Community Food & Drink Real Estate

NEWRA Zoning, Licensing & Construction Committee Issues March 2012 Update

Zoning, Licensing and Construction Committee Report
March 8, 2012

The ZLC Committee met on Tuesday, February 21, 2012, in the Mariners House, 11 North Square. ZLC Committee meetings will be held in the Mariners House through 2012.

Current Applications

139-143 Richmond Street (aka 188 North Street), David Veo, has filed an application with the Boston Board of Appeal to allow take-out service associated with his plans for a new sandwich shop in the first-floor retail space on North Street, between Mare and Limoncello restaurants. The building is L-shaped and fronts on both North Street and Richmond Street. A portion of the first floor facing North Street (at 188 North Street) is zoned for commercial use, but has not been used for commercial purposes for many years. Mr. Veo plans to open a small sandwich shop that will have an inside counter and a take-out window. He plans to set the front wall back several feet to create an area in front of the take-out window that is off the sidewalk. The existing door on the left side of the first floor space at 188 North Street will remain at the back of sidewalk and will continue to provide access to the apartments in the building. Access to the interior of the sandwich shop will be through a door on the right side. Board of Appeal hearing is April 24, 2012, at City Hall.

226 Hanover Street, Lucca Restaurant, Matt Williams (owner/general manager) has filed an application with the Boston Transportation Department for a valet parking permit. The restaurant owners seek valet use restriction of two parking spaces in front of the restaurant from 5:00 PM to midnight, 7 days. Lucca Restaurant currently shares a valet service and permit located in front of Ristorante Fiore, but the applicant states this arrangement has caused confusion and inconvenience for the Lucca customers, who arrive at Lucca Restaurant and are then told they must backtrack to the Fiore valet location. Lucca’s valet contractor is City Valet, Inc. City Valet plans to park the Lucca customer cars in the Parcel 7 (Haymarket) Garage. Concern was raised at the ZLC Committee meeting that the Parcel 7 Garage has not provided dedicated spaces for the Lucca cars and that the Garage may become full and unavailable to the Lucca valet operation at times. Questions were also raised about the impact of the valet operation on what is already a busy sidewalk. The ZLC Committee also pointed out that the community was told by the City several years ago that no additional valet permits would be issued in the North End.

Delegated Authority ZLC Decisions
NEWRA’s Executive Committee accepted the ZLC Committee’s recommendations that NEWRA send “no objection” letters to the Board of Appeal without vote of the members in the following cases where 1) the applications have not raised concern among neighbors and 2) the building changes should not cause significant impact to the community. For each application, NEWRA’s president will send a letter to the Board of Appeal indicating NEWRA has “no objection” to the proposed building changes as shown on plans presented to the ZLC Committee. The two applications are:

100 Fulton Street, Fulton Court Condominiums, Tom Hawk has filed a zoning appeal to convert the last remaining commercial space with the Fulton Court complex (Unit 1A at 106 Fulton Street) to residential use. The owner plans to remodel the unit into a 3-bedroom home. The Board of Appeal hearing is Tuesday, March 27, 2012, City Hall, 8th floor.

112 Fulton Street, Andrew McDonald has filed an appeal for zoning relief to allow enclosure of an exterior deck/balcony to increase living space. The Board of Appeal hearing is Tuesday, April 10, 2012, City Hall, 8th floor.

North Street Printing Building and Police Station (in part from a report in
It is reported that the North Bennet Street School (NBSS) and the City are negotiating the sale of the former Printing Building and Police Station at North and Richmond streets. Other than a symbolic proposal submitted by the Eliot School Family Council, NBSS was deemed the only responsive bidder for the properties. If NBSS acquires the properties, it is expected that NBSS will convert the buildings to industrial educational use and move into the buildings in phases. NBSS’s bid includes a “swap” by which the current NBSS buildings on North Bennet and Salem Streets would be turned over to the City. Through an agreement with NBSS, the Eliot School has been using some classrooms there for the current school year to temporarily alleviate space issues at the public K-8 school on Charter Street, and NBSS’s move to the buildings on North Street could create the opportunity for the City to expand the Eliot School into the old North Bennet Street School buildings. Separately, the Mayor’s Office sent a letter to the Eliot School Family Council indicating a formal response to their Eliot School space concerns will be forthcoming by May 1, 2012.

Parcel 7 Public Market (in part from a report in
The Massachusetts Department of Agriculture received only one bid in response to its Request for Proposals (RFP) for operation of a year-round ground floor public food market in the long-empty building attached to the Haymarket Garage located between Hanover and New Sudbury streets and opposite the Greenway North End Park Parcel 8. The sole bidder for what the City and State have long dubbed “The Boston Public Market” is the Boston Public Market Association, which currently operates the seasonal farmer markets in Dewey Square and City Hall Plaza. The Boston Public Market Association will make a presentation of its proposal at an open public meeting of the Public Market Commission on Tuesday, March 13, 2012, 6:30 PM at 100 Cambridge Street, Conference Room C. See attached public notice.

The Parcel 7 building is owned by the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) and was originally intended to house the offices of the former Massachusetts Turnpike Authority, but has stood empty since its construction more than 10 years ago. Recently, MassDOT stated that it may move some of its offices into the building, above the 30,000 square-foot first floor market.
The RFP established a preference that the Boston Public Market sell Massachusetts-only products. According to the RFP, “The proposed food market (the “Public Market”) will provide Massachusetts farmers, fish and seafood producers, and producers of agricultural and specialty produce with a year-round venue for direct sales, and will help to create jobs both at the Public Market and for producers. The Public Market will provide consumers with an opportunity to both learn about and purchase healthy, sustainable food. The products offered at the Public Market will respond to the cultural and economic diversity of Massachusetts.” The State-created “Public Market Commission” has set a timeline to open the public food market by the fall of 2012. State legislation two years ago approved state funding of up to $10 million to design and build the market, and a consultant’s report prepared with these funds suggests that state funds also be used to offset annual operating expenses.

A public meeting is scheduled for March 13, 2012, 6:30 pm at 100 Cambridge St., 2nd Floor, Conference Room C. at which the Boston Public Market Association will present its proposal and answer questions.

Redevelopment of Central Artery Parcel 9
Proposals for redevelopment of Parcel 9, the vacant parcel bounded by Hanover, Blackstone and North streets, near the Blackstone Block, were originally due to MassDOT, the owner of the property, by tomorrow, March 9, 2012, but the submission date has been extended to March 23, 2012. The Request for Proposals (RFP) includes development guidelines that indicate a preference for first floor market use, possibly including space for the current Haymarket Pushcart Association operation. The RFP also states that a height higher than the 55-foot height limit in zoning may be allowed towards the North Street end of the parcel if accompanied by a lower than 55-foot height towards Hanover Street, which would maintain view corridors from the North End to the historic Blackstone Block.

Government Center Garage Development
The developer of the Government Center Garage has not yet filed new development plans.

Next ZLC Committee Meeting: Tues., March 27, 2012, Mariners House, 11 North Square
236 Hanover Street, Matteo Gallo,
has filed a zoning appeal to change the allowed use of the first floor from retail store to coffee shop.

91 Prince Street, James Barry, has filed a zoning appeal to change the allowed use of the first floor from store to residential apartment. The apartment has been in residential use for years.