The proposal for senior affordable housing at 41 North Margin Street in Boston’s North End received approval on Thursday by the Boston Planning & Development Agency (BPDA).
Brought forward by the Knights of Columbus (Ausonia Council #1513), the project will convert its existing building into 23 fully affordable senior living and ADA accessible units to the North End. KoC is arranging 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.
A renovated 1,500 s.f. hall for the Knights chapter is allocated for part of the ground floor with a community room. The BPDA estimates the project will generate 50 construction jobs and over $12 million in investments.
Funded through the Hub on Causeway’s linkage payments, 41 North Margin Street will consist of 23 rental units, 1,500 square feet of Knights of Columbus meeting space and 13 parking spaces. All 23 rental units will be designated for senior affordable housing. The units will be a combination of 12 studio units and 11 one-bedroom units.
The project will results in a five-story building, adding an additional two-stories and completely renovating the existing three-story building. Once complete, the construction will total 24,257 square feet.
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.
The affordable senior housing project was previously presented to the North End / Waterfront Neighborhood Council (NEWNC) in June 2018 and was supported by an advisory NEWNC vote. A video of that presentation is shown below.