News Briefs

CANDIDATE NIGHTS FOR COUNCIL

Jon Santiago, the Ward 4 Democratic chair, reported that the Committee will hold two candidate nights for City Council.

The District 7 race, which has numerous candidate running, will have the candidate night on June 27, at 6:30 p.m. in the USES building.

The District 2 race will have a candidate night on July 26 at 6:30 p.m. in the Calderwood Pavilion. The event is in association with the Ellis South End Neighborhood Association.

ATTORNEY SAYS ALEXANDRA SALE COMING

The South End Forum hosted an ambitious and busy meeting on Tuesday, June 6, and one heavy issue on the agenda continued to be the Hotel Alexandra on Washington Street.

Attorney Michael McCormack appeared for the Church of Scientology to speak to the Forum and assure its members – many of whom have run out of patience with the dilapidated building – that a sale is coming very soon.

Like his business partner, Attorney David Suny, told the Worcester Square Area Neighborhood Association (WSANA) last month, the Church has hired him to oversee an Article 80 process for a large new headquarters being proposed in Allston. He said the Church must sell the Alexandra in order to get necessary funds to rehab that building.

He shared that there is one offer, but no buyer yet. The due diligence is being done by the prospective buyer and a Church attorney in Los Angeles. The local broker is Chris Sower of Colliers Boston.

“We hope to be able to come back here and Worcester Square at the next meeting and say the property has been sold,” said McCormack.

Moderator Steve Fox said the Forum members, particularly those in Chester Square and Worcester Square, are skeptical. He said they have begun to ask the City to look into an eminent domain taking, and would continue to do so.

“We want to proceed on dual paths,” he said. “If we need to stop on path, we can do that.”

SOWA MARKET ANNOUNCES THEME PARTIES

Boston’s largest outdoor market is in full swing, with the SoWa Open Market now bringing 100+ artisans, 50+ local farmers and food makers, a dozen iconic food trucks, craft beers, live music, and good vibes every weekend from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. through October.

As part of the weekly beer garden and food truck bazaar, attendees will be able to enjoy themed dishes from food truck favorites on seven special weekends throughout the summer alongside tasty beers and ciders from top local breweries.

“The SoWa Beer Garden and Food Truck Bazaar is a great place every Saturday and Sunday and the family friendly block parties make weekends in the SoWa Arts & Design District even more fun,” said Aaron Cohen, Founder of Eat Boston. “I look forward to bringing back the popular Boston Lobster Party and Tacopocalypse and many more themed parties throughout the summer.”

To kick off the themed block party series by Eat Boston, more than 20 food trucks will gather at the SoWa Open Market on Saturday, May 27th and Sunday, May 28th for a Backyard BBQ followed up by additional themed block parties throughout the summer, including:

  • The Boston V Party

Saturday, June 10

Be part of Boston’s first vegan food and beer festival during the SoWa Open Market.

  • Tacopocalypse

Saturday, June 24 and Sunday, June 25

Have a taste of the world’s greatest finger food no matter if you like hard shell, soft shell, corn or flour – taste them all!

  • Boston Lobster Party

Saturday, July 8 and Sunday, July 9

After 7 years, the Boston Lobster Party is back to celebrate the New England specialty.

  • Oyster, Oyster Block Party

Saturday, August 5 and Sunday, August 6

Shuck’em, suck’em, and slurp’em down.

  • Grilled Cheese & Mac and Cheese & Steak and Cheese & Beer Festival

Saturday, September 9 and Sunday, September 10

When the worlds of cheese and beer collide. Don’t miss this exclusive festival!

  • Sausage Fest

Saturday, October 14 and Sunday, October 16

From brats, dogs, wursts and craft beer – is there anything better?

SOWA JUNE WEEKENDS

Upcoming weekend themes at SoWa include:

June 10 & 11: Vegan Food and Beer Fest (Saturday only) and Boston Pride.

June 17 & 18: Father’s Day celebration including craft beer, delicious food, card making and a raffle for the chance to win a $200 gift card to Boston Chops.

June 24 & June 25: Tacopocalypse Food Truck Block Party celebrating the best of hard shell and soft shell

In addition, proceeds from sales of exclusive SoWa merchandise and donation collection boxes will go towards a local non-profit organization each month. In honor of Boston Pride, proceeds in June will benefit BAGLEY, the Boston Alliance of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Youth.

BVNA BEGINS MITIGATION TALKS ON STUART ST.

The Bay Village Neighborhood Association (BVNA) has established a sub-committee to talk about mitigation funds with the developers, Transom Real Estate, LLC, the developers behind the proposed 212 Stuart St. project.

The project has yet to be in front of the Boston Planning and Development Agency (BPDA) for a vote but is expected to come up sometime this summer.

Although nothing is set in stone, the BVNA sub-committee determined a wish list of improvements they would like to see in the neighborhood from improved lighting and irrigation in parks, more big belly trash cans, bike racks, and additional security cameras.

They determined that it would $300,000 for mitigation funds that will go towards the City to make improvements to the parks along with $250,000 to go to the BVNA for additional projects in the neighborhood.

Ideas included hiring people from Project Place to keep the parks clean and maintained, creating a historic wayfinding signage system, and supplement the parks funding.

PRIDE GUIDE NOW AVAILABLE

Boston Pride has unveiled its 2017 Pride Guide, which will be provided for free at hundreds of locations in New England, including more than 100 Stop & Shop stores throughout Massachusetts, as well as at flagship Pride Week events. The 2017 Pride Guide contains information on this year’s Pride Week (June 2nd-11th), a calendar of events, and 24 contributions by members of the queer and ally communities that focus on LGBTQ issues and perspectives. The production of the 2017 Pride Guide is a volunteer effort led by Editor-in-Chief and Boston Pride member Michael Anthony Fowler. The theme of this year’s Pride Week is “Stronger Together.”

“The 2017 Pride Guide embodies our theme, ‘Stronger Together,’ as we assembled a dedicated and diverse group of contributors to produce a publication that is informative, relevant and inspiring to the LGBTQ community and its allies,” said Fowler.  “We are #wickedproud of the quality of the content and the wide array of stories that will educate the public about the LGBTQ community and inspire intersectional solidarity and action in this trying time for the queer rights movement. We thank our contributors, the over 80 businesses, politicians, and local non-profit organizations for supporting our work by placing advertisements in the Guide, and all who helped put together the 2017 Pride Guide. It’s truly a labor of love.”

Beginning on May 1, the 172-page full-color 2017 Pride Guide was distributed to approximately 500 locations throughout New England and will also be available online. For information on where to find the magazine or to read the digital version, visit www.bostonpride.org/guide.

Boston Pride Week 2017 will kick-off with the Pride flag raising on Boston City Hall Plaza on Friday, June 2nd and continues with ten days of events, culminating in the annual Boston Pride Parade and Festival on Saturday, June 10 and the Block Parties on Sunday, June 11 in Back Bay and Jamaica Plain.

 

UNION PARK ANNOUNCES EVENTS

The Union Park Neighborhood Association (UPNA) announced its upcoming social events throughout the rest of the year. Some of the events include:

  • Thursday, June 22, 6-8 p.m., Cocktail Social, Ameriprise patio (546 Tremont).
  • Sunday, July 9, Aug. 13, Sept. 10, (5-7 p.m.), Evening in the Park, Union Park.
  • Saturday, October 7 (rain date October 8), 8 – 5 p.m., Pictures in the Park, Union Park.
  • Sunday, October 8, 1-6 p.m., Crime Walk, City of Boston.
  • Friday, December 1, 6-8 p.m., Holiday Party, Benjamin Franklin Institute.

 

SOUTH END LANDMARKS LOSES PLANNER

The South End Landmarks Commission (SELC) will be saying farewell to Katherine Reed their preservation planner. Reed will be moving to Pittsburg to be closer to her family in Cleveland and take advantage of the lower cost of living.

In a letter, Reed stated, “I have really enjoyed my time here, and am sad to be leaving! I have learned so much about development, preservation, and construction management…thanks for helping me along the way.”

Reed was also in charge of the Mission Hill Triangle Architectural Conservation District and the St. Botolph Area Architectural Conservation District Commission.

Her last day will be June 16, 2017.

BVNA SUPPORTS ISABELLA ST. CHANGE

In an effort to help calm the traffic that runs along Arlington Street in Bay Village, the neighborhood association supports changing the direction of Isabella St., that currently lets out on Arlington St in front of a pedestrian crosswalk.

Drivers who often exit Isabella St. run into a lot of traffic coming from the left and may not notice a pedestrian trying to cross Arlington St on the right.

In addition, many drivers cut across Isabella St. to get to the I-90 entrance faster. By changing the direction drivers would have to make the full loop up Columbus Ave., and back down Arlington St.

A petition of the residents of Isabella St. must be made before the direction of the street can occur.

BCEC PRESENTS ‘FUTURE BUILDINGS’

The Boston Clean Energy Coalition will be hosting “Boston’s Future Buildings: How Do We Get to Net Zero?” on June 15, 2017, from 7:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. at the First Church in Jamaica Plain, 6 Eliot Street.

Experts will examine the financial, political, legal and technical challenges on how to make net-zero carbon construction happen in Boston.

Jacqueline Royce of the Neighborhood Association of the Back Bay will be leading a part of the discussion. It will include some related pipeline issues and is one of a series of other planned public meetings on fracked gas pipelines and net zero buildings.

Featured speakers will include Boston City Councilor Matt O’Malley who will be moderating, John Cleveland of the Boston Green Ribbon Commission, Henrietta Davis the former Mayor of Cambridge, Joan Fitzgerald the professor of public policy and urban affairs at Northeastern University, Stephanie Horowitz of ZeroEnergy Design and Cammy Peterson of the Metropolitan Area Planning Council.

FOPG BORDER BRIGADE

Join the Friends of the Public Garden’s Border Bridge every Thursday, 5-7 p.m.

Just show up ready to help at the Boylston Street border. FOPG is looking for champion volunteer weeders to help maintain the now-beautiful Boylston Street border and the Beacon Street border in the Public Garden. Gloves, kneepads, and some brief instructions on weed identification will be provided. No previous experience necessary and one can participate every week, a couple of weeks, or only once.

Participants will get a free Friends of the Public Garden t-shirt and a book about the Public Garden.

Email [email protected] if interested in volunteering.

NABB UPDATE

  • Licensing and Building Use Committee. NABB’s Licensing and Building Use Committee meets regularly on the first Monday of each month at 7 p.m. at the Lenox Hotel. For more information, please contact the Committee’s Chair Elliott Laffer at [email protected]
  • Architecture Committee. NABB’s Architecture Committee usually meets on the first Wednesday of each month at 6:30 p.m. The meeting will be in the Clausen Room of the New England College of Optometry, 424 Beacon Street, to review applications coming before the City’s Back Bay Architectural Commission. For more information, please contact Sue Prindle through the NABB office at 617-247-3961 or by email to [email protected]
  • Summer Solstice Wine Tasting. Enjoy the longest day of the year on June 21 sipping summer whites and sparkling wines in the garden terrace of a beautiful private home. Address will be sent via confirmation email. Note: There is one flight of stairs down to the garden level. In case of rain, we will move indoors. This event is limited to a maximum of 50 people. To RSVP, make payment of $35 member / $40 non-member before cutoff of June 14th. Questions? Contact [email protected]

Wine Tasting Committee: Charlotte DeWitt, Andrew Friedland, Emily Gallup, Jim Hill, Nancy Hubeck, Lynne Levitsky, Sheri Olans, Joyce Roetter, and Bob Umans.

SOUTH END SUMMER SOULSTICE

The 5th Annual South End Summer Solstice will take place on Weds., June 21, from 5:30 to 9 p.m.

The annual summer get-together is sponsored by Washington Gateway Main Street and will take place in Blackstone Square.

As always, there will be live music, food trucks, beer and wine garden, and lots of fun activities for the entire family. This year’s Summer Solstice is a part of Make Music Boston, a series of free music events throughout the City.

ELLIS, BLACKSTONE AND GIRARD

There will be a wine tasting at the new Girard building, 50 Malden St.

Join members of The Ellis South End Neighborhood Association, BFSNA and the Girard Apartments for a tasting of delicious summer wines at the penthouse of the new Girard Complex, where one can sip and enjoy breathtaking views of the South End. Tickets are $20. Please email [email protected] for more information.

MIKE KELLEY HOUSE PARTY

Randi and Bob Lathrop are hosting an evening with District 2 Candidate Mike Kelley on Weds., June 28, at 5:30 p.m.

The event will take place at 5 Haven St. in the South End. Suggested contributions are $500 to $50.

MASSPORT AIRPLANE NOISE COMPLAINT LINE

Residents who are being disturbed by airplane noise are encouraged to call the MassPort Noise Hotline 24 hours a day. The phone number is (617) 561-3333.

FREE FITNESS CLASSES AT THE PRU

Free fitness classes at Prudential Center are back and start next week. Below is a list for the FIT on the Garden series. Classes are scheduled with some of Boston’s top fitness instructors for Wednesdays in June from 6-7 p.m. at Prudential Center.

  • June 14 Trainer: Laura Mucci; Studio: EveryBodyFights Gym / Flywheel; Class: Bootcamp / Yoga
  • June 21 Trainer: Izzy VanHall; Studio: YogaWorks; Class: Hip Hop Yoga
  • June 28 Trainer: Sarah Gaines; Studio: CYC / Burn Fitness; Class: Bootcamp HIIT

PINE STREET INN GOOD NEIGHBOR HOTLINE

Residents who have any problems or concerns related to the Pine Street Inn on East Berkeley Street and Harrison Avenue in the South End are invited to call the Good Neighbor Line. Security Director Kevin Smith said they are glad to get calls from the neighborhood and would address any matter brought to their attention.

The number is (617) 892-9210.

GOLDMAN DENTAL SCHOOL MEETING

Boston University/BMC Community Task Force will meet on Thursday, June 8, at 5:30 p.m. at 100 E. Newton St. in Room 302.

The purpose of the meeting is to present Boston University’s proposed second amendment to the existing 2010 Institutional Master Plan – the renovation and expansion of the Henry M. Goldman School of Dental Medicine as a Proposed Institutional Project. The proposed project includes a new addition of up to 50,000 square feet of Gross Floor Area (“GFA”) and renovation of up to 65,000 GFA of existing building space, with up to 35,000 GFA of the existing building space to remain untouched. The program includes clinical, office, instructional, and student collaborative spaces on seven levels.

SOUTH END DATES

  • The St. John the Baptist Greek Orthodox Church will hold its Spring Greek Festival on June 17 and 18. There will be homemade Greek food, music and dancing. The church is located on Union Park Street.
  • The Blackstone/Franklin Square Neighborhood Association will hold its annual scholarship reception on Tuesday, June 20, at 7 p.m. in the [email protected], 725 Harrison Ave. The reception will bring together the winning college-bound students from the neighborhood with neighbors who have generously given towards the fund.
  • The Old Dover Neighborhood Association will hold its next meeting on Tuesday, June 20, at 6:30 p.m. There will be no meetings planned for July or August.
  • Peters Park Fundraiser, the Friends of Peters Park and Old Dover Neighborhood Association will hold a fundraiser for the park on Thayer Street, June 8, from 6-8 p.m. There event will be hosted by GTI Properties, and there will be hamburgers from B.Good and beverages from Aquitaine. Music is planned, as is a raffle from local merchants. The suggested donation is $20-50.
  • The Eight Streets Neighborhood Association will meet on Tuesday, June 13, at 7 p.m. in Project Place, 1145 Washington St. The Association will hear from Candidate Ed Flynn, the owners of the new Wine Gallery on Tremont Street, and a lodging house application at 4 Milford St. Additionaly, there will be Friends Group updates.
  • The annual Ellis South End Neighborhood Association Fundraiser, Celebrating the Neighborhood, will be held on June 11 at Mistral, starting at 5:30 p.m. Sponsorship and advertising opportunities are available; tickets are $125. Visit the website, EllisNeighborhood.org, to register.
  • Worcester Square Area Neighborhood Association has set its concert schedule for the summer. They will have music in the Square every third Thursday in June, July and August. The bands aren’t yet confirmed, but July’s music will be a return to the operatic music.
  • Stoop Parties are back. The Eight Streets Neighborhood Association will hold its first Stoop Night of the summer on Friday, June 23, on Dwight Street.

FENWAY/SOUTH END HOURS FOR CONGRESSMAN CAPUANO

Congressman Michael Capuano will hold office hours for the Fenway and South End neighborhoods on the second Thursday of every month at the Fenway Community Health Center, 1340 Boylston St.

The hours are from noon to 1 p.m. and will have a representative from Capuano’s office in attendance.

BCEC PRESENTS BOSTON’S FUTURE BUILDINGS

The Boston Clean Energy Coalition will be hosting “Boston’s Future Buildings: How Do We Get to Net Zero?” on June 15, 2017 from 7:30p.m. to 9:00p.m. at the First Church in Jamaica Plain, 6 Eliot Street.

Experts will examine the financial, political, legal and technical challenges on how to make net-zero carbon construction happen in Boston.

Jacqueline Royce of the Neighborhood Association of the Back Bay will be leading a part of the discussion. It will include some related pipeline issues and is one of a series of other planned public meetings on fracked gas pipelines and net zero buildings.

Featured speakers will include Boston City Councilor Matt O’Malley who will be moderating, John Cleveland of the Boston Green Ribbon Commission, Henrietta Davis the former Mayor of Cambridge, Joan Fitzgerald the professor of public policy and urban affairs at Northeastern University, Stephanie Horowitz of ZeroEnergy Design and Cammy Peterson of the Metropolitan Area Planning Council.

SOUTH END LANDMARKS TO LOSE PRESERVATION PLANNER

The South End Landmarks Commission (SELC) will be saying farewell to Katherine Reed their preservation planner. Reed will be moving to Pittsburg to be closer to her family in Cleveland and take advantage of the lower cost of living.

In a letter Reed stated, “I have really enjoyed my time here, and am sad to be leaving! I have learned so much about development, preservation, and construction management…thanks for helping me along the way.”

Reed was also in charge of the Mission Hill Triangle Architectural Conservation District and the St. Botolph Area Architectural Conservation District Commission.

Her last day will be June 16, 2017.

BVNA BEGINS TALKS ON MITIGATION FUNDS FOR 212 STUART ST DEVELOPMENT

The Bay Village Neighborhood Association (BVNA) has established a sub-committee to talk about mitigation funds with the developers, Transom Real Estate, LLC, the developers behind the proposed 212 Stuart St. project.

The project has yet to be in front of the Boston Planning and Development Agency (BPDA) for a vote but is expected to come up sometime this summer.

Although nothing is set in stone, the BVNA sub-committee determined a wish list of improvements they would like to see in the neighborhood from improved lighting and irrigation in parks, more big belly trash cans, bike racks, and additional security cameras.

They determined that it would $300,000 for mitigation funds that will go towards the City to make improvements to the parks along with $250,000 to go to the BVNA for additional projects in the neighborhood.

Ideas included hiring people from Project Place to keep the parks clean and maintained, creating a historic way finding signage system, and supplement the parks funding.

BVNA SUPPORTS CHANGING DIRECTION OF ISABELLA STREET

In an effort to help calm the traffic that runs along Arlington Street in Bay Village, the neighborhood association supports changing the direction of Isabella St., that currently lets out on Arlington St in front of a pedestrian crosswalk.

Drivers who often exit Isabella St. run into a lot of traffic coming from the left and may not notice a pedestrian trying to cross Arlington St on the right.

In addition, many drivers cut across Isabella St. to get to the I-90 entrance faster. By changing the direction drivers would have to make the full loop up Columbus Ave., and back down Arlington St.

A petition of the residents of Isabella St. must be made before the direction of the street can occur.

 

TWO NEW HOTELS ARE PROPOSED FOR KENMORE SQUARE

Two developers, Mark Development and Buckminster, have jointly filed a letter of intent to the Boston Planning and Development Agency (BPDA) to build two new hotels on either side of Beacon Street in Kenmore Square, that if constructed will be the tallest buildings in the neighborhood.

The Proposed Project, according to the letter, will redevelop the western edge of the Square that is now home to a one story Citizens Bank at 660 Beacon Street and construction of a new hotel behind the Boston Hotel Buckminster at 645 Beacon Street.

“The Proposed Project will create additional, badly-needed Boston hotel rooms at a range of price points, supporting the nearby Back Bay business district, the Longwood Medical Area, and area attractions,” the letter said.

The partner bid to the BPDA will allow potential zoning changes to reach a wider area but it still permits each hotel to be constructed separately.

The project will put in ground floor and streetscape improvements to better knit together the complex intersection, in which cars dominate despite heavy pedestrian use.

The Mark Development component will replace the Citizens Bank building with a new hotel containing about 375 rooms, with a building height of 24 stories at 260 feet, and a gross floor area of about 164,000 square feet. It will include some underground parking.

The Buckminster component that will consist of two parcels located at 655-665 Beacon Street and 651 Beacon Street will construct a new hotel on the site of what are now a parking lot and four-story concrete building.

It will consist of 388 hotel rooms, with a building height of about 19 stories and 210 feet and a gross floor area of about 211,000 square feet. It will also have some underground parking.

The developers plan on filing a Project Notification Form and a Planned Development Area during this summer.

“Kenmore Square is a lively hub for education, hospitality, dining, and living, and it is the main entry point to Fenway Park, Boston’s most famous sports venue,” the letter read. “The Proposed Project will redevelop the remaining underutilized parcels at the western edge of the Square, transforming them by building modern, high-rise hotels that flank and define this important public space.”

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