An often troubled market on the corner of Washington Street and East Berkeley in the South End is looking to gain approval of neighbors to codify the use of an adjoining building for a warehouse – but their work is going to be cut out for them.
Ming’s Supermarket/New York Market on Washington Street is looking to get a permit to use the vacant 140-148 East Berkeley building – formerly a parking garage way back when – as a warehouse and storage area for their inventory.
A neighborhood meeting has been scheduled for 5:45 p.m. on Weds., July 17, but it’s not likely that neighbors will be too receptive.
East Berkeley Neighborhood Association (EBNA) President Ken Smith said the market and its ownership has had a rocky road with the neighborhood, and hasn’t been very responsive to requests in the past – such as removing the persistent graffiti issues on the front of their store.
“We’d be open to a discussion with them, but we would not support it because Ming’s has not been a great neighbor over the years with the condition of the storefront, the trash and odors coming from the store and the graffiti,” he said. “We’d want to share some of that with them and see if there’s an opportunity…for them to be a better neighbor.”
He said there are likely to be a lot of questions on the matter, about what they want to do in the old building.
Sources have told the Sun now and in the past that the building has been used as a warehouse already by the market illegally for some time.
Multiple people have said the market may have been slaughtering animals in the old building to sell in the market. They have also been believed to have stored livestock in the building as well.
ISD has apparently cited them for issues a few times, and the graffiti issue has been ongoing for a few years. The store is seeking a variance from the Zoning Board to allow the warehouse use in the East Berkeley building.
The meeting, at the moment, is expected to happen outside behind Ming’s in its adjacent parking lot.