Community Real Estate

Zoning for Paul Revere House and Former Tecce’s Buildings Discussed at NEWRA’s ZLC Committee

Paul Revere House Museum representatives present to NEWRA’s ZLC committee for an expanded visitor’s center at 5-6 Lathrop Place.The Zoning, Licensing & Construction (ZLC) Committee of the North End / Waterfront Residents’ Association (NEWRA) recently listened to two significant zoning applications, the expansion of the Paul Revere House Museum’s expansion at Lathrop Place and the renovation of the former Tecce’s buildings on N. Washington and Cooper Streets. A third scheduled zoning applicant for a basement addition at 9 Noyes Place was a “no-show.”

The Paul Revere Memorial Association/Paul Revere House has filed an appeal for zoning relief to convert the existing multi-family residential properties at 5-6 Lathrop Place to “cultural accessory use” as part of the expansion plans for the Paul Revere House museum. Now that the exterior of the 1835 building is essentially renovated, the PRH is presenting floor plans for the inside renovation.

The Public Archeological Lab has completed an extensive archeological survey and sampling of the site that was once Paul Revere’s backyard. Over 35,000 artifacts, including wine bottles and privy items, were collected for further lab inspection.

Two of the three variances needed for the expansion relate to the Groundwater Conservation Overlay District (GCOD). Engineers are looking at the water filtration to compensate for any groundwater loss from the addition of 50 square feet of new structure.

The PRH purchased the privately owned property in May 2007 to house a new Midnight Ride exhibit, visitor restrooms, classrooms, program and office space. The planned work will also make both the original house and Lathrop Place building accessible to the disabled. Staff are planning for an April 2013 completion date.

Next, the NEWRA ZLC Committee heard the application for 45-51 North Washington Street and 55-57 Cooper Street, Michele Holdings LLC. The applicant has filed appeals for zoning relief to convert commercial space formerly occupied by Joe Tecce’s Restaurant to residential apartments. There are three properties on this site that will be renovated for rental use. None of the properties are expected to increase in height. The tallest is currently at 49 feet.

The adjacent properties are expected to have 16 residential rental units. The N. Washington Street building will have eight units (four 1-bedroom and four 2-bedroom), 55 Cooper St. will have four studios and 57 Cooper St. will have four 1-bedroom units. Discussion at the meeting included trash disposal procedures, rodent control and living space requirements. Some of the units will be less than the 550 square feet often cited by the Zoning Board of Appeal. However, these are existing units undergoing renovation. There is no provision for parking and the owners will be seeking a variance for that requirement.

Joe Tecce’s Restaurant appears to be gone forever. All the restaurant items were auctioned through the bankruptcy proceedings. The new owners of the property are contemplating a smaller restaurant in that space with a reduced scale patio for outside dining. The Internal Revenue Service has also taken the Tecce’s alcohol license, according to the new owners.

NEWRA’s ZLC Committee meeting is for informational purposes. Applications may appear before NEWRA and the Neighborhood Council, NEWNC, for advisory votes in the coming weeks. The Boston Zoning Board of Appeal makes the final determination on the applications.