By Michael Coughlin Jr.
The Jeffries Point Neighborhood Association (JPNA) is set to vote this week on a proposed development of a mixed-use residential building at 1 Everett Street that has now been before the association a whopping seven times. At the JPNA’s monthly meeting on Monday, Mar. 13, Joe Hanley, an Attorney representing the project developer – Richard Garaffo – presented the proposal to meeting attendees in hopes of getting their support. This development has undergone significant changes since the first meeting with the JPNA on St. Patrick’s Day two years ago. Originally, the project would span over 25,000 square feet, but now the total square footage is 15,250. Furthermore, the proposed building’s height has dropped from 4.5 stories to three, and the number of units has dropped from 30 to 14. The 14 units will also be home-ownership units, with seven off-street parking spaces on site. In addition, to the home-ownership units that this project would potentially provide, it would also provide a fitness area for a CrossFit space and office space. As for the vision of the development, Hanley explained that it is to “Create and improve space and to have a development without displacement and to do it in a way that is responsible both with respect to sustainability but also contributing to the environment and the quality of the life of the neighborhood.” There were several questions concerning the potential CrossFit space, one being if it would be sound-proofed due to concerns about noise at night, especially if there will be residential units above. However, Hanely quelled those concerns by identifying that there would be sound mitigation measures internally and that the space would comply with the City’s noise ordinance. Another question explicitly posed about the CrossFit space was regarding the potential tenant. The resident wondered if a signed lease was already in place with the tenant because they explained, “Many developers promise specific tenants for their commercial space, but generally, this does not actually happen.” Although Garaffo stated there is no signed lease, he said, “Javy [Caraballo] and I go back 10 years as not only co-workers on his facility but also as friends – his handshake is good enough for me and I think Javy will make an excellent contribution to the area.” Caraballo, who would be the operator of the proposed CrossFit space, also spoke at the meeting and put his support behind the project. As for the next steps for this project, it was actually slated to go before the Zoning Board of Appeal Tuesday, Mar. 15, before the voting results from the JPNA would be finalized. However, Hanley said, “We’ve worked very hard, I think, to earn – I would hope – to earn your support but certainly to appreciate the guidance of the last two years. So we’ll be asking for a deferral tomorrow so that we can receive your vote.” Those who are eligible to vote will have the opportunity to do so until Friday, Mar. 17 at 7:00 p.m., as the two-year trek at 1 Everett Street continues.