Eight Streets Hears Proposal from Highline Development

The Eight Streets Neighborhood Association heard an update from Highline Development of the South End for its plans to renovate a seven-unit building on Dwight Street – converting it to only four units, possibly with an elevator.

Ghita Desai of Highline, and a resident of Ellis South End, told the Association at its May 8 meeting Highline has purchased 27-29 Dwight St. and commenced gutting the structure in order to rebuild four units in the two buildings. The renovation would eliminate three units.

“It’s very unusual for a developer to decrease units,” said President Michael Almond. “It has been done on Union Park and Rutland Square. Within the South End there are a few, but within Eight Streets it is unusual.”

Desai said they have just finished a project in Worcester Square and have now moved on to Dwight Street. Public records showed Highline purchased the property from Peter Creighton for $3.125 million.

They do plan to put a roof-deck on top of 27, with 29 already having a roof deck.

“We are also going to try to put an elevator in – a small one,” she said.

There would be four parking spaces and no outside façade changes.

The configuration would result in more square footage per floor, with about 1,600 square feet per unit expected. One staircase inside would be eliminated.

Neighbor Ted Pietras and others gave them high marks initially for putting the demo dumpster in the back of the property and not on the street.

There is no date at the Zoning Board for them, and Desai said there may not be.

“I am not expecting any ZBA triggers at this point – maybe for the roof-deck – but that wouldn’t be for another six months or so.”

  • 112 Shawmut Ave. development

Many neighbors at the meeting on May 8 were concerned about the 112 Shawmut Ave. project being proposed just across East Berkeley Street from the neighborhood.

Many had participated in opposing a 15-story building proposed by the Druker Companies some years ago, and had it reduced to 11 stories. Now, the Shawmut proposal has buildings that are taller and some neighbors worried that it could set a precedent – leading to shadows on their homes and on the East Berkeley Gardens.

“These groups are going for 150 feet again,” said Almond, who is also on the Shawmut IAG. “If they get away with 150 feet at that corner, it sets the precedent to come all the way down that block to Berkeley. That could end up creating shadows on Berkeley. If anyone is concerned about the height of these buildings, they should get involved.”

Added one neighbor, “We’re going to have a massive block coming towards us.”

  • Michael McDermott of the Friends of Blackstone School appeared at the meeting to encourage residents to get involved in volunteering at the Blackstone School.

The Friends of the Blackstone School are neighborhood residents, businesses and organizations that provide financial and volunteer support throughout the school year.

To cap off the year, they will be holding a Spring Fundraiser on Monday, June 4, from 6-8 p.m. at Stella Restaurant, 1525 Washington St. For more information, contact Robin Hanley at [email protected].

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