Featured post

Business Manager’s Blog


John P. Dumas



John P. Dumas, the Business Manager of Local 103 of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, represents more than 7,000 electrical and telecommunication members in the Greater Boston area.

A 37 year member of Local 103, Dumas is a seasoned and experienced leader. Along with serving as 103’s president for the past 18 years, Dumas served the union in a number of leadership roles, including business agent, member of the union’s executive board and trustee of the health, ANNUITY, pension, LMCT and JATC funds. He also has served as a member of numerous contract negotiation teams, playing a pivotal role in several major contracts governing members’ benefits.

Throughout his career he has shown a keen interest in nurturing younger union officers in preparation for leadership roles in the future, and his leadership style has always been one of inclusion and accessibility to all members.

twitter.com/103IBEWlinkedin


Brookline developer plans Brighton housing, new religious facilities


Boston Business Journal | By Catherine Carlock
May 20, 2016

Brookline Development Corp. has plans to build a 73-unit residential complex about two blocks down from another developer’s proposed 680-unit graduate student housing development.

The proposed development site is 101-105 Washington St., which is currently home to two long-standing religious institutions, the Congregation Kadimah-Toras Moshe and the Daughters of Israel Mikvah. Brookline Development has proposed razing and replacing the two institutions’ facilities as part of a joint venture with the Congregation Kadimah-Toras Moshe and Daughters of Israel Mikvah.

“The parties’ shared vision is to replace the existing and inadequate facilities of these two important religious institutions in order to support their long-term stability in the Brighton neighborhood, with the allocation of the project site’s remaining land area for new residential housing,” the project team wrote in a May 16 letter to the Boston Redevelopment Authority.

Read More.

Lafayette project gets OK from Planning Board


The Salem News | By Dustin Luca
May 20, 2016

lafayette plSALEM — A three-story retail and office building proposed for Lafayette Street received the Planning Board’s approval on Thursday, but redevelopment of the site apparently can’t come soon enough.

City departments have been heavily involved in the property in recent weeks, responding to calls about rats and a damaged fire alarm, which triggered a 24-hour fire watch on the premises last week.

Local developer Bob Burr is looking to put a 24,000-square-foot building on the site, at the corner of Lafayette Street and West Avenue, near Salem State University. The building will have first-floor retail space, with offices above on the second and third floors.

The new development will replace a rundown commercial block and parking lot at 331-335 Lafayette St., displacing existing eateries — Jade House and Fran & Diane’s Kitchen — as well as a spa and convenience store. A set of residences is also on the site.

Complaints about the condition of the property haven’t focused on the current tenants, however, but rather have historically been about the trash out back and the overall condition of the buildings.

City workers were on-site this week to clean out large amounts of trash after rats were seen throughout the area, according to Health Agent Larry Ramdin.

“There was a lot of trash. … We received some complaints from the neighbors,” Ramdin said. “The area was cleaned up and we’re going to put a lien on the property.”

The tax lien is necessary because the issue of whom to bill for the work is currently unresolved.

Read More.

Salem Hospital expansion gets accolades from planners


The Salem News | By Dustin Luca
May 22, 2016

salem hospital

SALEM — A presentation on North Shore Medical Center’s planned expansion in Salem received a warm reception before the Planning Board on Thursday, with concerns from neighboring Lynn nowhere to be seen.

Hospital administrators are planning a $180 million expansion of Salem Hospital, while shutting down Union Hospital in Lynn and consolidating services. Both hospitals are part of the Partners HealthCare network.

The project would include a new, three-story building to house the emergency department and two new inpatient floors; renovating the former Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital into a 120-bed mental health center; and creating a new main entrance.

The presentation Thursday was the public’s first chance to weigh in on the plans, though Joe Correnti, the hospital’s attorney, said several other such opportunities will follow.

“We’re here to give you an overview and work with you over the next several meetings in laying out what we think is a very thoughtful plan,” Correnti said.

Initial reaction Thursday was positive.

Read More.

Winthrop holding forums on downtown plan


The Boston Globe | By John Laidler
May 20, 2016

Winthrop residents have a chance to help shape the future of the town center and the old middle school building.

The town is working with consultants to create a master plan for the Centre Business District, including the soon-to-be-vacant former middle school building on Pauline Street. As part of that effort, town officials and the consultant team are holding three public forums.

The first, a visioning workshop, will be held on Thursday, May 26 from 7 to 9 p.m. at the senior center, 35 Harvard St. The second meeting, a continuation of the visioning workshop, will take place on June 28 from 7 to 9 p.m. at the senior center. The final meeting, in late September or early October, will feature a public unveiling of the draft plan.

Officials hope to present a completed plan to the Town Council in late fall or early winter.

Read More.

Minuteman seeks more time to win support for new school


The Boston Globe | By Jennifer Fenn Lefferts
May 20, 2016

minute man

Minuteman High School is asking the state for more time to win local approval for its new high school.

Superintendent-director Edward Bouquillon sent the Massachusetts School Building Authority a letter on Wednesday asking for an additional 180 days after Belmont Town Meeting members shot down a proposal to pay for a new Minuteman High School.

The $144.9 million school needs unanimous support among its 16 Minuteman member towns.

Communities voted this spring, and Belmont was the only town that rejected the project. The vote, on May 4, was 141 against to 81 in favor.

Under an agreement with the building authority, which is contributing about $45 million toward the new school, Minuteman had to win local approval by June 16.

Belmont town officials have consistently questioned the size of the building and the need for space to house 628 students. The school had 673 students as of November, but just 396 were from member towns.

Read More.

Somerville’s first Trader Joe’s to open in 2017


The Boston Globe | By Amanda Burke
May 20, 2016

trader

Come next year, Somerville residents won’t have to go far to pick up a bottle (or two) of their favorite Two Buck Chuck.

Next summer Trader Joe’s plans to open its 19th Massachusetts location at 133 Middlesex Ave. near Assembly Square Marketplace, the grocery chain said Friday.

It’s Trader Joe’s first foray into Somerville, whose next-door neighbor Cambridge currently boasts two branches.

Read More.

Federal official gives Green Line extension redesign initial OK


Boston.com | By Adam Vaccaro
May 20, 2016

glc

The MBTA’s reworked design of the beleaguered Green Line extension to Medford got a cursory thumbs up Friday from a federal transit official.

But the Federal Transit Administration must still conduct a more thorough analysis of the project’s new form before its federal funding is considered a sure thing, Mary Beth Mello, the FTA’s New England administrator, wrote in a letter to Massachusetts Transportation Secretary Stephanie Pollack.

Mello wrote that it is “the preliminary view” of the FTA that the scaled-down project would still provide the same benefits that had been expected under the prior, more elaborate design.

The FTA agreed to half-fund the prior $2 billion version of the project with a $1 billion grant. But the T has since cut back on parts of the project in order to save money, after the extension’s budget spiraled out of control to as high as $3 billion last year.

Before unveiling the new designs earlier this month, the project management team leading the reboot said its goal was to find ways to save without changing the extension’s core functionality, because eliminating stations or a bicycle path could threaten the federal funding that was pledged based on the previous design.

The redesign kept the basics in place, but saved money by trimming down on station designs, a planned maintenance facility, and aspects of the bike path.

Read More.

New life planned for old Charlestown rope factory


The Boston Globe | By Jon Chesto
May 20, 2016

Joe Timilty walks past the old hemp spools, down a fire-charred corridor that stretches as far as the eye can see, and muses about the success that is almost within his reach.

He is about to accomplish a task that no other developer has been able to pull off: resurrecting the old Ropewalk complex in the Charlestown Navy Yard.

Redeveloping a structure with these quirky dimensions would be tough enough — it’s more than a quarter-mile long but only 45 feet wide for most of its length. Then add the stiff historic requirements imposed by the National Park Service and the Massachusetts Historical Commission for the roughly 180-year-old granite building. Steel tracks that run down the length of the mill, for example, must be incorporated into the design.

“Seventeen people tried this over the years,” Timilty says as traffic rumbles by on nearby Route 1 and Chelsea Street, and it’s not clear if he’s talking to himself or to a visitor along for the tour. “They all walked away.”

Not Timilty. Over the years, just about every type of use has been floated for this former Navy rope factory left vacant since the early 1970s and now owned by the Boston Redevelopment Authority. Offices, housing, aquaculture labs, a museum. Some joked that it could make a great bowling alley.

Finally, there’s a tentative date for the construction crews to arrive. They’ll convert this nearly 160,000-square-foot complex, including an adjacent “tar house,” into 97 apartments. To help finance the $42.5 million project, Timilty’s Boston-based firm, Frontier Enterprises Inc., has secured a loan commitment worth up to $31 million from the Massachusetts Housing Finance Agency.

Now all that’s left is a final approval from the BRA for a long-term lease that will allow Frontier to take over. Timilty, a former state senator, hopes that could happen at the authority’s June meeting, and that construction can begin before Labor Day.

Read More.

Gateway Center wins approval from Planning Board


Board gives full support to revised project; further permits still needed

The Salem News | By Dustin Luca
May 19, 2016

SALEM — After months of work and intense scrutiny at public meetings, the Gateway Center has taken a pivotal step toward development.

High Rock Bridge Street LLC, the developer behind the proposal, got a seal of approval from the Planning Board Thursday night, where a large plan modifying the project from an earlier version received universal support from the board.

The project targets the corner of Bridge and Boston streets and proposes two buildings: a two-story Community Life Center to replace the city’s ailing senior center, and a four-story, 117-unit condominium building with first-floor retail.

For months now, the Planning Board has been hearing presentations on various aspects of the project, including drainage and flood plain design to address flooding concerns related to the adjacent North River Canal.

“We’re pleased with the position we’re in,” said attorney Joe Correnti, representing High Rock. “If this were a civil trial, we would rest (our case).”

The board’s decision came with an 11-page list of conditions that must be adhered to during construction. Those conditions include monitoring vibrations caused by construction of the two buildings’ foundations.

Read More.

Natick Planning Board backs 9/27 plaza project


Wicked Local Natick | By Brian Benson
May 19, 2016

NATICK – The Planning Board has backed a project to revitalize the 9/27 shopping plaza. “This is going to be a very significant improvement to the old Building 19 site,” project attorney Jim Hanrahan said Thursday. “It will be much more attractive.”

The Planning Board on Wednesday took votes to approve the project, although the board’s decision is still being finalized.

Planners said they also wanted to review plans for rooftop mechanical systems when they are available. Plaza owners Crosspoint Associates and Finard Properties plan to build a 2,000-square-foot coffee shop in the property’s northwest corner.

Changes to the existing plaza will be focused around bringing new tenants to part of the northern building, which includes the closed Building 19 store.

The project will also create outdoor sales space for an existing flower and garden shop, officials have said. The Planning Board spent time reviewing the parking lot layout as board members worked with the developers to improve safety and traffic flow while keeping in mind that the state plans to work on the intersection in the future.

Read More.

Developer will pursue ‘a new template’ for $200M Brighton housing project


Boston Business Journal | By Catherine Carlock
May 20, 2016

Boston-based real estate development firm Cabot, Cabot & Forbes plans to build 680 units of graduate student housing in Brighton, a project that will also include the rehabilitation of the former St. Gabriel’s Monastery.

CC&F has proposed a 610,000-square-foot project featuring four new residential buildings on an 11.8-acre site at 159-201 Washington St. in Brighton, adjacent to Brighton High School. The residential buildings would range in height from three to seven stories, and have 400 off-site parking spaces.

The rehabilitated monastery would serve as a central leasing office that includes amenities such as a co-working space similar to WeWork or Workbar and a cafe, said CC&F CEO Jay Doherty. CC&F will develop the housing in partnership with Chicago-based Blue Vista Capital Management, which owns Peak Campus, one of the largest student housing companies in the U.S.

“We think there’s tremendous demand,” Doherty said. “We’re going to try very hard in terms of creating a new template of how to construct it, and how to target a demographic that may be better served in these more efficient facilities with more amenities and more transportation options than by five or six people in a one-family in Brighton, and hopefully free up that inventory for families.”

Read More.

Assisted living center eyed for South Natick nursery land


Wicked Local Natick| By Brian Benson
May 19, 2016

NATICK – A Virginia company seeks to build an assisted living center on the site of a South Natick nursery.

The owners of Windy-Lo nursery on Rte. 16 are planning to retire this fall after about 55 years in the business.

Nursery co-owner Sally Flagg said her family looked for someone to take over the nursery business but was unsuccessful. “We tried. It just wasn’t happening. These people stepped in,” Flagg said of Artis Senior Living, which is looking to build the facility. “It’s sad for us, but good for the community.”

Artis is looking at building a facility that may serve about 130 residents. The facility would offer assisted living as well as care tailored to people with Alzheimer’s and similar diseases.

About 40 percent of the property would be protected as open space, project attorney Jim Hanrahan told the Planning Board Wednesday. Hanrahan briefly introduced the project, which would require a zoning change, to the board. “This we believe is a better use for the community than residential development,” Hanrahan said.

Read More.

Hospital seeks OK for expansion plans


The Salem News | By Paul Leighton
May 18, 2016

salem hos

SALEM — The public will get its first up-close look at Salem Hospital’s $180 million expansion plan Thursday night, when hospital officials are scheduled to appear before the Planning Board to seek local approval for the project.

The project, which was first announced in 2013, includes construction of a three-story building with a new emergency department and two new inpatient floors, renovation of the former Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital into a 120-bed mental health center, and a new main entrance and lobby.

North Shore Medical Center President and CEO Robert Norton said all of the construction will take place within the core of the hospital campus “far away from any neighbors.”
“It’s pretty well self-contained,” he said.

The expansion, which is being undertaken by Partners Health Care, the parent company of Salem Hospital, has run into strong opposition in Lynn because it involves the closing of Union Hospital in that city and the consolidation of services in Salem. In Salem, the plan received a mostly positive reception at a public hearing run by the state Department of Public Health in January at the Hawthorne Hotel.

The project is still awaiting approval from the DPH, which hospital officials are hoping to get in July. In the meantime, they are beginning the process of seeking approval from local boards on such matters as traffic, building height, and the impact on adjacent wetlands.

Read More.

Building 19 1/2 site redevelopment in Burlington center on deck


Wicked Local Burlington | By Chris Warren
May 18, 2016

BURLINGTON Building 19 1/2 vacated its premises in the center of Burlington in late 2014, and in early 2015, Duffy Properties purchased the 7-acre shopping plaza site for $7 million.

Since then, the 1970s-era buildings on the site have been vacant and there are chains across the two entrances.

Last September, at a Route 3A Subcommittee meeting, Duffy Properties unveiled its conceptual plan, which called for 80 to 90 condominium units and 14,000 square feet of retail or restaurant space, according to residents in attendance at the meeting.

Nearly nine months later, after more Route 3A meetings, the official site plan has been submitted to the Planning Board for a public hearing scheduled to open May 19.

The site plan that has been filed with the town is quite a bit different that the initial conceptual plan. It calls for a a two-story building with 26 condos of approximately 48,000 square feet in total, in addition to approximately 50,500 square feet of retail.

Sonia Rollins, a longstanding member of the Route 3A Subcommittee, said April 25 that Duffy Properties had come back before the committee two or three times since September, with renderings and material choices. “They heard our feedback. I also commend the Duffy brothers for putting their site plan out there well before the (May 19 Planning Board) hearing. They understand this particular parcel is of interest to people and they want to be involved,” said Rollins.

Read More.

New office building next to Keurig headquarters in Burlington approved


Wicked Local Burlington | By Nidhi Alberti
May 17, 2016

BURLINGTON- A new permit for a planned development on 43 South Ave. has been approved by the Planning Board at the April 21 meeting.

To be developed by Burlington-based Gutierrez Company, the building will be part of a project that was already reviewed and permitted in 2008 and then adjusted in 2012 for coffee brewing company Keurig’s headquarters. Within the original plan, three buildings were permitted to be constructed, of which two had been completed (located on 63 South Ave. and 53 South Ave.) and the option to construct the third building had been terminated by Keurig, according to Scott Weiss, vice president of development, the Gutierrez Company.

Ownership changes have taken place over the last several months. European-based JAB Holding Company bought Keurig and Green Mountain (Keurig’s parent company) in September 2015. In November and December 2015, the Gutierrez Company sold 63 and 53 South Ave. to American Realty Capital Properties, Inc. for $39 million and $120 million, respectively.

However, the Gutierrez Company still owns 43 South Ave. “The [third] building was to be immediately adjacent to the two-story section of 53 South Ave.,” said Scott Weiss, vice president of development, The Gutierrez Company. “If you remember, 53 South Ave. is a six-story building, [which] sits on top of parking and then there is a two-story appendage where there is… a gathering space that is located on the south side of the building. The original plan had the third building immediately adjacent to that with a parking spot… Keurig, as part of their lease, [is] seeking to flip flop the two items – the parking structure and the third building.”

Read More.