Consultants for the City unveiled two main concepts on Thursday night, July 13, for the Re-Imagining Broadway planning effort – concepts that consultants from Nelson Nygaard said were informed on several public listening sessions that have taken place since last fall.
The two plans focus on the area on Broadway from City Hall to Chelsea Square, and consultants have tried to formulate a plan the tried to untangle the circular and inefficient traffic motions that exist along Broadway.
Those include having to go all the way around the downtown and City Hall to simply get to Fifth Street, and also the unsignalized intersections along Broadway that causes drivers crossing the street to have to edge out and do a lot of guess work to get over.
Ralph DeNisco of Nelson Nygaard described such changes as allowing drivers to move from Hawthorne Street to Fifth Street through a signal without having to circle City Hall.
He talked about a large bump out plaza jutting out from the Dunkin’ Donuts and City Hall to allow for more public space and a shrinking of the large street there.
He talked about making City Hall Avenue a two-way street, doing road calming measures for shared streets in front of the Central Fire Station, in front of the Apollinaire Theatre on Winnisimmet Street, in front of the Police Station on Park Street, and also along Cherry Street. Shared streets have a variety of meanings, but in this case they would be marked in a way to slow traffic, and also promote pedestrian usage.
On one plan, the Broadway spine remains mostly the same configuration, but on the other plan the lanes are reduced in width to create a separated bike path along the street.
Another part of one of the plans reverses the direction of Sixth Street near City Hall from eastbound to westbound, which proved a bit unpopular amongst the crowd.
One major change would be to add signals along Broadway for cross traffic, including at Fourth Street, Third Street, Everett Avenue and Hawthorne/Fifth Street. The existing signal at City Hall in Bellingham Square would continue to exist.
DeNisco said the plan is to upgrade the function of the intersections, many of which are failing at the moment.
“We believe we can improve your traffic flow on Broadway significantly by making these improvements to the intersections,” he said.
The plan includes a major bus hub across from City Hall in front of the memorial. Another bus hub would exist next to the Dunkin’ Donuts on Washington Avenue. That would indicate a move of the bus hub from in front of the old Bunker Hill Community College on Hawthornee Street – something many have been asking for a long time.
One thing not addressed, but discussed in depth, was whether to return the Broadway spine to a two-way street. Currently it is one way going southbound, but many are considering it a good idea to look at two-way traffic – especially for the purpose of reducing the circular and inefficient traffic patterns. However, the street has been one-way for generations, and many don’t think the busy corridor could handle the change.
That piece of the puzzle has been left for discussion and contemplation before a final report is made.
Much of the meeting, however, was devoted to the parking inventory and study.
That was less heartening, with the consultants indicating that parking inventories are stressed, particularly in the morning and evening hours – often spilling into the neighborhoods.
“What we usually see is that parking gets easier the further you get away from the center of the business district,” he said. “We didn’t see that here. That isn’t happening in Chelsea. That’s very unique and different about this area. We don’t usually see that in our studies.”
Figuring out the parking puzzle, they said, might require more access to private parking facilities, and also more clearly labeling existing parking lots and their rules. Many lots, they said, were underutilized because people didn’t know about them.
Some relieve could also be found by utilizing space under the Mystic/Tobin Bridge only a few blocks from the center – perhaps for resident parking and thereby alleviating the residential parking on Broadway and its immediate streets.
The plan is currently available to residents for review, and DeNisco said one very unique thing is that this is plan that will happen. There is money behind the drawings, and the political will to make big changes.
“This is real,” he said. “It’s not a simple planning exercise. The City Manager and City Council have put money behind this effort and want it to change. The improvements we’re going to talk about are actually going to happen. That’s a different challenge for us, because these plans have to be able to be implemented.”
Chelsea Police are in possession of lost wallet containing cash that was turned into the police station on Sunday afternoon, July 16. The wallet was found near the United States Post Office on July 3. The wallet did not have any identification in it. If you feel that this is your wallet you should call Chelsea Police at (617) 466-4874. You must be able to identify the amount of money and describe the wallet for it to be returned.
Under Massachusetts General law the person who turned the wallet into the police will be awarded the contents after one year or on July 16, 2018.
WINTHROP MAN ARRESTED FOR ROAD RAGE, HIT VICTIMS
On July 10 at 7:15 p.m. a male subject was placed into custody after a road rage incident that occurred on the Chelsea Street Bridge. During the incident, the male operator had struck two female victims with his truck. Both victims treated by EMS and Chelsea Fire on scene for non-life threatening injuries.
After a BOLO was issued, the subject was placed under arrest in Winthrop .
Joseph Ferreira, 54, of Dorchester, was charged with assault and battery with a dangerous weapon and assault and battery.
TRIED TO RUN OVER POLICE
On July 13, at 1:53 p.m., Officers observed a Nunez Livery vehicle being operated down Shurtleff Street, which was closed due to construction. Officers stopped the operator.
After a brief exchange, the subject fled the scene in the vehicle. While attempting to stop him near 500 Broadway, he accelerated towards responding officers, which caused them to have to jump out of the way to avoid being struck. The driver eventually bailed out of the vehicle on Library Street and was taken into custody after a brief foot pursuit.
Edwin Nunez, 38, of East Boston, was charged with operating with a suspended license, failing to stop, reckless operation of a motor vehicle, assault and battery with a dangerous weapon and two counts of assault with a dangerous weapon.
MOPED LAW INVOKED
A Forsyth Street woman was perhaps the first to violate the new moped ordinance.
On July 11, at 4:28 p.m., the woman was placed into custody as a result of a motor vehicle stop in the area of 45 Washington Ave. She was riding a moped that had been reported stolen out of Cambridge on Sept. 13, 2016.
Shannon Jette, 30, of 10 Forsyth St., was charged with receiving stolen property over $250 and two moped violations.
Monday, July 10
Lam Nguyen, 36, 60 Brookway Road, Roslindale, was arrested for five counts of warrant arrests.
Rosa Madeline, 39, of 768 Broadway, Chelsae, was arrested for intimidation of witness/juror/harassment.
Joseph Ferreira, 54, of 84 Esmond Street, Dorchester, was arrested for assault and battery with a dangerous weapon and assault and battery.
Tuesday, July 11
Melvin Ramirez, 43, of 23 John Street, Chelsea, was arrested for a warrant arrest, unregistered motor vehicle, uninsured motor vehicle and number plate violation.
Shannon Jette, 30, of 10 Forsyth Stret, Chelsea, was arrested for receiving stolen property, and two counts of moped violation.
Wednesday, July 12
John Lewis, 32, of 392 Salem Street, Revere, was arrested for a warrant arrest.
Thursday, July 13
Edwin Nunez, 38, of 103 Leyden Street, East Boston, was arrested for suspended license, failing to stop for police, reckless operation of motor vehicle, two counts of assault with a dangerous weapon and assault and battery with a dangerous weapon.
Mark McCauliffe, 43, of 22 Revere Street, Malden, was arrested for possession of Class B drug and resisting arrest.
Saturday, July 15
Jose Trejo, 45, of 154 Central Avenue, Chelsea, was arrested for malicious destruction of property over $250.
Sunday, July 16
Mynor Alfaro, 45, homeless, was arrested for possession of an alcoholic beverage.
Yunis Aden, 23, 9 Guam Road, Chelsea, was arrested for carrying a dangerous weapon (knife).
Officer Robert Moschella, while doing a detail last week, took a moment to retrieve a plastic police badge from his motor vehicle to give to a little girl who wanted to be a junior officer.
BUSTED ON SCOOTER
A Chelsea man with six OUI convictions and a revoked driver’s license was held pending a dangerousness hearing after he allegedly operated a scooter with a blood-alcohol level more than twice the legal limit, then threatened to shoot “random civilians” in Brighton.
Peter McIsaac, 53, of Chelsea, was arraigned July 7 in Brighton Municipal Court on charges of operating under the influence as a fourth or subsequent offense; negligent operation of a motor vehicle; operating with a revoked license; malicious destruction of property; and making threats of death, injury, or substantial property damage under Ch. 269, Sect. 14, of the Massachusetts General Laws.
At the request of Assistant District Attorney Margaret Hegarty, Judge Myong J. Joun held him without bail pending a July 14 hearing to determine whether there is “clear and convincing evidence that no conditions of release will reasonably assure the safety of any other person or the community.”
McIsaac has OUI convictions from Middlesex County in 1985, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, and 1993, prosecutors said in court.
State troopers came across McIsaac’s red 2017 Agility scooter stopped along Nonantum Road at about 10:20 p.m. on July 6. Its lights were off and two men were standing nearby. When troopers approached, the men walked away in different directions.
The first man told troopers that McIsaac had picked him up on the scooter earlier, and that they had stopped at a liquor store before hanging out together. They were on their way back to McIsaac’s home when the scooter ran out of gas just moments before the troopers arrived.
As troopers spoke to this man, McIsaac allegedly staggered toward them and stated that he owned the scooter. The troopers immediately noted his slurred speech and detected the strong odor of alcohol as he spoke.
“I’m very intoxicated,” he allegedly added.
Troopers ran McIsaac’s license status and learned that it had been revoked. Based on McIsaac’s unsteadiness on his feet, troopers determined that field sobriety tests could result in him falling and injuring himself. Having formed an opinion that McIsaac was intoxicated and had moments earlier been operating the scooter, troopers took him into custody.
On arrival at the Brighton barracks, McIsaac fell out of the cruiser and required assistance to stand. He allegedly consented to a breath test, which revealed a BAC of .185, prosecutors said in court.
Following the breath test, McIsaac allegedly became very angry and began threatening troopers, their families, and others. He allegedly stated that he had access to firearms and would “kill 15 people,” including uniformed officers, “random civilians,” and children, because he “was wronged.” McIsaac allegedly urinated throughout his holding cell, requiring the response of a HAZMAT-certified cleaning company.
ROBBED WITH A ROCK
On June 26, at 9:51 p.m., officers were dispatched to Shop and Go, located at 354 Washington Ave., for a panic alarm. Upon arrival, officers observed two males standing in close proximity to the store’s entrance and two additional younger males exiting the store. All four males took off in different directions at the sight of responding officers. After further investigation, officers were able to locate a juvenile male and place him into custody.
Officers spoke with the store clerk, who informed them that a male party had threatened him with a rock while the other male placed various items into a backpack.
The clerk identified the juvenile.
A 16-year-old Chelsea youth was charged with Armed Robbery.
On June 28, at 5:57 p.m., a male subject was located in the area of Shurtleff Street and Chester Avenue and placed into custody for two outstanding warrants. A warrant was issued for ABDW, POSSESS 94C, and CARRY DANGEROUS WEAPON. During his arrest, officers seized a knife.
Luis Rivera Rosario, 27, of 40 Marlborough St., was charged with carrying a dangerous weapon and two warrants.
FOUND WITH HEROIN
On June 29, at 3:50 p.m., officers responded to 794 Broadway for a report of two male parties asleep inside of a vehicle. Upon arrival, both parties were awoken.
During the course of the investigation, officers located a knife and a brown powdery substance, believed to be heroin. The subject was placed into custody for three active warrants.
The other male was released on scene.
Martin Mateo, 43, of 41 Shawmut St., was charged with possession of a Class A drug (heroin), carrying a dangerous weapon and furnishing a false name.
HIT WITH BEER BOTTLE
On June 26, at 6:42 p.m., a female subject was placed into custody after an investigation was conducted in reference to incident that occurred earlier in Chelsea Square.
In the earlier incident, it was alleged that the female subject had struck the victim over the head with a beer bottle while he was talking on his cellphone in Chelsea Square.
Rene Rosales Vindel, 45, of 82 Pearl St., was charged with assault and battery with a dangerous weapon (bottle).
The elevator shaft and steel structure can be seen this summer going up on Chelsea’s next new hotel, a 124-room full service hotel at the Chelsea Line.
The Chelsea Broadway Hotel – not yet named officially – is making quick work of the vacant site next to the Walgreen’s on Broadway adjacent to the Chelsea/Revere line.
The hotel – another new hotel brought by Colwen and the XSS Group – is likely to be even better than the previous hotels, the last of which (Homewood Suites) just opened across from Chelsea High School. There are rumors that the Broadway hotel will include a restaurant that has water-side seating during the summer months. That, however, could not be confirmed.
The site overlooks the Mill Creek and marsh – an area that has been vastly improved and cleaned up in the last 10 years. The hotel property will also serve as a major connecting piece on the walkway that leads to the Chelsea Commons Park.
Already, the elevator shaft and steel structure are towering above Broadway as the building takes shape. Maureen Foley of Colwen Hotels said that the Broadway Hotel is a 124-room hotel that will open in late 2018.
She said anyone looking for job opportunities at the hotel or any of their other Chelsea hotels can log on to www.colwenhotels.com.
The City is in the midst of significant roadway and utility work, which includes paving of roads, sidewalk improvements and related water, sewer and drainage improvements. These are all projects that the City has funded through a combination of Capital Improvement Funds or state Chapter 90 monies.
Tudor/Lawrence/Clark/Crescent — This is complete reconstruction of water, sewer and drainage infrastructure, as well as new streets and sidewalks, for the portion of these streets surrounding the New Clark Avenue Middle School. Construction is ongoing. The goal is to complete by the end of this Calendar Year 2017. The next Abutters Meeting for this project will take place on Wed. July 12 at 6 p.m. in the City Council Chambers at City Hall.
Shurtleff St. – This is complete reconstruction of water, sewer and drainage infrastructure as well as new street and sidewalk work on Shurtleff Street from Broadway to Congress Avenue. The work has just commenced. The first abutters meeting for this project will be today, Thurs. July 6 at 6 p.m. in the City Council Chambers at City Hall.
Garfield Ave – Isolated sidewalk work has been completed. Milling on roadway is now completed, and the remaining Roadway work is scheduled for mid-July.
Suffolk Street – Sidewalks completed. Roadwork is scheduled for mid-July.
Lynn Street Extension – Sidewalk work will begin in early July, and roadwork is also scheduled for mid-July.
Lower Broadway – Sidewalk work will begin mid-July; Roadwork scheduled for late summer.
Locke Street – Sidewalk work will begin in mid-August, with roadwork scheduled for late summer.
Beacon Place/High St./Pine St./Howell Ct. – State Chapter 90 sidewalk work is possible in the Fall, with paving in the spring of 2018.
Woodlawn/Winthrop/Hysil/Meadow – State Chapter 90 sidewalk work is possible in the Fall, with paving in the spring of 2018.
Hawthorn Street Road / sidewalks – Sidewalk work will commence in June of 2018 and will occur throughout the summer, along with roadway repaving that will follow.
Everett Avenue Reconstruction – This is complete reconstruction of water, sewer, drainage, and all attendant infrastructure on Everett Avenue from Carter Street to Rt. 16. This project also calls for full depth roadway reconstruction, reconstruction of all sidewalks and crossings, installation of street trees, and the replacement of traffic signalization equipment at the intersection of Carter Street and Everett Avenue. Construction is projected to commence in the Fall of 2017.
While wholesale infrastructure changes aren’t expected for another couple of years on Broadway, momentum is already building for major change to the downtown Broadway Business District this summer.
On Wednesday, June 28, the musician Kali gave a sneak peak on Chelsea City Hall Lawn just what will come with the new Chelsea Lunch initiative, which starts next Weds., July 12.
According to Downtown Coordinator Mimi Graney, Chelsea Lunch Marketplace will take place every Wednesday from noon to 2 p.m. on City Hall Lawn through the end of September. The event is presented by Chelsea Prospers in partnership with Healthy Chelsea and will have musicians and community information tables.
The effort is meant to enliven the district during the day, but there will also be action in the evenings in Chelsea Square. Graney envisions having daytime activities in Bellingham Square throughout the summer and evening activities in Chelsea Square.
To kick off that effort, Summer Nights in Chelsea Square will kick off in one month on Aug. 3 with music and dancing by Los Sugar Kings.
Other concerts include:
August 10, Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory in Smell-O-Vision
August 17, Tarbox Ramblers backwoods blues music
Aug. 24 will be a unique experience where concert-goers can be the star. the live Karaoke band, The Cover Story will play and audience members are invited to sing.
Additionally, late last week Graney announced small placemaking grants available for the district. The mini-grants are between $200 and $750 for small projects like parklets, pop up events or temporary art installations – or whatever creative idea one may have for the district. An info session has been scheduled for Tuesday, July 11, at 6 p.m. in the Chelsea Public Library. The deadline for applications is Aug. 18.
To enhance the mini-grants, Chelsea will be celebrating National Parking Day on Sept. 15. All across America, cities, towns and organizations transform parking spaces in downtown districts into small parks for the day. That was done last year for the first time by GreenRoots on Broadway – an effort that was a smash hit and likely will become even more intriguing this year, Graney said.
On the infrastructure and design front, the Re-Imagining Broadway effort will present its findings after many months of study on July 13, 6 p.m., in the Chelsea Senior Center, 10 Riley Way. The consultant Nelson Nygaard has been studying everything from sidewalks and streetlights to making Broadway a two-way street again. The findings will be suggestions for implementation to the City, which contracted the consultants late last year and has conducted several public meetings since then.
City Manager Tom Ambrosino said he is encouraged by the work of the Downtown Task Force over the past few months – an effort that include four Chelsea Police Officers dedicated to patrolling the Broadway Business Corridor and meeting in a roundtable on a weekly basis.
He said that between that effort, the Human Service Navigators, good deal is getting done on the Corridor.
However, he said that spending the large sum of money approved by the City Council for infrastructure repairs and improvements would likely not take place for a little while. Right now, he said about $500,000 of that sum has been on design and planning. The bulk of the monies, some $5 million, will be allocated in a few years, he said.
“There’s still a lot of planning to do,” he said. “We We probably won’t start the infrastructure work for another year or more, but we are looking at what we want to do now. Most likely, all of that work will start in calendar year 2019, maybe 2018. We’re at least one year away from that work…This is a marathon and not a spring. It’s a five to 10 year effort to re-invent this downtown.”
Other efforts under way or already planned include:
Retail Best Practices Program presented by City of Chelsea’s Chelsea Prospers with the Chamber of Commerce – July 18 at 8:30 a.m. at the Chelsea Chamber of Commerce. Half-day workshop for all downtown businesses on issues like effective displays, marketing, customer service. Businesses can then apply to be one of the six businesses that will receive a half day of one-on-one consulting on their specific needs and to receive a mini-grant to implement one of the recommendations. http://www.chelseachamber.org/
FDA Voluntary National Retail Food Regulatory Program Standards – Chelsea Prospers in partnership with the Board of Health to increase food safety, build business and workforce expertise, and boost consumer confidence. The first activity under this multiyear effort is a training and certification food safety program for Chelsea businesses. Through the Chelsea Community Schools we’re presenting on July 27 a full day of training in English and Spanish, plus the certification exam at a deeply discounted rate. The program is exclusively for Chelsea businesses and workers. Registration required at https://register.communitypass.net/Chelsea
MassSave Business Grants – In August, at the behest of Chelsea Prospers and the Chelsea’s Energy Manager to increase environmental sustainability, a team from EverSource is coming to the downtown the week of August 7 to conduct free energy assessments for area businesses. Through the assessments they’ll be able to determine eligibility for a variety of new equipment like lighting, thermostats, refrigerator motors, etc. Discounts for the installed equipment start at 70 percent and 0 percent financing is available for the co-pay. Many businesses are eligible for thousands of dollars in new equipment and able to dramatically reduce their utility bills. All Massachusetts utility customers pay into the fund that supports this program – take advantage of these significant savings. https://www.masssave.com/en/saving/business-rebates/facility-assessments/
Chelsea’s First Paw-Raid – Walk and celebration for dogs and their friends on September 9 to check out the dog park under construction at Mystic Overlook Park. Starting at City Hall Lawn at 11 a.m. and finishing up at Mystic Overlook Park.
Interise is the “Street-wise MBA”, a training program for established businesses. For the first time ever they’ll be hosting their training program in East Boston and focusing on the needs of businesses in Chelsea, Everett, East Boston and Winthrop. Get your business to the next level or be prepared to steer it ably through a time of transition. https://www.interise.org/
Cultural Assets Survey in partnership with the Cultural Council and The Neighborhood Developers – This fall we’re gathering information on Chelsea’s creative assets — both the people and the infrastructure – who make related to the cultural economy of the City. The first part of this effort is the Artist Survey, open now at https://tinyurl.com/chelseaartistsurvey and at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/S7TRRLK.
Leonardo Chavez, 58, 56 Chester Ave., Chelsea, was arrested for possessing, consuming, distributing alcoholic beverage.
Fernan Ingles, 61, 149 Hawthorne St., Chelsea, was arrested for possessing, consuming, distributing alcoholic beverage.
Mohammadumer Gai, 28, 362 Rindge Ave., Cambridge, was arrested for larceny over $250.
Candycerose Torres, 34, 455 Totten Pond Rd., Waltham, was arrested for trespassing and on a warrant.
Alicia Lavallee, 29, 150 Captains Row, Chelsea, was arrested for trespassing and on a warrant.
Luis Ortega, 51, 801 Saratoga St., East Boston, was arrested for trespassing.
Fredy Flores-Novoa, 25, 13 Beacon Pl., Chelsea, was arrested for indecent exposure, immigration detainer.
David Hurtado, 27, 725 Broadway, Chelsea, was arrested for unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle, motor vehicle equipment violation.
Michael Leiva, 21, 24 Suffolk St., Chelsea, was arrested for possessing to distribute Class B drug, possessing ammunition without FID card.
Edwin Castro, 28, 916 Broadway, Chelsea, was arrested for larceny from building, breaking and entering daytime for felony, trespassing.
Kehonia Vick, 31, 56 Rich St., Malden, was arrested for threat to commit a crime, witness intimidation.
Nain Montiel, 48, Address unknown, Chelsea, was arrested for possessing/distributing alcoholic beverage, and on warrants.
Steven Bickford, 34, 84 Cottage St., Somerville, was arrested on a warrant.
Shariff Hussein, 47, 350 Meridian St., East Boston, was arrested for shoplifting.
DRUG BUST YIELDS CRACK, AMMO
On June 22 at 3:02 p.m., a male subject was placed into custody as a result of a search warrant that was executed at his residence at 24 Suffolk St. #2. Officers recovered 37 packages of crack cocaine, one .45 caliber round, six .25 caliber rounds, and US currency. The search warrants was based on established probable cause of narcotic dealing from that location.
Michael Leiva, 21, of 24 Suffolk St., was charged with possession to distribute Class B drugs (crack) and possession of ammo without a permit.
LARGE EMBEZZLEMENT CASE
On June 20, at 8:10 p.m., a male subject was placed into custody for larceny and embezzlement. This was based on an incident reported to Chelsea Police previously. The subject is suspected of embezzling approximately $279,000 in cash from Duffy Cash and Carry, located at 390 Beacham St.
Mohammadumer Gai, 28, of Cambridge, was charged with larceny over $250.
BREAKING AND ENTERING
On June 22, at 10:12 a.m., CPD officers responded to a breaking and entering in progress at 89 Clinton St. Officers were notified that the owner of the property had surveillance cameras and gave officers video footage of the suspect inside the home. Based on that video, other CPD officers recognized the suspect from previous encounters. He was later placed under arrest.
Edwin Castro, 28, of 916 Broadway, was charged with larceny from a building, breaking and entering in the day for a felony and trespassing.
HOLOCAUST MEMORIAL VANDAL HAD CHELSEA CASE
A Roxbury man was arraigned Wednesday on charges he vandalized the New England Holocaust Memorial in downtown Boston following an argument.
James E. Isaac, 21, was arraigned today in Boston Municipal Court on charges of malicious destruction of property over $250 and willful damage to a church, synagogue, or memorial. Assistant District Attorney Anthony Rizzo requested that Isaac’s bail be set at $15,000 and that his bail be revoked in an unrelated assault and battery case currently pending in Chelsea District Court. Judge Sally Kelly imposed $750 bail and revoked Isaac’s open bail.
Rizzo told the court that a man later identified as Isaac became involved in a verbal altercation with a group of individuals on Union Street shortly before 2 a.m. after members of the group did not offer Isaac the time when asked. A witness observed the man then pick up an object and throw it at the Holocaust Memorial, shattering one of the monument’s glass panels. The witness contacted Boston Police and provided the offender’s physical description and direction of travel.
Isaac allegedly followed the individuals whom he had verbally confronted to the area of Congress Street, where he and a woman accompanying him were stopped by police. He was positively identified by a witness.
At the time of his arrest, Isaac was wearing a GPS monitoring device as a condition of his release in the Chelsea case, prosecutors said.
Isaac returns to Boston Municipal Court on July 18.
The Chelsea Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) approved a special permit and variances that pave the way for the newest culinary advancement in the City – with the owners of Ciao Pizza and Pastas moving forward to open a small plate lounge that will serve alcohol and gourmet foods.
The proposal by Edson Coimbra and Marvin Posada, owners of Ciao, completes a recent aggressive expansion by the gourmet pizza parlor on Williams Street. The Lounge will be on the first floor of a new building at the old location of Parrotta’s Bar.
Coimbra lined up many supporters who came to speak on behalf of the owners and their vision for the space, which does include a bar, but not the kind of rowdy bar that the space was known for when Parrotta’s occupied it.
Some abutters have not been happy with the plan as they believe it could re-ignite troubles at the location that existed when the old bar was there.
Coimbra has said he plans to bring an upscale dining experience similar to the small plate restaurant Barcelona in the South End.
With their approvals in hand, Coimbra said they would begin work on the new restaurant hand in hand with the development of the dwelling units.
Meanwhile, Ciao is nearly complete with the build out of a gourmet grocery and pasta factory at a space in Chelsea Square.
In other ZBA news:
The 45-unit apartment building proposed at 170 Cottage St. was continued once again.
Variances and a special permit were granted at 157 Clark Ave. for an awning for a store and an increase in the parking lot from 14 spaces to 28 spaces.
A cell phone store was okayed at 364 Washington Ave.
Combining two lots was allowed at 25-27 Suffolk Street in order to build a new four-family dwelling.
A minor modification was granted to a dental office at 950 Broadway for extension of office space.
A minor modification was granted to the car wash at 284 Eastern Ave. to use another building.
The Salvation Army Store on Broadway closed earlier this month, and the City said this week that it is seriously considering taking the property by eminent domain due to it being a blight on the city and for public policy purposes.
City Manager Tom Ambrosino said the store has been sold, and he said some believe it is to the owner of the Rainbow Fashions, but he wasn’t sure. In any case, the new owner hasn’t been terribly responsive and he has engaged an independent appraisal to understand what it might cost.
“The City is very interested in taking it by eminent domain,” he said. “We’re going to engage an appraiser and I’ll report what I would like to do one way or the other to the City Council within the next month…The City’s position is that it is blighted and was blighted. We would take it for public policy purposes as part of an effort to revive the Broadway business corridor.”
Council President Leo Robinson said he agreed with the idea, and would support it if Ambrosino recommends the taking.
“I am ok with it and I support it,” he said. “We’re looking to change how we do retail in the downtown and we want to put more units above the stores. This is a key property to make that happen.”
Ambrosino said if they take it, they would likely put it out for development, with a stress on affordable housing. He said ground floor retail would be required as well. He said he would envision several floors of housing and a marquee tenant on the first floor.
He said the Fourth to Fifth Street stretch of Broadway is a key part of the overall Downtown initiative.
With the store sitting empty, that effort is hamstrung.
“This is a top priority of mine within the month,” he said.