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.