The North End / Waterfront Residents’ Association, NEWRA, voted 15 in support and 13 in opposition of the zoning relief requested by Michele Holdings LLC for 3 properties on N. Washington and Cooper Streets. Using a majority rules system, NEWRA will write a letter of support to the Boston Zoning Board of Appeal. The NEWRA meeting was held on Thursday, December 8, 2011 at the Nazzaro Community Center.
The buildings were recently purchased by the applicant and include the space formerly used by Tecce’s Restaurant. The specific zoning requests as listed on the agenda are as follows:
- 57-59 Cooper Street, Michele Holdings LLC has filed an appeal for zoning relief to convert first floor commercial space formerly Tecce’s Restaurant to a residential apartment. Renovate entire building.
- 55 Cooper Street, Michele Holdings LLC has filed an appeal for zoning relief to expand residential space (first floor and basement) and legalize building use for four residential units. Renovate entire building.
- 51-53 North Washington Street, Michele Holdings LLC has filed an appeal for zoning relief to convert first floor commercial space formerly Tecce’s Restaurant to residential apartments and legalize the building use for eight residential units. Renovate entire building.
The combined properties will total 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. None of the properties are expected to increase in height or have common roof decks. The tallest is currently at 49 feet. No basement units included in the plans.
A repeated concern by meeting attendees was the loss of local commercial space on N. Washington Street, especially with a reduced-sized restaurant replacing Tecce’s. In addition, residents questioned the potential uses for the triangular, fenced parking lot where dumpsters were previously located. The applicant said the space would be used for parking or valet.
Several residents brought up the lack of common area trash disposal given the total number of combined units as part of the 3 applications. The small size of some of the units, as tiny as 395 square feet, was also questioned. There is no provision for parking and the owners are seeking a variance for that requirement as well.
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.
Next, these applications appear before the Neighborhood Council, NEWNC, on Monday, December 12, 2011. NEWRA and NEWNC votes are advisory to the Boston Zoning Board of Appeal that makes the final determination on the applications. The ZBA hearing date is scheduled for January 24, 2012.