Member All Stars and October Members of the Month: Congratulations to the following members who were great role models for their peers, who were helpful, kind, and friendly last month and were selected to be the Jordan Boys & Girls Club’s Members of the Month! 1st grade: Cristian Chicas; 2nd grade: Arwa Ait-Chaib; 3rd grade: Jainaba Kamara; 4th grade: Elmer Flores; Pre-Teen: Susana Garcia; Teen: Gino Gillis. And also a big congrats to all of the Area All Stars who are recognized for being outstanding members in their favorite areas at the Club. Week of Oct. 8-12, 2018: Game Room: Allison Quinonez (3rd), Computer Club House: Elvis Rodriguez, Gym: LJ Bland (4th), Music: Susana Garcia (4th), Teen Center: Cameron Bourgea (teen), Membership: Sophia Sostre (2nd), Pool: Kevin Martinez (4th), Pre-Teen Lounge: Alison Lopez (5th), Life Skills: David Garcia Meza (3rd), Cadet Room: Aura Hernandez (1st). Week of Oct. 1-5, 2018: Education: Jesus Santiago (3rd grade), Game Room: Elmer Flores (4th), Art: Emely (2nd), Computer Club House: Thania Simon (4th), Gym: William Diaz (4th), Music: Laney Vargas (4th), Membership: Cristian Chicas, Pool: Kevin Martinez (4th), Pre-Teen Lounge: Luis Ajtum (“Danny”) (preteen), Life Skills: Valeria Ortiz (4th), Cadet Room: Alexi Rios (1st). Week of Sept 24-28, 2018: Education: Miguel Ramirez, grade 3, Game Room: Wilbur Chicas, Art: Sebastian, Computer Club House: Susana Garcia (preteen), Teen Center: Angel Del Valle Cardenas (teen), Membership: Arwa, Pool: Izabella, Wilbur Chicas, Pre-Teen Lounge: Troy Arnold (preteen), Life Skills: Santo Rivera (preteen), Cadet Room: Jyzelle Artica (1st grade)
Schedule Changes: This Friday, October 26th, the CLUB IS CLOSED! We will only be open for Haunted House- more info below under Special Events! (The Boys & Girls Club does not provide transportation on Friday, Oct. 26th either.)
On November 12th, the Club will be open from 9am-4pm (no school day due to Veteran’s Day); on Nov. 13th, the Club will be opening at 12noon, as it is a half day of school for CPS. On Wednesday, Nov. 21st, the Club is open 9am-4pm (no school day- day before Thanksgiving). And the Club will be closed on Thanksgiving, Nov. 22nd, as well as Friday, Nov. 23rd. And for those planning ahead, we want to remind Club members and families that we close during the winter holiday break, closed Dec. 24th- Jan 1st. The Club will re-open on Wednesday, Jan. 2nd.
Special Events: This Friday, Oct. 26th is Haunted House! Tickets are available now until 6pm on Oct. 26th. If you purchase tickets in advance, please be sure to arrive by 6pm that night, as doors close at 6pm with or without tickets. In order to attend the Haunted House, you have to be a Club member and attend with an adult. Thanks to those who joined us this past week at the annual Breast Cancer Awareness event, Popping in Pink Party! Lots of pink-filled games and activities, with music, food, and a celebration of survivors and families members who have experienced breast cancer. And earlier this month, we also celebrated Hispanic Heritage Month with the Club’s annual Celebrando Latino, sharing our stories of our families, flags for our countries, and lots of the food, games, and music of so many different cultures. Thank you Chili’s for once again provided chips and salsa for everyone!
CLUB FUNDRAISERS: The Club’s Annual Online Auction opens on Black Friday! If you or someone you know is interested in donating an item, it is greatly appreciated! We are seeking all kinds of gifts, such as sports memorabilia; unique items, such as dinner with a politician, ball boy/girl at Celtics; adventures, such as ski packages, timeshare weeks, or airline tickets; services provided- legal, such as a will; accounting, such as taxes; dinner prepared in the home; birthday party/event planning; music lessons; cleaning services; gift cards to stores, restaurants, online buying, movies, theater tickets. And once we are ready to launch the Auction, you can help by forwarding a link to anyone and everyone…you never know what someone may be looking for! Lastly, we will be selling raffle tickets as part of this event, which will be available next month at the Club. Every dollar and hour given helps the Club. If you would like to add your email to the mailing list, send to Lisa at LGillis@bgcb.org
By Seth Daniel
After hundreds of athletic banquets, wedding receptions and a whose who list of Chelsea political functions, that history all came tumbling down last Friday when the French Naturalization Club on Spencer Avenue was demolished for affordable housing.
Crews secured the area last Thursday, and began the demo on Friday – taking down the old Function Hall that many had known from the old days of political times or youth sports banquets. By the end of it’s stretch, though, it had seen better times, as a man was murdered in the Club during a party a few years ago.
That led to the Club’s end, and it became vacant until The Neighborhood Developers (TND) purchased the property for an affordable housing development.
That development was controversial when Mill Hill neighbors learned late in the game of TND’s plans to put up the housing.
That sparked a vigorous debate throughout the community two years ago, and led to a scaling back of the project and a return of the Spencer Avenue Extension to the City so cars could continue using it.
Now, the project will include 34 units of affordable rental housing in a brand new building that will feature a community space on the bottom floor and the activation of the sidewalks with front porches on ground-floor units.
City Manager Tom Ambrosino said TND has its permits and its financing in place. They are ready to commence the construction phase now.
Damian Szary of Gate Residential, developer of One North in combination with TransDel Corp., in the lobby of the first building of One North and in front of renderings of the second phase.
By Seth Daniel
If there was any question whether or not the Millennial generation would be the target audience for One North, that question has been put to rest, and as the large Heard Street development begins leasing its second phase of construction, owners said they are certainly catering to the Millennial audience with certain “tweaks” to the new building.
Leasing for the new, 222-unit second building next to the original One North building began this month, and tours started last weekend, just as construction goes full speed ahead and target dates for occupancy are May 1 and July 1.
“We really learned our demographic in Phase 1,” said Damian Szary, a Chelsea native and principal of Gate Residential, the project’s developer in combination with TransDel Corp. “It really is the Millennial generation. So, we really tailored this second phase to what they want…We’re doing a larger pool there, for example, than we did here. We saw that our residents really loved the pool and there wasn’t enough space for everyone who wanted to to use it. It will be larger in Phase 2 and there will be an outdoor fireplace area. We’re focusing on open areas and active living.”
That includes also putting in a basketball court on the first floor, with large windows facing towards Rt. 1, a spin studio and more space for a workout.
“We literally tripled our fitness space in the new building,” he said, again stressing the active design of the amenities.
That translated also into the Club Suite, where the kitchen area in the original building wasn’t as popular as they expected. They’ve replaced that with an active bar area, more gaming stations and a movie theatre area that is more open to the Club Suite – as opposed to the theatre in the original building that is closed off from the rest of the Club.
“We love the first building,” he said. “It’s done very well, but we want to build upon it and do something even better.”
Some of the new apartment features include Italian cabinets, a kitchen sink that faces the living room area and appliances such as a dishwasher with hidden controls. There is a washer and dryer in every unit and ample storage space. A one-bedroom unit starts at 693 sq. ft., but there are options for 735 sq. ft. units that include more storage.
One thing that hasn’t changed, though, is the popular doggie-day care.
‘Fetch’ is a third-party provider in the complex that is an ancillary location of the The Dogfather in the North End.
“This is an amazing amenity and people utilize it,” he said, noting there are between 90 and 100 dogs now in the first phase. “They’ll be ready for all the new dogs we expect. People have dog walking services, but no one has an on site dog day care facility run by a third party provider. This is the Dogfather company from the North End and this is an ancillary facility for them. We have also found that we retain residents with dogs at a slightly better rate than those without.”
Szary, who grew up on Marlborough Street and attended St. Stanislaus School until he was in his teens, said another thing that hasn’t changed is the hook of affordability and proximity.
“We are about one mile from downtown Boston and half the rates compared,” he said. “Chelsea is a City in transition and I grew up here until I was 14. I love Chelsea and it’s great to play a part in it coming back.”
Offering studios, one-, two-, and three-bedroom units, One North of Boston’s second phase features premium interior touches that include wide plank flooring, walk-in closets, in-home washer-dryers, Italian cabinets, quartz countertops, Nest thermostats, and views of the Boston skyline from select units. It is also the first residential community in the Greater Boston area to offer onsite doggie daycare services. The building will be open for occupancy in the spring of 2016.
“The lifestyle we created with One North of Boston reflects the best in urban living, and we’re thrilled to begin leasing this second phase,” said Szary. “For people who wanted a second chance to be part of One North, we’ve introduced exciting new features and amenities that we think define this signature property and its remarkable living experience.”
Leasing of phase two began Friday, January 29, 2016. Appointments can be arranged by calling 617-889-8030 or visiting the leasing center on site at One North of Boston. For more information visit: http://www.onenorthofboston.com/
The Chelsea License Commission will be the focus of a lot of attention on Tuesday night, June 16, when the will have a public hearing for the proposed upscale strip club proposed by Phantom Ventures for the old King Arthur’s site on Beecham Street.
The application was revealed at last month’s meeting in a letter from the attorney for Phantom Ventures, who described the club as a luxury gentlemen’s club with a dress code and completely nude dancing. Renovations to the building were also described and an application for a liquor license is also being sought.
The License Commission will hold a public hearing on the Club’s application at 6 p.m. during its regular meeting. However, that doesn’t mean that the Commission will take action on the matter Tuesday.
What it does mean is that the general public will have an opportunity to speak for or against the matter so that Commissioners know how the community feels.
Already, District 8 Councillor Dan Cortell has penned an op-ed that calls for the application to be rejected.
“Prior to last year, King Arthur’s was a remnant of Chelsea’s past we were stuck with until the opportunity to see it closed presented itself,” he wrote. “Now a city without a strip club, I see no benefit to the opening of a new one at the same location or anywhere else in our city that has long been working toward better things. Based on Chelsea’s small size, all property, I believe, is worth more now that it is no longer within a mile or so of a strip joint, especially Admiral’s Hill and The Waterfront neighborhood, both even closer. I urge all who agree with me to make his or her opinion known to Licensing Commissioners in person during the public speaking section of the meeting.”
King Arthur’s met its demise last summer when the owners fell on a technicality and had their licenses stripped by the Commission.
The use could perhaps be grandfathered at the location for at least another year, but that has yet to be officially determined.
That, however, won’t be the only action at the meeting on Tuesday.
The Commission will see a redux of the Plaza Mexico infractions, this time discussing police reports from an incident that happened earlier this year. Already, the hours were rolled back and the license suspended for a long and protracted hearing that took place over two meetings last month for police issues going back to 2013.
Additionally, El Carriel at 9-11 Williams St. will be in front of the Commission to discuss complaints levied against the bar/lounge.
The old King Arthur’s Strip Club building was sold on Tuesday to a former produce wholesaler from Quincy, according to the Boston Herald, beating out Revere businessman Charlie Lightbody – who is currently under indictment for wire fraud related to the Wynn casino land deal.
Demetrios Vardakostas, who once owned Bostonia Produce and worked out of the Produce Center, purchased the property for $1.35 million, the Herald reported, at an auction on the site. Lightbody bid $1.3 million.
The Chelsea License Commission stripped the club of all of its licenses, including its liquor license, last summer. That said, the purchaser is not able to re-open the club as a strip club/bar without a completely new set of licenses from the Commission.
The owner said that he had no intention of opening a bar or club, but rather on investing in a potential hotel to support the Wynn casino just across the way in Everett.
Outgoing City Manager Jay Ash said he was glad to see that chapter of the City close before he leaves.
“I’m happy to see that chapter in the city’s history come to an end,” he said. “The building has been both a physical blight and a psychological burden on the city for far too long. We’ve done so much to improve our image and our economy and I’m glad to see this building going into new ownership with new potential to be part of the new Chelsea.”
There is, however, still a lawsuit against the Chelsea License Commission by the former group associated with King Arthur’s concerning the removal of the liquor license and the entertainment license. The sale of the building, however, is likely not associated with the progress of those suits.
In the wake of the fatal shooting at the French Club on Spencer Avenue last Saturday, Council President Matt Frank – who represents that area – said he would like to have a closer look at all the social clubs in the city and he would call for a revocation of the French Club’s licenses.
He said he has run up against problems at the French Club for quite some time, and the genesis of those complaints – and Saturday’s shooting – is that the Club is operating more as a bar and not a private social club.
“I plan on being at the License Commission meeting when they talk about this and as a City Councillor I will be calling for suspension or revocation their license,” he said. “They obviously didn’t have control of their clientele last Saturday and they shouldn’t have clientele. They should have a membership…The French Club is not a bar and it’s operating as a bar. One of my biggest concerns has been coming up with a plan of enforcing these social clubs that act as bars. If these places want to operate as a club or a bar, they cannot do it with a social club license. That’s not what it’s for.”
He said the large number of social clubs in the city operate as intended – a private club with a known membership. He said now might be the time to call all social clubs up to the Council to review each club’s policies.
“I think maybe we need to ask the social clubs across the city about their policies,” he said. “Most of them in my district – except for the French Club – have a very strict policy. At most of them, unless you’re a member, you don’t go inside. That may be off-putting to some, but it’s how these clubs are legally supposed to operate.” Social clubs were once extremely popular in the city and thousands belonged to various clubs. However, as demographics and the culture of society has changed, social clubs have waned in popularity. Many remain very small and tight-knit while others – such as the St. Andrew’s Club – no longer exist. Other, though, have turned waning clubs into entertainment venues.