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.