After many years of seeking redevelopment options for their property at 41 N. Margin St. in Boston’s North End, the Knights of Columbus (Ausonia Council #1513) have proposed building 23 affordable, elderly apartments. Ground floor space would also house a new council headquarters for the Knights.
Presenting for the KoC were John Pagliuca and John Fiumara at the June 2018 meeting of the North End / Waterfront Neighborhood Council (NEWNC).
Motivated by the recent loss of affordable housing in the North End at 145 Commercial St. and the Mercantile Building, the KoC intend to arrange a 99 year lease to the non-profit East Boston Community Development Corp. (E.B.C.D.C.) that will develop and manage the property. There will be 3 units on the first floor and 5 units on the upper four floors as part of the 5-story building.
The group is looking for a zoning variance to build up to 56.5 feet high, 1.5 feet over the 55′ North End height restriction, in order to fit 23 units. The proponent said that the added height is necessary because of historic floor-to-ceiling restrictions on the first and second floors. The presenters further noted that reducing the project to four stories would bring it to an uneconomic 18 units. A second variance requested is regarding the open space variance. The project provides 94 sf of open space per unit versus the regulation at 100 sf/unit.
The basement would include a community room, available for community groups and events. Trash will be contained within the building, without a dumpster. The project has been approved by the Boston Planning & Development Agency and the Boston Historical Commission.
General affordability requirements would be for those with incomes up to $45,000 while the elderly notation means those at least 62 years old. Public financing would be used and tenants would be selected via lottery.
The North End / Waterfront Neighborhood Council (NEWNC) voted 9-1 in support of the project, as proposed. View the above video for the full presentation and discussion.