March 2022 Meeting Minutes

Meeting recording

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Boston Police Department officer, Sgt. Cintolo (5 min)

  • Neighborhood updates:
    • 3/27: on Marion St. there have been package thefts; Orleans and Porter St. had a motor vehicle accident
    • 3/20: Individual sustained minor injuries
    • This past weekend there were some OUI arrest. D-7 has been increasing presence.
    • 3/23: stabbing at Porter; 2 injuries who were not Boston
    • A scooter was stolen at Chelsea St. and Maverick St.
    • 196 Chelsea – domestic disturbance;
    • Bremen: Assault and battery between two known individuals
    • No recent house breaks and robberies
  • Reminders
    • Reminder that commercial vehicle is not allowed overnight
    • Keep doors locked and any possessions in vehicles out of view
    • Reach out to Cintolo about Hub program

East Boston liaison to mayor’s office, Nathalia Benitez-Perez (5 min)

  • Blue Line – closing April 2nd to April 14th due to maintenance
  • Coffee with Michele Wu – location TBD
    • May 4th at East Boston Memorial Park, Tentative time is 9:30 am.
    • Still waiting for confirmation. Please come if you can, this is a great opportunity to talk to the Mayor, other elected officials and ask questions about specific issues involved since we’ll have many departments there to answer.
  • Questions:
    • What is the city doing with rat issue near Gove St?
      • Information forthcoming for walkthrough by inspectional services
  •  Contact info: nathalia.benitezperez@boston.gov

Bremen & Orleans Development Project, Natasha Perez (5 min)

  • Continuing process with BPDA – working on incorporating recommendations into design
    • Aiming to present an updated design in future Gove Street meeting
  • Questions:
    • When is construction supposed to start?
      • No. Still very early in the process with BPDA.
    • Can community weigh into process with development?
      • There was initial community input. All of this will be directed to the developers, including the developers.
      • Will there be more Impact Advisory Group (IAG) meetings?
        • The city may decide the plans for meetings. There have been two meetings, but there has not yet been additional ones.
        • Can connect with Jason at BPDA on process
    • How will Porter St. support auto-rich projects
      • There are a series of traffic studies that have to be reviewed with the city. 
    • For follow-up questions, perez_natasha@outlook.com

Signatures to put Andrea Campbell on ballot for Attorney General (1 min)

  • Cheryl Harding, Field Director, Andrea Campbell campaign
    • She needs 10K signatures to get on the ballot by May 1st
    • Volunteer event taking place on Thursday 3/30 in Dorchester
    • Cheryl@andreacampbell.org 857-251-2193 Thank you

284 Maverick Street Development, Drago and Toscano, LLP – Community Presentation (30 min)

  • Introduction
    • Presentation by Jeffrey Drago
    • Developer: Odessit Capital
    • Seeking to erect a new four-unit building
    • Lot size: 1924 sq.ft.
  • Presentation link: 
  • Use area is 3F, seeking 4F variance. Total of 7 variances.
  • Questions
    • Is there a headhouse built?
      • No.
    • Comments about the exterior colors of the building being dull
    • What are the proposed units?
      • Currently they are proposed rentals
      • 3 bedroom; 2 bath
      • Units are around 1,150 sq. ft.
    • Concerns about lack of elevator in the building
      • Common to not have elevator in the building
    • Where does storage and heating/electrical going?
      • Heating and electrical units will be located within each unit
      • Storage for trash is located in the back
    • How many variances will be requested?
      • 7 variances
    • Will there be green space in the back?
      • Yes
    • How do you maintain and repair the walls with only a 2 1/2 ft space — over the many years the building will be standing
      • This is typical of new constructions. If there are any major leaks, this will be addressed from within the building.
    • When can we vote on this project?
      • Meeting can take place next month

“Loftel” Development Project at Orleans/Porter (175 Orleans Street), Richard Lynds – Community Updates (30 min)

  • Updates:
    • Work has started on the building – with windows being installed
    • Expected to completely rehab the building to convert into a 123 room hotel
    • There will be 65 parking slots
    • There had been delays due to telecommunication installation. This was important to get this in place.
    • Full service restaurant and lounge will be available open to the public
    • Updates to the masonry, but minimal changes overall
    • There will be new plants/trees that will be installed along Porter and Orlean, as well as at the parking lot
  • Developer commitments:
    • Installation of new lighting around the perimeter of the building to improve pedestrian safety
    • Public realm improvements, including new landscaping, reconstructed sidewalks
    • Creation of 150 construction jobs over the course of project
    • Creation of 20 permanent full-time jobs
    • Commitment of up to $10K to repairs of Porter St. bridge to either City of Boston or Commonwealth of Mass.
    • Place and manage trash cans along the adjacent streets
    • Provide access for neighbors to use hotel’s parking lots during snow and state emergencies provided spaces are available above those required by hotel guests
    • Provide or pay for the costs associated of Zoom account used by GSCA
    • Grant permission to use to host the monthly board and member meetings
    • Contribute $5K for 10 years towards cost of regular maintenance to the Greenway
  • Questions and comments
    • Are some of the 65 off-street parking spaces available for non-hotel guests who may be eating at the restaurant?
      • Prioritized for hotel occupants. But this could be made possible.
    • Is the restaurant and lounge already chosen? Average hotel room costs?
      • Currently seeking to have hotel operator run the restaurant and lounge
    • Please make as many trees as possible
      • Need to make sure the installation of trees will meet city of Boston’s requirements for sidewalk width
    • The prior community-approved agreement included that the entrance to the parking would be on Frankfort, and that cars would enter on Frankfort and exit on Orleans (or vice-versa) to minimize traffic. This looks like it has changed, and that would, I believe, invalidate the previous agreement
      • Cars will enter on Porter St and go through circulator to exit on Orleans St.
      • Project plan was reviewed by BPDA
    • What will the landscape look like? Lighting?
      • There will be 5’ landscape along the side
      • Back will be a driveway
      • Can work on fence to mitigate the noise
      • Lighting study included in the original submitted – has been reviewed by BPDA
    • Which part of the window façade will be repaired?
      • Plan is to repair 70% of the façade. Wait until the structural repair for the column can be done. Then complete the rest of the façade repair
    • Will any on-street parking be eliminated?
      • None will be eliminated.
    • What is the plan to/from airport?
      • Goal is to not have any vans
    • What is the branding?
      • Cambria Hotel
    • How long will construction take?
      • Aiming to wrap up by end of 2023/summer 2024. But this is dependent on supply chain and minimized impacts by COVID
    • What are the construction times?
      • Work under permit can take place: M-F 7 am until 5 pm 
      • Heavy construction can only start after 8 am
    • What is the off-street parking?
      • 65 parking spaces were approved prior by BPDA; it is a 50% parking-to-room
      • Most of the attendees will be flying/into airport
      • Parking will be charged comparable to other hotels in the area
    • When was the developer commitments made?
      • In Article 80, there are several requirements to obtain a certificate from BPDA. Developer has to make commitments for the community.
    • Who will be moving the telecommunication equipment?
      • A combination of Jamsan contractors and the telecommunication company at the expense of Jamsan.