River Street condo proposal met with resistance at public meeting

The Dorchester Reporter | By Jennifer Smith
September 25, 2016

river-stThe majority of those who spoke on a proposed 18-unit condominium on River Street in Mattapan objected to the project’s density and neighborhood fit at a Boston Redevelopment Authority (BRA)-hosted meeting Thursday night.

George Tsolirides, the project proponent, owns the land at 73 River St. currently housing a dry cleaners and a restaurant, the River Street Grille. He is pitching an 18-unit, 23,063-square foot building to contain two-bedroom homeowner condominiums and ground floor retail space. Behind the structure would be 30 parking spaces.

The restaurant would remain a tenant, said architect Lucio Trabucco, with potentially a community meeting room, cafe, or office filling the other small ground floor space. Thirty parking spaces, without accounting for the public transit access, is also above the required per-unit ratio required by the city.

Community members and abutters opposed the project in its earlier iteration, which had three more apartments, only 20 parking spaces, and access into the residential neighborhood from the back of the development. Those who spoke at Thursday’s meeting for the most part made it clear that the changes were not sufficient.

William Willis, who owns a property a few houses down from the site, said developments of this density seemed to be dropped on neighborhoods like theirs without consideration for the abutters. “We want our own little piece of heaven, our little piece of happiness, right there on Sturbridge Street,” he said, adding that he hoped to leave his home to his children, but a development nearby would only raise his property taxes in the short term.

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