Real Estate

Charter Realty Presents Design for Cross Street to Residents Association [Video]

Charter Realty Development presented its plans for developing 198 Hanover Street which stretches along Cross Street to Salem Street at the “Gateway to the North End” facing the Rose Kennedy Greenway. The presentation on July 14th was similar to that made last month to the Neighborhood Council (NEWNC), proposing a new 1 1/2 story (35 feet high) building structure that would replace the existing one-story commercial building and three residences in the rear.

Having received negative feedback since the last presentation, the developer defended its design by referencing influences from first floor businesses in the North End that are similarly defined by large windows and metal frames. It also reiterated the repeated failure of the current Cross Street plaza design to attract business and engagement.

The building currently houses Citizen’s Bank ATMs, Amy’s Nails, The Juicery and vacant space formerly occupied by Bread + Butter. Old timers will remember the long stretch of space before the Big Dig as the former Martignetti Liquors. The large billboard over the corner of Salem and Cross Streets will be removed as part of the plans.

Despite being adjacent to the Freedom Trail, the space has proven challenging to a revolving door of businesses. New establishments have not been solicited or proposed at this stage. Al fresco dining and outdoor cafe tables are anticipated given the large brick plaza along Cross Street facing the Rose Kennedy Greenway’s North End Parks.

Charter presented these plans for informational purposes. The owner has also met with representatives at the Boston Redevelopment Authority and various local officials. A formal submittal to the BRA under Article 80 – Small Project Review is expected shortly.

After meeting with Inspectional Services, the owner believes the proposed design is “zoning compliant” meaning no variances are required given a floor-to-area ratio of only 1.3 (under the 3.0 North End limit) and a height of up to 35 feet (under the 55 feet North End zoning height limit). Various licenses and permits will be required once establishments are proposed for the space. The proponent said they will return to the neighborhood boards and city officials at that time.

5 Replies to “Charter Realty Presents Design for Cross Street to Residents Association [Video]

  1. This is low-rise suburban timidity in the middle of a growing city. Do it right and go to 55 feet now or do it over again in 20 years. If you look at the front of that block from the greenway it looks like it’s missing a limb and all those back alley windows are exposed as the remaing scar tissue from the 50s. Close the wound. Build it out. We need more housing.

    1. Matt: What a post ! This project is one which I have not followed. Nevertheless…..I think your comment is well written and so very artful. And right to the point. You should be on the committee…….or become a writer. You certainly have a way with description which makes for easy visualization. ‘close the wound. build it out. we need more housing’ Love it !!

  2. I actually like this design and I see nothing suburban about it. It is an attractive , open, airy entrance to the North End.
    Before the Summer tunnel was built the Stabile bank had a branch there which was demolished to ease traffic flow out of the tunnel.
    We don’t need any more $2000.00 a month studio apartments. The city needs way more moderately priced units but I don’t see any on the planning boards.

  3. The tunnel is gone and the post-war carchitecture we tolerated for 60 years ought to disappear as well. Density is what works in a city. This design works in Saugus. I’ll hold my ground – this building is a tame, conservative, board-pleasing ersatz gesture. If it were bigger, drivers might slow down, realizing they were on a city street, not a highway offramp. Visual cues dictate behavior. We are letting visitors think they’re still on a highway.

    Further, I’m not okay illegally stacking students like cord wood for lack of housing availability. We do need more $2000 a month studios to ease artificially high rents on the remaining stock. Supply vs demand.

  4. Well said matt! It is time for the ” my family have been here for 5 generations” to wake up, let go of the past and welcome the new!

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