Real Estate

NEWNC “Tables” 133 Salem Street Renovation

The pending owner of 133 Salem Street, David Crocini, came before the North End/Waterfront Neighborhood Council (NEWNC) last night with a preliminary renovation plan that raised more questions than it answered. The building is currently occupied only on the first floor by Sheldon’s Discount which is closing. Council members voiced generally positive opinions toward renovating the dilapidated building, but expressed concerns about the preliminary nature of the plans that had not been filed with zoning authorities. In addition, there were mixed abutter reactions to the proposal. After a series of motions and votes, NEWNC voted 9-0 to table the matter and reconsider it after the plans had been filed with the City’s zoning authorities.

Crocini plans to add 1 story to the building creating a 4th floor. The legal occupancy will change from retail only to include 4 residential units with a roof deck.  First floor will remain retail, 2nd floor will have 3 studio/one-bedroom units and 3rd & new 4th floor will be owner occupied.  Height of the building will not exceed the 55-foot restriction.

In response to concerns that some of the proposed units are too small, the applicant talked to zoning authorities and the 2nd floor units have been revised larger (1165 s.f. and 605 s.f.).
The 3rd floor will be an owner occupied duplex, enlaged to include a newly built headhouse, turned penthouse.

The 3rd floor expansion will obstruct the view of a window on the side of the adjacent building at 125 Salem. Rita Moran of Galleria 33 opposes the plan because her front-unit kitchen window and the rear-unit bedroom window will be partially blocked, limiting light into her building. The condo association at 135-137 Salem Street supports the renovation because they believe it will increase property values in the area.

Council member expressed concerns about the construction impact of dust impacting nearby business windows and the lack of onsite parking. The route for a fire escape was also questioned.

Crocini will seek a retail operator for the first floor. The family will be living in the building so they prefer not to have a restaurant. He also expects to work with the historic commission to restore the front fascade.

With several conflicting issues, a motion to conditionally approve the preliminary plans failed 4-5. Afterwards, a second motion and vote was made to rescind the prior vote and table the issue so the applicant could return once he has filed his plans with the City. The vote to table the matter was unanimous, 9-0.

Meeting minutes are available at NEWNC’s website: