Those who live on the street agreed with Drago and want to see more developers take interest in the street.
“There’s nothing down here,” said one resident. “I’m an abutter to this project and the street has been a dump for as long as I can remember. I’m all for anything they can do to make this street look better because honestly it can’t be any worse than it is now. There are no sidewalks and no street.”