Zoning Board Approves Variances

The Revere Zoning Board approved several variances for Gate Residential Properties LLC for housing construction at 21 Revere Beach Blvd. and 20-50 Ocean Ave.

Damion Zarri, with Gate Residential explained that the two separate projects would create a 200-unit project. He said plans call for a 127-unit mixed-use development at 21 Revere Beach Blvd., and 73 units in the rear building at 20-50 Ocean Ave.

Gate Residential is requesting the minimum for parking requirements for apartments, retail use and restaurant use. In addition it seeks a minimum loading space requirement for restaurant use and a minimum screening for an off-street parking area.

He said initial  plans call for a 1.21 parking ratio, which is 142 spaces. He noted they are also building 38 spaces on Ocean Avenue parcel and this will make the parking ratio 1.4 parking spaces

“It’s all being designed consistent with the RC2 zoning district and we’re also designing for the “creative arts” district not yet on zoning maps for the city,” Zarri said. The creative arts district runs from the Gate Residential Property all the way to Shirley Avenue to encourage retail, restaurant, art galleries, and seasonal open space.

“Our development includes a 4,000 square-foot restaurant, a series of arcade/retail spaces covering 1,600 square feet,” Zarri said, calling the area a highly underutilized one and an area that will have upgraded sidewalks and a rebuilt boardwalk.

Ward 1 Councillor Joanne McKenna said she was pleased with the recent deed restriction that states the two buildings can only be sold together. She also noted that the front building would block the view of the people who live at Surfside Lofts.

“I don’t know how we can help them with their concerns because they bought there because of the views of the beach,” McKenna said, adding she feels strongly about developing Revere Beach.” It’s long overdue. We have parcels that haven’t been built on, buildings falling down. Anything that brings revenue to the city and brings people to Revere Beach, I’m in favor of.”

Bob O’Brien, director of development for Revere, is also a resident of Surfside Lofts at 10 Ocean Ave. He made it clear to the Zoning Board he was there for the city. He called that the two parcels under discussion are some of the most attractive waterfront parcels in the northeast.

“It’s very timely they’re now being developed as residential,” O’Brien said, adding that the restaurant and retail space is also timely and requests that came from the councillors, the mayor and the city. “This is a very worthy project.”

This will be Gate Residential’s third property in Revere totaling more than $270 million investment.

Laura Libby, of Surfside Lofts, spoke for the trustees and their support of the project.

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