By Stephen Quigley
On Monday night, City Councillors held their first official hearing of the proposed apartment and hotel complex that primarily seeks to draw millennials to Revere at the site of the former Shaw’s Supermarket on the Revere Beach Parkway. The hearing drew about 30 people and several proponents and opponents spoke to the Council.
The development calls for construction of a complex featuring 240 apartments in a six-story building joined to an extended stay hotel with 132 rooms in a five-story building.
Greg Bialecki, a partner in the project, said, “we are pleased to be here. We have built developments in Chelsea, Somerville and Quincy and in each of those communities, officials pointed out how these developments have been a benefit. “ He mentioned, “there are challenges to redevelop the site,” and in his presentation he noted that the developers will be funding improvements to the area that will include re-doing the sidewalk in front of the project and creating an enlarged park with trees; improved cross walks at Winthrop Avenue near the Beachmont T Station and taking responsibility to keep the small creek that runs behind the project cleaned and maintained.
There will be 1.1 parking spaces per unit for the apartment side and .5 spaces for the hotel side. Currently, zoning requires 1.5 spaces per apartment unit. Bialecki noted that most of the tenants prefer to use zip cars and take public transportation that is located less than one-third of a mile from the site, so the need for parking spaces is not as great as with other developments. Finally, he said that if approved, in the next five years Revere could receive more than $12 million in new taxes and fees as opposed to the $100,000 per year that is currently being paid.
With the hearing opened for speakers Michael Falzone spoke in favor and said, “other cities are marketing to our youth, this development is what they are looking for to stay in Revere.”
Omar Boukili, Chief Administrative Officer for Mayor Brian Arrigo said, “this development is more balanced with 240 rentals units and 132 hotel rooms. There are also positive infrastructure repairs that can be done that will benefit the entire Beachmont neighborhood.” He noted that there is a possibility of leveraging a $3.5 million grant together with the proposed improvements that the developer will be doing as part of their mitigation contract. He ended by pointing out, “this developer has an impressive track record.”
Richard Fernandez also spoke in favor saying that he has known the developers for more than 20 years and they have done a marvelous job with their other projects.”
Several of the neighbors from Standish Road spoke against the proposal. Joel Renza said, “ I abut it and we are overwhelmed.” Patty Reardon said, “ there is no way that this site can hold that many people. This could be an enormous problem in the making.” Ralph Decicco of Washington St. said, “ this is another BJ’s. Why do we need apartments, why not just a hotel?” The last speaker was John Torrento of Standish Road who said that he has lived there for 20 years and that “six stories are too much.”
The project calls for a total of 190 studio and one-bedroom apartments and the remaining 50 units to be two bedroom apartments. The developers of the project are Transdel Corp, Gate Residential Properties and LLC Redgate. The next hearing on this matter will be held by the Zoning Sub-Committee that will meet on August 22 at 4 pm.
A similiar project was proposed for this site last year. The previous project only had apartments and no hotel.