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Community Use, Possibly NEMPAC, Favored for Vacant Tileston Street Buildings

Boston City Council’s Committee on Planning, Development and Transportation held a hearing Monday morning over several surplus parcels and transferring the custody, control and management of them over to the Property Facilities Commission including 48 and 50 Tileston Street.

48 and 50 Tileston Street

Tileston Street was acquired by the city as part of the 2012 North Bennet Street School / Eliot School purchase swap. Although the Upper Eliot School opened last year, the Tileston Street properties is still vacant.

According to Donald Wright, Deputy Director of Real Estate Management and Sales, once the city council grants the transfer, the city will work with the North End community to see what they want to go in the vacant property. Afterwards, they will develop a RFP (Request For Proposal) to send out to potential developers.

48 and 50 Tileston Street

“We want to engage with the community to develop guidelines,” he said. “Having that community input in the RFP helps focuses the responses we want to see.”

The city is expecting that some sort of community organization will take over the space. However, they do not have a set timeline on when they would like to release the RFP.

“Our plan is to move when the community is ready to move,” said Wright.

Wright indicated that the North End Music and Performing Arts Center is interested in the building. Councilor Michelle Wu asked if there was any chance that a private developer could end up occupying the space. Wright said while it was unlikely, they would consider it if they got a bid that was offering a very large sum of money for the area. However, he said if that did happen the community would still be involved in the process.

Dianne Royle, President of the North End Music and Performing Arts Center, said they are very excited about the prospect of moving into 48 and 50 Tileston Street. They are currently located near the Paul Revere Mall about 150 feet away from the vacant property.

“The music school has grown tremendously,” she said. “We are running out of space.”

The school currently rents classroom space in the North End and Charlestown.

The city councilors will vote on the transfer on the next city council meeting. They need two thirds of the city council to vote in favor of it to pass.

6 Replies to “Community Use, Possibly NEMPAC, Favored for Vacant Tileston Street Buildings

  1. The North End has a remarkable history, probably more than any other neighborhood in the country. From the Colonial period with Paul Revere and the Sons of Liberty to the great immigration of Irish, Jews and Italians through the tribulations of urban renewal and down to the present day, the history of America is written in our streets and tenement houses.
    These buildings would make a wonderful museum honoring the thousands of immigrants who arrived penniless in the North End and began their American dream in our small section of Boston.

  2. Nick is right on. As a board member of the North End Historical Society is our purpose to establish a Museum that particularly features the 120 years of the Italian American history of this nations longest established Little Italy and its place history.

  3. With all due respect I’d venture to say that Little Italy exists in NYC. It is an historic neighborhood that surely equals the NE.
    Nempac belongs in the Tileston Space. The organization has contributed opportunities for North End youth to learn music; to learn an instrument; study voice. The students and parents are very pleased that there is this cultural venue here. The school is a great attribute to this area.

    1. Little Italy in NYC is not what it used to be and using that as a reason against the possibility of a museum on Tileston St is ludicrous . NEMPAC also wants the space on North St next to the North Bennet St School. If/when the city builds a new community center for the North End will they also want the Nazzaro Community Center on North Bennet St.?

  4. NEMPAC deserves the space. The close proximity to the Eliot schools works well for the students, and makes for a unified venue rather than the Charlestown and Visitors’ Center on Hull Street. Parents and students alike are very pleased with the cultural aspect of NEMPAC — teaching children instruments; voice; and notation. They perform for us and we are thankful for this music school which exposes students to the world of music.

  5. Will they relinquish their request for the Tunnel Building on the Greenway/North Street parcel? They should not have both. They are a good resource for the North End but there has to be room for other agencies to, including a historic museum and an expanded North Bennett Street School.

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