Chase Bank presented plans for 50 Salem Street to the North End / Waterfront Residents Association (NEWRA) on February 14th.
The location at 50 Salem Street was formerly occupied by Peet’s Coffee and Goody Glover‘s before that. Ownership changes and subsequent rent increases have been challenging, according to previous lease occupants.
Chase Bank emphasized they would commit to a 10-year lease and bring stability at the site, given their financial wherewithal as part of global financial services firm, JP Morgan. Attorney Peter Lyons presented the proposal, accompanied by building owner Linear Retail representative Greg Drocz and Chase Bank representatives Brooke Cabrera.
The bank still needs a change of use from a restaurant to a bank location, along with a possible ATM. Both of those are conditional, requiring zoning board of appeals approval. Chase has not yet filed with the Inspectional Services Department (ISD).
A 36A take-out license is still in effect from when the property was Peet’s Coffee. The bank is considering a sit-down area on the patio, which Chase would maintain, that would be for public use, similar to the benches and tables on the Greenway. The bank is garnering feedback on possible outdoor cafe-style seating options, such as self-serve coffee service with public WiFi. Inside, all space would be for bank use, and the “retail” would be outside where the public seating would be located. The Cross Street plaza area has been highly controversial since Charter Realty proposed a Starbucks Coffee at the North End “gateway” site across from the Greenway’s North End parks.
Proponents said nothing would change in regards to the physical aspect of the building except signage. The concern of homeless individuals sleeping in ATM booths was addressed. Chase representatives said they lock down their ATMs in urban areas overnight if this becomes an issue.
J.P. Morgan Chase announced a large scale expansion in the New England area with over 60 new bank branches and 130 ATMs. A Chase branch opened in Dedham in December and a branch at Downtown Crossing opened this month.
NEWRA did not vote on the conditional use changes which have yet to be filed with city officials. North End / Waterfront Neighborhood Council (NEWNC) heard the same presentation and gave a vote of support for the plans.
Watch the NEWRA video above for the full discussion.