New look miffs old neighbors

Boston Herald | By Donna Goodison
September 15, 2016

A developer intends to construct a new retail building on a gateway property in Boston’s North End that fronts the Rose Kennedy Greenway — despite neighborhood concern its modern design doesn’t fit the city’s oldest residential neighborhood.

Charter Realty & Development plans to build a 5,500-square-foot building at 60-70 Cross St. with a maximum 35-foot height and four retail spaces, three of which would include an interior mezzanine level. The property runs a full city block between Salem and Hanover streets.

“… We have attempted to design a space that is an active experience for both the North End neighborhood, as well as the special place that has been created within the Greenway, by recognizing what makes both unique and successful,” Charter said in a statement. “To capture the feel and historic atmosphere of the North End, the facade uses a mixture of metal panels, storefront glazing and finished wood.”

But John Pregmon, president of the North End/Waterfront Neighborhood Council, said some residents — who met with Charter in three meetings — don’t believe the design matches the historical nature of the neighborhood.

“We have the Old North Church, we have Paul Revere’s house,” Pregmon said. “This is the oldest residential community in Boston, and we feel that needs to be recognized when any development is proposed for the area.”

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