The North End / Waterfront Neighborhood Council (NEWNC) has voted unanimously to support a petition for a new building to be constructed at 149 Salem Street / 71 Prince Street.
Building owner Joe Giangregorio has applied to the Inspectional Services Department (ISD) to remove the existing building, formerly Prince Postale, and construct a mixed-use building 55 feet in height with a retail store on the ground floor and nine residential apartments above.
Watch Attorney William Ferullo’s presentation above and follow along with the summary below.
Until recently, Giangregorio owned and ran the Green Cross Pharmacy on Hanover Street with his brother Fred. The pharmacy closed earlier this month after 55 years of business. Several members of Giangregorio’s family live in the neighborhood, and the top floor of this proposed building would be for family members.
The current building at 149 Salem St. / 71 Prince St. has been vacant since Prince Postale closed in June 2017. It is in such great need of repair that a renovation would not make sense. Instead, Ferullo explains this will be a tear down and a new structure will be constructed.
The ground floor would be retail, of what type Ferullo said the family has not yet decided, floors 2-5 would be apartments that will be rented, and the sixth floor would be occupied by the owner’s family.
The violations include no parking, no open space (except for a private roof deck for the top unit), and no rear setback (which is true for the current conditions).
Building designs are presented at 5:58 in the video. The designs include an 18-inch bump-out on the upper floors meant to mimic the style of some of the surrounding buildings. The building would have an elevator that services all floors. Floors 2-5 would each have a one-bedroom unit (520 sq. ft.) and a two-bedroom unit (767 sq. ft.). The sixth floor would be a three-bedroom unit for the owner, which will have a small roof deck (measurements not yet determined) only accessible from the sixth floor unit.
The renderings appear to have balconies, but Ferullo clarified that they are only railings, so that the occupants can fully open the bay windows – there’s no space to step out (10:32). On the Prince Street side of the newly proposed building, Ferullo explained the building will need to maintain its connected fire escapes with the building next door, where Trattoria di Monica is located (11:28).
Questions from the council and audience begin at 15:33.
The construction timeline was discussed. Ferullo said they’d like to start construction as soon as possible which, after all the permitting, would likely be around December 2019. Once started, the project would take about 12 – 18 months.
Ferullo predicts the construction traffic disruption would likely be a loss of two parking spaces to construction equipment, but he doubts either street will need to be closed. He emphasized they have not yet spoken with the Boston Transportation Department.
There was an abutters meeting with a high turnout. According to Maria Lanza from the Mayor’s Office, attendees asked questions about the materials and what the building will look like, but no one outright opposed the project.
Ferullo stressed that several of the Giangregorio family members live and work in the neighborhood. The presentation concluded with four attendees speaking in support of the owners and the project (28:01).
NEWNC voted unanimously to support the demolition and construction of a new building. The project will also be presented at the North End / Residents’ Association meeting on Thursday, April 11.