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Chase Bank Supported by Neighborhood Council for the Corner of Cross & Salem Streets

The North End / Waterfront Neighborhood Council (NEWNC) voted unanimously to support Chase Bank’s proposal for a retail bank at 50 Salem Street.

While the Council echoed what community members have previously said about wanting a local business at this highly-contested corner, they agreed with the proponents on the need for stability. Peet’s Coffee lasted just two years at this location, following Goody Glover‘s twelve-year stint.

Chase Bank would be able to afford the rent and representatives stressed they would give back to the local community in their presentation to NEWNC on Monday night.

Watch the full video above and follow along with the timeline below.

(00:30) Attorney Peter Lyons presented the proposal, accompanied by building owner Linear Retail representative Greg Drocz, and Chase Bank representatives Brooke Cabrera and Chris Hoyt.

(2:35) The 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.

(3:14) The bank would be 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).

(4:06) Nothing would change in regards to the physical aspect of the building except signage.

(6:20) The concern of homeless individuals sleeping in ATM booths is addressed. Chase representatives said they lock down their ATMs in urban areas overnight if this becomes an issue.

(7:24) NEWNC President John Pregmon asks about other Chase branches in the area. A Chase branch opened in Dedham in December and a branch at Downtown Crossing will be opening this week.

(11:00) NEWNC Council Member Sean Hennessey asked what Chase will do to give back to the community. Representative Hoyt spoke about small business loans and supporting local groups that approach the bank to participate in activities.

(13:05) Attorney Lyons named some North End / Waterfront events that Chase would be happy to sponsor including the Taste of the North End, summer feasts and the North End Athletic Association.

(13:45) Councilor Member Tania Green asked for examples from Chase’s other locations of how they engage with the community. Chase representatives could not give any specific examples. Drocz, representing the building owner, said they would be looking to work together with Chase on community engagement.

(15:17) Inside the bank would be a cafe that representatives clarified would be self-serve coffee service, no food or waitstaff. Cabrera went on to explain that the first and second floor would be bank use, and the “retail” would be the space out outside where the public seating would be located.

(16:40) Maria Lanza from the Mayor’s Office reported there was no opposition from abutters as no one attended the abutters meeting.

(17:57) Green asked how Chase would maintain the exterior of the property. All presenters stressed that the area would be kept clean of trash and graffiti. The bank does not expect to be generating a ton of trash and will be storing it inside. Several councilor members expressed the importance of trash receptacles at the outdoor seating.

The group will also present to the North End / Waterfront Residents’ Association on Thursday, February 14, 2019.

21 Replies to “Chase Bank Supported by Neighborhood Council for the Corner of Cross & Salem Streets

  1. So we support chase bank but when starbucks wants to go it’s the end of the world because they are a chain???? Makes a lot of sense.

    1. I hear they will let their customers have free coffee. Now Chase-Manhattan is the gateway to North End, same as in the Financial Distict.

  2. I find it so hypocritical that NEWNC approved CHASE Bank to go on Cross St and Salem but voted AGAINST Citizens Bank ( a member of the North End Community for decades) moving from its Hanover St location to the former Martignetti Liquors site on Cross St.

  3. Sal, Kudos to you, you are so right. Does the City of Boston think this matters? I don’t think so. The No. End is
    nothing but a Cash Cow to the City. They have no regard for the residents, it all has to do with Businesses. The
    Highest Bidder always seems to win.

    1. Highest bidder usually wins because it’s a free market. That’s typically how things work….whether in the North End, or anywhere else in our country.

      1. Additionally….why do you reference the city? What does the city have to do with it? The property isn’t owned by the city. It’s privately owned. I don’t understand your logic.

  4. How does this bank improve upon this area’s ambience and history?! That was the major argument against having a Starbucks in the same location. At least they were going to improve the aesetics of the building and install a monument to recognize the North End. I don’t understand how this proposal fits in our neighborhood. Where is all the outcry from the residents?

    1. At the end of the day economics will always trump angry outbursts. Anyone who couldn’t see this coming was fooling themselves. While it would be great to have a local establishment set roots as the gateway, the reality is that has proven too difficult already for the few that gave it a shot. People will yell “it’s all about the money”, which is true. Nobody wants to open a small business that loses money. It takes deep pockets and scale to make a business work in a location like this one that demands an above average lease agreement. For everyone who screams from the rooftops about anything and everything, file this one under a be careful what you wish for.

    2. The talk about a monument was just that talk and lip service. Anonymous is right one business after another has failed at this sight. People may now be having 2nd thoughts about shooting down the Starbucks proposal. Personally I would not pay 8 bucks for a cup of the crap that they sell and hang around staring at a lap top for 12 hours but there are plenty of people who would have.

  5. This group is a fraud, they created a panic over Starbucks to help their personal friends who had coffee businesses on Hanover Street, all while saying they care about Italian culture. Yeah, right … Chase Manhattan JP Morgan bank is the antithesis of Italian culture. Notice in the video that the lawyer is a friend of the people voting and the father of a staff member in Aaron Michlewitz’s office. This should disqualify the application from the get go. It’s a complete sham, and probably illegal.

    1. Sorry but other lawyers who represent clients ( Dan Toscano for one) are North End residents and friends of people on the Council. the young man who works for Aaron DOES NOT HAVE A VOTE so the fact that his father represents Chase and you think that the application should have been disqualified on that basis is pure BS.

  6. Sonny, you are so right. What does the City have to do with it? Am I dreaming, did Marty Walsh get involved with Starbucks & told them it wasn’t a good idea. There are a lot of heavy hitters when it comes to donating money for politicians. I would also like to answer regarding the Highest Bidder & how it applies to
    everything in the world. I know this & get this, but don’t you think somewhere you have to draw the line? .I believe in Capitalism & I also believe it can be accomplished without stepping on others toes, in this case
    the Residents. I get the Property owner wants to rent it, but who the hell is anyone to say who it should be. I hate the thought of a bank going in there, but I didn’t purchase this property & I am not making monthly mortgage payments, or whatever. I get everyone wants to make money, but you have to try to please those that
    reside here & pay outrageous rent. Residents & Property Owners should matter. There is plenty of money going around & I can honestly say if I lived in that area I would welcome the Bank, which is better than another restaurant & keeping people up all nite. The people who protested outside of City Hall regarding the Roche-
    Bobois Building, succeeded, it is the Eliot School, Prime Property. I loved the idea of someone buying the building & going up 88 ft., rooftop pool, restaurant, & marina & Waterfront location. They protested & won.
    The issue was they were going to take the waterfront view away from those Hull St. Residents. Was my life effected no, but I could definitely understand why the Hull St. residents didn’t want. I am a firm believer in anything worth having is worth fighting for. I don’t mean Riots, but protesting outside City Hall sounds good to me, only if it is a Good Cause. It is called Respecting Other Residents effected by the Project.

  7. NEWNC is the biggest bunch of hypocrites. Starbucks would have been so much better yet all you idiots showed up at a meeting to scream with your high and mighty crap because you were born here and know everything. Even if you don’t want their coffee, Starbucks would have brought restrooms to the Freedom Trail so there would be less peeing in the alleys. And, it would have been so much cleaner than the empty storefront that continues to exist. A few people on NEWNC orchestrated a lynch mob against Starbucks (and Peets before that) and you all fell for it. Congratulations, enjoy your new Chase bank branch that will do nothing but compete with our local banks like Century, Citizens, Eagle. NEWNC should be ashamed of themselves.

    1. Seriously. There could be no greater neighborhood benefit than the bathrooms Starbucks would have brought. Although the trash cans that they would install and maintain are a close second.

  8. What was so wrong with having an Apple store? It would have certainly enhanced the flavor of the North End.
    How welcoming and innovative to have an establishment that could accommodate almost everyone. Tourists, visitors, businesses, office workers, schools and residents etc. Just think of how the word would spread. Think of how much more attention we would receive and the regrets from other towns who would be overlooked and considered behind times.
    Citizens unite!

  9. It was a vacant space and now it will be occupied. What do papered up windows and vacancy signs say about the area? Gives it sort of a derelict feel. Same applied to the Starbucks fiasco, chase away an occupant with no backup and you end up with a derelict property.

  10. Sonny you hit the nail right on the head. Where are all the business like Carmelina, modern pastry, and cafe Dello sport now? I recall at that meeting listening to them and several other people who own business around the neighborhood, some which even sit on that board, moan and complain that Starbucks is a chain and something Italian should be there blah blah blah… but Chase does not affect them so it’s OK for them to be there. They should be ashamed of themselves. Disgusting.

  11. Dear North End Residents,

    On behalf of NEWNC, we would like to provide a general response to comments herein with an official statement regarding our support for the proposed Chase Bank at Salem and Cross Streets forthcoming at our March 11, 2019 monthly meeting.

    We welcome feedback on all agenda items prior to our meeting and/or by attending the meeting in person and offering your opinion on an issue before us. Our meetings are always open to the public–we welcome a variety of viewpoints and are grateful for community involvement. We look to residents to let their opinions be heard when petitioners coming before our Council. Comments made after-the-fact are a moot point and of little practical value. In this instance, no residents appeared at the meeting and expressed an opposition to this project. Council Members weigh many factors when determining whether to support/oppose an item before them. As such, we do not believe accusations of inconsistency, fraud, and/or hypocrisy have merit as we attempt to be as transparent as possible, announcing the outcome of the voting from each Council Member at the conclusion of our meetings.

    We strongly recommend that you voice your concerns for all future proposals by appearing at our regularly scheduled meetings or by contacting us directly beforehand at NEWNCBoston[@]gmail.com. You may also contact us via email to further discuss this issue and/or any other concerns you may have regarding the North End and this Council.

    Thank you,

    John Pregmon
    President, NEWNC

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