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H Street housing, retail project moves forward

Posted by Patrick Rosso  June 6, 2012 01:29 PM

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A housing and retail development planned for H Street moved a step forward after the developer met with and was approved by the Boston Civic Design Commission Tuesday night.

The developer, Peter Zagorianakos, proposes constructing a three-story building with 127 rental units (reduced from 134) consisting of one and two-bedroom units and 185 (reduced from 206) underground parking spaces.

The building would be on a 66,313-square-foot lot boarded by Vicksburg Street, East First Street, H Street, and East Second Street. It currently is home to a two-story warehouse and construction equipment rental yard at 2 H St.

The project also includes 6,500 square feet of retail/commercial space, which is a major jump from the originally proposed 1,600 square feet.

“We don’t feel it [the retail/commercial space] will be activated early but we think it will work for an art gallery and maybe food options,” Zagorianakos told the design commission. “East First Street is currently not a retail street, and I think the city’s plan is to activate that.”

At the hearing, Zagorianakos also explained that he has increased setbacks, eliminated the roof deck, and adjusted the façade to help it better fit with the neighborhood and address concerns from residents.

The new setbacks would push the building back six feet on East Second Street, 10 feet on H Street, 10 feet on East First, and five feet on Vicksburg Street.

The new façade includes aluminum siding, brick, and a more modular design creating what Zagorianakos called a “modern row house”.

Many on the board expressed excitement about the project, saying it has come a long way since they first laid eyes on it in April.

To read about Zagorianakos’ April hearing before the design commission, click here.

“I think they have made significant improvements,” said David Manfredi, a member of the commission. “Just the refinement of the building has created a more residential character, and we came away seeing a significant improvement.”

Zagorianakos said many of the adjustments, including setbacks and the elimination of the roof deck, were made after a meeting with the community in late April. Zagorianakos also extended the comment period on the project to better accommodate neighbors.

To read about the community meeting, click here.

With the project moving into the final phases, Zagorianakos said he will now be looking at ways to refine the landscaping before he goes before the board of the Boston Redevelopment Board.

For a copy of the project’s Letter of Intent, click here.

For a copy of the project’s Project Notification Form, click here.

Email Patrick D. Rosso, Follow him @PDRosso, or friend him on Facebook.

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