The North End Waterfront/Residents’ Association (NEWRA) held its December meeting on Thursday, December 8th via Zoom.
Cross St. Hotel Proposal
Developer Bill Caulder delivered a brief presentation showcasing the 135-room boutique hotel project proposal undertaken by Cross Ventures LLC. The site faces the Rose Kennedy Greenway on the front and Morton Street with Cutillo Park in the rear.
Residents will recall the area as two single-story buildings and a parking lot. It is where J.Pace & Son and Maria’s Pastry retail shops operated for several years and is adjacent to the current Chase Bank.
The hotel would feature a 50-60 seat hotel restaurant, a second full-service restaurant of similar size, and an open-air passageway in the center of the development connecting the Greenway side to Morton Street and Cutillo Park.
Still in its preliminary phase, a LOI (letter of intent) has been filed with the BPDA (Boston Planning and Development Agency).
Two letters of opposition to the project were presented from abutters on Stillman Street at the meeting, one addressed to the BPDA (Boston Planning and Development Agency)’s Director Brian Golden and the second intended for the NEWRA board.
Following the presentation, residents quickly weighed in with comments. Several common themes of concern were voiced by abutters, primarily from Stillman Street, including the issues of height, trash, loss of Greenway views and additional disruptions caused by noise and traffic.
Cutillo Park itself featured heavily in the discussion as well, with the issues of cleanliness, crime, light and tree cover among the topics creating debate.
While Caulder emphasized his community commitment and argued that the hotel would acknowledge and honor the heritage and culture of the North End, opponents argued that the addition of a hotel of any kind on Cross Street would not be in keeping with the unique character of the neighborhood.
As a preliminary presentation, there was no vote taken on the proposal at the meeting. Next steps include more detailed filings with city agencies as part of Article 80 review at the BPDA kicking off a public review process, including an Impact Advisory Group (IAG).
NEW Health Holiday Fundraising Campaign to Address Food Insecurity
Luisa Siniscalchi, NEW Health’s health education and outreach manager, joined by public affairs coordinator Nate Merlan, spoke about the Holiday Fundraising Campaign currently underway to address food insecurity.
Boston Water & Sewer Commission Upgrades Update
Boston Water & Sewer Commission (BWSC) Communications Program Manager Eileen Snedeker and Project Manager Jean-Luc Teixeira provided a briefing on 2020 construction updates and upgrades.
This year’s project locations included Margaret Street, Lewis Street, Battery Street, Fulton Street, Cleveland Place, Tileston Street, Commercial Wharf North, and Prince Street.
With approximately 95% of the overall contract work finished for this year, Prince Street will be the last location serviced.
NEWRA members Dave Kubiak and Sarah Boole commented on the construction impacts, expressing shared concerns on notification and public safety.
Victor Brogna, Chair of NEWRA’s ZLC (Zoning, Licensing & Construction) Committee, reported the recommencement of meetings, with the first scheduled for December 15th. Two items will be addressed: 393 Hanover St. (former location of Green Cross Pharmacy) and 25 Atlantic Ave. (the triangular corner site along Commercial Street).
Brogna went on to state that a third item, 81 Prince Street, will be covered at the January session.
North End/West End Neighborhood Liasion John Romano spoke about the 2021 Outdoor Dining Pilot recently announced by the City of Boston.
NEWRA President Cheryl Delgreco reminded members about the upcoming joint meeting on December 16th with elected officials.
View the December 2020 NEWRA meeting video in full at this link.