A revised affordable housing development at
the corner of Broadway and Clinton Street is back before City boards, and now
it features fewer units with all at affordable rates.
Late last year, the Zoning Board of Appeals
(ZBA) narrowly denied the 42 unit affordable- and market-rate residential
development at 1001 Broadway (Midas site) in a vote that was based on creating
more homeownership opportunities in the City. The project included nine units
of market-rate housing and enhanced access to the Mill Creek waterfront.
The Suffolk County Land Court remanded the
controversial Zoning Board affordable housing denial on Broadway back to the
ZBA with a revised plan.
Monday night, the revised version of the
development, a partnership between the Traggorth Companies and The Neighborhood
Developers (TND), was back before the ZBA. The revised plan is an attempt to
address the concerns of the board and neighbors, according to Dave Traggorth of
the Traggorth Companies.
“Our goals have not changed,” said
Traggorth. “It is to create affordable homes for Chelsea residents and to
provide public access to Mill Creek.”
The major revisions to the proposed $15
million project include cutting the total number of units from 42 to 38, making
all the units affordable, and eliminating the fifth story of the building that
had been proposed for the Broadway side of the development.
The commercial space on the first floor in
the initial proposal has also been eliminated.
“We have reviewed the plans based on the ZBA
recommendations, and the commercial space will now be a community room,”
The project needs special permits due to a
slightly larger than allowed lot coverage, and for not meeting City parking
requirements. The Broadway housing will have 42 parking spots, where 52 are
required by the city.
Thirty one of those parking spaces will be
available for the public to access Mill Creek from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. In
addition, Traggorth said the developers will give the city $15,000 for
intersection improvements in the area.
With the decrease in units and the
elimination of the commercial space, TND Project Manager Steve Laferriere said
there will be less of an impact on parking in traffic in the area than the
District 3 City Councillor Joe Perlatonda,
who represents the area where the affordable housing will be built, said he is
still opposed to the project, citing a burst of recent development in the city
that will increase parking and traffic.
Perlatonda said the parking and traffic
issues around Broadway and Clinton Street are already a nightmare for
neighbors, and that the Traggorth/TND project will only make it worse. He said
the City should take a look at other uses for the property, such as a new
public library on Mill Creek.
But the majority of people who spoke during
the public hearing said they supported the creation of sorely needed new
affordable units in Chelsea, and praised the efforts TND has already made to
create safe and modern affordable units in the city. A recent affordable
housing lottery in the city saw more than 3,000 applicants for 34 units, with
more than 1,200 of those applications coming from Chelsea residents.
“There is a clear need for affordable
housing as rents continue to go up in the Chelsea area,” said resident Sandy
City Manager Tom Ambrosino said he continues
to support the TND/Traggorth partnership.
“The number one complaint I receive as City
Manager from residents is the lack of affordable housing,” said Ambrosino.
Ambrosino said he understands the concerns
about traffic and parking, but said the impacts of any project has to be
weighed against the benefits, and that the benefits of affordable housing at
Broadway and Clinton tip the scales in favor of the project.
While state law prohibits the developers
from offering the affordable units to Chelsea residents only, the developers
said they would work to make sure the maximum units allowable are for Chelsea
The Planning Board will take up the project at
its March 26 meeting, and then it will come back to the ZBA at its April 9
meeting for a possible vote, according to ZBA Chair Janice Tatarka.
In a move that could dramatically reduce the
commute times for Chelsea 111 bus riders, the City of Boston announced they are
planning on installing a dedicated bus lane on North Washington Street from
Causeway to Haymarket – a key clogging point for riders heading into Haymarket
It would be a move that would accommodate
the 111 bus routes and two Charlestown bus routes, and Boston officials said
the new lane could reduce travel times by as much as 25 percent.
“We are planning on building an exclusive
bus lane on North Washington Street from the intersection at Causeway Street
after the bridge to Haymarket,” said Vineet Gupta, director of planning at the
Boston Transportation Department (BTD). “It would be a dedicated bus lane 24/7
on the inbound side. Right now, we’re working with the MBTA to install that bus
BTD Director Gina Fiandaca said they have
been working closely with Boston Mayor Martin Walsh and the MBTA on the North
Washington Street bus lane, and hope that they can get it done as early in 2019
as possible. She said that stretch of the bus route is often the most
congested, and riders often find themselves waiting longer on the bus for the
last leg than it would take them to walk.
“This inbound bus lane will have the
opportunity to move along at a quicker pace than the rest of the traffic,” she
said. “Another good part of this is in the future when the North Washington
Street Bridge is completed, it will have a bus lane as well. That will provide
a connection with this new lane to have one unbroken exclusive bus lane from
Charlestown when the Bridge is done.”
In order to accomplish the new lane, the
City will have to remove some metered parking spaces and a commercial parking
space, but a large chunk of the stretch is a large bus stop and ‘no parking’
Gupta said they have no clear data yet on
the time it could save commuters going inbound – though they will begin keeping
that data very soon. However, in Roslindale where they installed a bus lane last
year, commutes were shortened by 25 percent. The same data also presented
itself in Everett two years ago when they put a dedicated bus lane on Broadway
The announcement was one of several made by
Boston Mayor Walsh at the Greater Boston Municipal Research Bureau meeting on
The North Washington Street bus lane would be
the first one in effect 24 hours a day in Boston.
The City might have to put up with traffic
backups for nearly three years on the Chelsea Viaduct, but there will be a
mitigation package for the City when the dust all settles.
City Manager Tom Ambrosino said they have
received a mitigation package to go along with the Viaduct project, which
starts on April 1.
“We got what I thought was a reasonable
mitigation package from MassDOT,” he said. “It wasn’t perfect, but at the end
of the day it was reasonable.”
One of the major improvements will be two
new, fully constructed public parking lots under the Tobin curves when the
project is done.
Ambrosino said it will include 135 public
parking spaces just a block from downtown Chelsea, something he hopes will help
alleviate some of the parking crunch in the area.
There will also be parking constructed under
the curves at Carter Street too.
One key piece of the puzzle that will remain
as part of the package is the Arlington Street onramp by the Williams School.
MassDOT had toyed with the idea of eliminating that ramp in early designs, but
pushback from the community seemed to keep that idea at bay.
Other pieces of mitigation include:
•A robust snow fence for noise mitigation.
•Money for community engagement to inform everyone
of the project over the three years.
•Repaving Fourth Street.
•lighting improvements under the Bridge after
the project is completed.
If one is looking to hit the local bars this
Cinco de Mayo, the options are going to be a little more limited than usual.
At its March 7 meeting, the Licensing
Commission disciplined two local restaurants for a variety of infractions that
will result in them losing their liquor licenses for the Cinco de Mayo weekend
on May 4 and 5. (The restaurant Cinco de Mayo in Chelsea was not disciplined or
called to the Commission).
In addition to losing its liquor license for
that weekend, the Commission voted to roll back Acapulco’s hours of operation
indefinitely, forcing the Fifth Street establishment to close at 11 p.m.
instead of 1 a.m.
The Acapulco punishment stems from an
incident last November when a security worker at the restaurant struck a
customer over the head with a police baton.
The Commission also enforced an hours rollback
from 1 a.m. to 11 p.m. – along with the weekend suspension – for Bar La Cueva
at 802 Broadway. That punishment was enforced for an incident where several
patrons were overserved, as well as for past concerns about noise and unruly
patrons at the bar.
In addition, Commission member James Guido
requested a hearing next month to consider revoking Bar La Cueva’s
The attorney for Acapulco said the issue at
his client’s establishment is systemic of a larger issue in the city, where
security at bars is handled by companies that act almost as paramilitary or law
Several commissioners agreed that there is a
larger issue that needs to be addressed in the city with bar and liquor
establishment security, but noted that Acapulco deserved a more forceful
discipline than simply firing its current security contractor.
“You say security is a problem, but you’ve
had the same company for a decade,” Commissioner Roseann Bongiovanni said.
The issues at Bar La Cueva seemed to extend
beyond the recent incident where two people were overserved, as several
commissioners noted that there have been noise and unruly patron complaints at
the bar for years.
In a letter, one neighbor stated that the
“karaoke singing by drunks is terribly loud and they overserve their patrons.”
John Dodge, the attorney representing the
bar, said for the incident in question, his clients acted responsibly and asked
the patrons who appeared to be intoxicated to leave.
But Bongiovanni noted that the bar has been
a problem in the past, including racking up a 14-day liquor license suspension
about two years ago.
“They have been a complete nuisance and
annoyance to the neighborhood; you can roll your eyes all you want, counselor,”
she said to Dodge.
Both the bars got off relatively easy
compared to Fine Mart, a liquor and convenience store at 260 Broadway. The
Commission suspended the store’s liquor license for a total of six weeks for
three offenses, including an incident where an employee struck a woman who was
intoxicated in the store, for selling nips after the enactment of the City’s
nip ban, and for the sale of alcohol to a minor.
City Manager Tom Ambrosino, an ardent
supporter of the City’s ban on 50 ml bottles of alcohol, said there needs to be
consequences for businesses that violate the ordinance.
“The ban has been
important in the city’s efforts to try to make Broadway a more attractive place
to shop and dine,” Ambrosino said. “We’ve spent a lot of money to make it a
better place. Having the nip ban in place is an important part of that. “(Fine
Mart) has a prominent place in the corridor and has to comply with its
On Feb. 11, at 10:05 a.m., an officer on
foot patrol in Bellingham Square observed a group blocking the foot traffic in
front of 427 Broadway – forcing a family with a small child to walk onto the
street. One male became agitated at the officer’s request to move and
became load and disorderly while refusing to move. The officer with the assistance
of other officers placed the male into custody after a brief struggle.
Michael Catino, 35, of East Boston, was
charged with assault, disorderly conduct and resisting arrest.
Crack Cocaine Bust
On Feb. 12 the Chelsea Police executed
a search warrant at 90 Chestnut St. #3. The search warrant was the result of an
investigation into a male subject for the distribution of crack cocaine from
that address. During the course of the investigation, the CPD purchased
narcotics from the address. The male subject was placed into custody.
John Venete, 33, of 90 Chestnut St., was
charged with possession to distribute cocaine.
Squattin’ in the Cellar
On Feb. 15, officers were dispatched to
26-28 Spencer Ave. for the report of two unwanted individuals. The
officers spoke to the landlord who led them to the basement of the property.
Officer’s located two males in the basement. Next to the men was a handful of
needles and drug paraphilia. One male was found to have illegal pills on his
person. Both were arrested.
Jeff Bosquet, 36, of Everett; and Stephen
Morgan, 30, of 55 Heard St., were both charged with trespassing and possession
of a Class C drug.
Broke into Van
On Feb. 16, at 2:45 a.m., officers were on
patrol in the area of the Bellingham Street Bridge by the Silver Line Overpass
when they observed a motor vehicle in the middle of the road with its lights
off, parked next to a van. As the officers approached the vehicle, two males
and a female known to the officers exited the vehicle. The car had a broken
rear window. The officers made contact with the owner who responded and told
officers the window had no damage when he parked the car earlier. The victim
also told officers that tools were also missing from the car. All three were
placed under arrest.
Jeff Bosquet, 36,
of Everett; David Kerns, 43, of Revere; and Jaclyn Doucette, 29, of Revere;
were all charged with breaking and entering in the night for a felony and
larceny/receiving stolen property under $1,200.
State Rep. Dan Ryan said this week he is
pleased in what is considered a step up in becoming the vice chair of the Post
Audit Oversight Committee – a powerful committee that runs investigations of
government operations and actually has subpoena powers.
“I want to thank Speaker DeLeo for this
appointment, and my House colleagues for voting to affirm his trust in me,”
said Ryan. “I look forward to working with Chairman Linsky and other committee
members in continuing to bring solid, cost-effective government programs to the
Ryan said Post-Audit Oversight certainly
isn’t a household name for most people in the Town, but said it has a unique
mission and is a sought-after committee on Beacon Hill.
“The Post-Audit Oversight Committee is a select House committee that has a
unique mission,” he said. “Members of the committee are tasked with ensuring
that State agencies are abiding by legislative intent and the program
initiatives put forth, by the legislature, through the budget process. When
necessary, the committee will work with administrative agencies to
propose corrective actions to best serve citizens of the Commonwealth.”
One of the most visible investigations
conducted by the Committee came several years ago in the previous
administration when the Department of Children and Families (DCF) came under
fire for its handling and management of numerous cases involving children.
Ryan has also been assigned as a member of
the Mental Health, Substance Abuse and Recovery Committee, and as a member of
the Transportation Committee.
•Just across the North Washington Street
Bridge, State Rep. Aaron Michlewitz came away with one of the biggest scores
for the Boston delegation in getting assigned as chair of the powerful Ways
& Means Committee.
Rep. Ryan said that having such an important
chair nearby will be very good for Charlestown as well as the North End. That
will particularly be apparent with projects like the North Washington Street
Bridge, which affects the North End as much as Charlestown.
Michlewitz told the Patriot-Bridge that he
is humbled by the appointment, and that while he has to build consensus across
the state, he will keep his district and Boston in the forefront.
“I am honored
that Speaker DeLeo believes I can do the job,” he said. “The first order of
business is creating and debating a $42.7 billion budget. A lot of work has
been done in committee, but we have a short timeframe to get a lot done. The
thing I was to stress is my district is my number one priority.”
The city is mourning the loss of Joanne
Tarason, a popular local business owner and highly respected community leader
who touched the lives of many residents with her kindness and generosity.
Mrs. Tarason died on Tuesday. She was 77.
Joanne Tarason owned Coprico Printing
(formerly Sir Speedy) at 40 Washington Ave., located across the street from
Chelsea City Hall. She was also a long-time member of the Rotary Club and the
Chelsea Chamber of Commerce.
Mrs. Tarason donated her services to many
local organizations. Though she received numerous awards in appreciation of her
generous contributions and volunteer services, she always deflected the praise
to others and tried to stay out of the spotlight.
“Joanne helped out so many groups in a quiet
and unassuming way,” said Councillor-at-Large Leo Robinson. “She never sought
recognition for her many kind deeds and generous assistance. Chelsea has a lot
a great woman, community leader and friend.”
Councillor-at-Large Calvin Brown said Mrs.
Tarason was “one of Chelsea’s unsung heroes.”
“Joanne did so much for so many and was
admired by all,” said Brown. “It was always a pleasure to see her at local
social events. We have lost a great friend to Chelsea.”
Mrs. Tarason was a goodwill ambassador for
the Chamber of Commerce and the Rotary Club, always lending her support at
installation of officers dinners, community fundraisers, and the Chamber’s
$10,000 Pot-O-Gold Dinners.
But her reign of kindness and premier
platform of helpfulness was at her local business where residents would often
stop in just to say hello. She was meticulous in her work and customers came
from far and wide to have their printing jobs, large and small, done at her
Mrs. Tarason stayed ahead of the
technological advances in the printing business, acquiring new skills and
equipment to meet the requests of her large clientele.
The Chelsea City
Council will pay tribute to Mrs. Tarason with a moment of silence at its Feb.
The operators working the vertical lift on
the Chelsea Street Bridge Feb. 7 have been suspended at the behest of MassDOT
after a couple in a vehicle got trapped on the bridge and lifted all the way to
On Feb. 7, MassDOT said, a vehicle got
caught between the safety gates on the deck of the bridge. Due to apparently
not following procedures, the lift operators then lifted the bridge all the way
to the top with the couple still on the deck in their car.
On Friday, Feb. 8, after learning of this
incident, MassDOT directed the contractor responsible for operating
the Chelsea Street Bridge to suspend until further notice the
operators who were on duty on Thursday evening, Feb. 7.
“While fortunately no one was injured in
this incident, the failure of operators to act according to safety procedures
warranted their immediate suspension,” said a MassDOT spokesman.
MassDOT said it is unaware of any other
instance of a vehicle being between the safety gates when
the Chelsea Street Bridge has been raised and is continuing to
investigate how this could have occurred on February 7.
They are a fifth-generation Chelsea family
that has been involved in every aspect of this city.
Bernice “Neecy” Dunn, current and reigning matriarch of the
well-known Dunn family of Chelsea, just turned 91. Mrs. Dunn is not slowing
down one bit. She is a regular volunteer at the Chelsea Soldiers Home, once
again setting an example for a family that is intent on carrying on her legacy
of giving and being a friend to all.
Jimmy Dunn, a son and a U.S. Navy veteran,
is a dedicated business owner who founded Neecy Mechanical 32 years ago,
proudly naming the company after his mother.
Jimmy grew the company from working out of
his van to now working on one of the major projects in Chelsea, a new hotel
springing up on Second Street.
The family recently gathered at the hotel
construction site where they stood near the company sign, Neecy Mechanical
Inc., Plumbing and Sprinkler. It was a celebration of sorts on a cold winter
day, a nod to ernice “Neecy” Dunn for all she has meant to her family, and to
Jimmy Dunn, a true American success story who has worked hard all his life,
from his school days at Northeast Vocational where he specialized in sheet
metal, to his service in the U.S. Navy as a catapult operator, to his decision
to devote his mechanical knowledge to pursue a career in the plumbing
“We all love the city of Chelsea and fell
particularly proud to be able to live and work in this city,” said Nicole Dunn,
the beautiful daughter of Jimmy Dunn who is the office manager at Neecy
Jesse Dunn, Derek Dunn, and Jessica Dunn
also have positions at the company that does plumbing and sprinkler fittings.
Helping to build a hotel
Neecy Mechanical is beginning its work at
the Second Street site, where a brand new 106-room Hampton Inn will join the
other hotels in the city. The hotel is expected to be completed in 2020. It is
one of Neecy’s biggest jobs to-date.
“We’re proud to be working on such a large
project,” said Nicole Dunn, noting that Neecy previously worked on a 36-unit
building in Boston and currently on a 19-unit building in East Boston.
And when it comes to hiring employee, Jimmy
Dunn hasn’t forgotten his vocational school roots. He has brought on board
several graduates of Northeast Regional to work at his company.
Honoring his mother
Once he founded his company, Jimmy Dunn made
an immediate decision to name it in honor of his mother, Bernice.
“Growing up, my father and my mother owned a
couple of pieces of property and they called it Neecy Realty,” recalled Jimmy.
“It’s a very unique name so I said, ‘one day, I want to name my company after
her and honor her by doing that.”
Jimmy said he can’t put a price on the love,
support, and guidance he has received from his mother.
“Being so proud of my mother and my city,
and having the opportunity to do a big job like the one at the hotel in my own
city – going to the site on her 91st birthday, I thought that would
be a great way to celebrate the milestone,” said Jimmy.
Dorothy Hamilton, Bernice’s friend and a
lifelong Chelsea resident herself, took part in the photo opportunity on Second
Street. Interestingly, Dorothy’s grandson, Richard Fallon, works at Neecy
Councillor-at-Large Leo Robinson, a cousin
to the Dunn family, also braved the frigid conditions on that day to offer his
birthday wishes to Bernice and his congratulations to Jimmy for building such
an outstanding company.
“It’s just a great Chelsea family and
Bernice is a great lady who symbolizes the goodness of what Chelsea is all
about,” said Councillor Robinson.
Bernice Dunn has five sons and four
daughters, 22 grandchildren, and 17 great-grandchildren. A son, Patrick Dunn, was
an outstanding football player at Chelsea High and president of his class.
Memories of the old Chelsea
and a look ahead to the new
Jimmy Dunn has vivid memories of his days
growing up in a home at 61 Crescent Ave., not far from the old Chelsea High School
He was a just a kid when the entire city
almost burnt down in the Chelsea Fire in October, 1973.
“I remember being where the new train stop
is, where the City Yard used to be, and looking at the bricks on the buildings
on Arlington Street, and they were actually melting because the fire was so
hot,” said Dunn. “The wind was crazy. The firefighters did a great job because
it looked like the whole city was going to go up in flames. They say if the
Williams School wasn’t there, the fire would have taken everything.”
Jimmy Dunn said the city made significant
strides in development and stature under former City Manager Jay Ash.
“The city is moving in the right direction
and I see a bright future under [City Manager] Tom Ambrosino,” said Jimmy.
Hard work pays off
at Neecy Mechanical
Nicole Dunn said any story about her father
has to pay tribute to his incredible work ethic. Jimmy grew up working next to
his father and raised his own family working next to him.
“When I think of my father, I have to touch
on his work ethic, how hard he works, what a good leader he is, and how much
he’s guided all of us,” said Nicole.
According to Jimmy Dunn, his mother
Bernice’s family arrived here via Nova Scotia. His father Joseph’s family came
here through Ellis Island.
“My father lived on Blossom Street and my
mother lived on Albion Place,” said Jimmy. “They were married for 50 years.”
Bernice Dunn was a cafeteria worker in the
city of Chelsea. Joseph Dunn worked in the boiler room for the Chelsea School
Today Jimmy Dunn and his family are carrying
on that legacy of hard work, dependability, loyalty, trustworthiness, and pride
at Neecy Mechanical, a fitting tribute to Bernice “Neecy” Dunn, for whom this
company is proudly named.