The North End / Waterfront Residents’ Association (NEWRA) voted 22-14 to oppose a proposed 5-story new residential building by Urban Core Development at 173 Endicott Street, on the corner of N. Margin Street.
In response to concerns expressed at previous meeting and during abutter sessions, the proponent has reduced the height from 55 feet to 50 feet, before mechanicals, which will align exactly with the adjoining property cornice on Endicott Street. The protruding bay windows have been scaled back from 36″ to 18″ on two of the three sides of the building. The bay windows will be 9 1/2 feet above the street level. Also, the proposed hydraulic parking stackers have been removed, reducing parking from 7 to 4 interior spots on the ground floor.
Replacing a parking lot, the proposed new construction will be a nine-unit condo building with units ranging from 450 square-feet studios to 1200 s.f. for the duplex units. Two private roof decks will serve units within the building.
Robert Quinn is the principal at Urban Core Development, represented by Attorney Daniel Toscano at the meeting and architect Peter Vanko. Real estate sales will be by Toni Gilardi, who was also present at the meeting. Specific zoning violations include (1) groundwater district requirements, (2) a proposed floor to area ratio above the 3.0 zoning code, (3) insufficient open space, (4) lack of rear yard space and (5) insufficient off-street parking.
The scale reduction was met with appreciation by several abutters that commented at the meeting. However, others thought the floor-to-area ratio was still too large for the proposed lot with concerns about the loss of sun and light to neighboring properties. The glass-heavy design was also criticized as too contemporary for the North End. The number of bay windows and protruding corner were also questioned at the meeting.
The group’s opposing vote is advisory to city officials who will make the final determination on the requested variances. The petitioner has a hearing in front of the Boston Zoning Board of Appeal on March 28, 2017.