By Seth Daniel
A little-known, but vitally important, roundtable committee at City Hall finally heard and gave the go-ahead for the SoWa Market to proceed with individual permits for the expansion to Saturdays this spring and summer.
The Public Events Committee – made up of City and state officials from the MBTA, Boston Police, Boston Fire, ISD, Public Works and Transportation, among others – heard the proposal for a second time on Monday, March 27.
After a short presentation by the GTI Properties team, the Committee discussed a few of the details, including sandwich boards and the method to direct traffic to parking lots on Albany Street.
Following that, the Committee allowed SoWa to proceed with the necessary City permits to get the Saturday market expansion underway.
No one spoke against the proposal.
The proposal had been approved by the Old Dover Neighborhood Association in February by a 23-7 vote after a long meeting to discuss the particulars. Still, there were some very vocal dissenters in the room, though the majority of those voting members did come around to supporting the effort.
Since that time, GTI officials have been trying to finalize things with the Committee at City Hall, and with only some success.
After the first meeting, they were asked to meet with additional groups, including tenants of the Rollins Square building and members of the Union Park Neighborhood Association.
With that completed, GTI was back before the Committee on Monday.
Amy Yandle of the Committee told the Sun that the nod by her Committee isn’t an approval, but it clears the path for GTI to apply for the necessary permits to allow the SoWa Saturday to commence – including permits for live music and from the Fire Department, etc.
The market already operates on Sundays and has for some time.
In February, GTI owner Mario Nicosia told neighbors that the market is a boon for small businesses in the area, and adding another day could really invigorate the business climate, which is hurting at the moment.
Several artists and retailers from the SoWa district were also in attendance and supported the expansion.