CNC Gives Good Reviews to Sawyer Lot Project; Supports Master Plan

The Charlestown Neighborhood Council (CNC) met on Tuesday night and gave thumbs up to a project on a Bunker Hill Street parking lot, and also agreed to support to the Charlestown Preservation Society (CPS) Master Plan effort.

CJ Doherty and Jeff Doherty of Prime Design appeared first to present a nine-unit apartment building with 23 parking spots on the vacant lot at the corner of Bunker Hill and Meade streets – a lot known as Sawyer’s Lot.

Doherty said the project is a single building about four stories tall with nine units, starting at two-bedrooms and up. He said a big part of their agreement is to put something on the street that preserves the character of the neighborhood and St. Francis Church.

“A big part of our agreement with Mrs. Sawyer is we are still Charlestown people and don’t want to fundamentally change the look and feel of Bunker Hill Street,” he said. “We have an element of stewardship wo make it look like it was always there and fits the neighborhood. We won’t push the envelope on zoning and put something there that doesn’t fit the neighborhood.”

He said one new aspect is that there will be flood protection built into the project to drain and store water from a 100-year storm. That will provide protection for people below the hill, whereas now there is no stormwater storage on the lot.

He said they hope to sell the units as condos, and would like to see them fetch between $800,000 and $1.1 million in this market. They do expect to include one parking space with each unit, and additional spaces could be purchased.

The hope is to start as soon as possible, he said. They plan to file with the City next week, and believe they could start in June or July. If that is the case, the project could be completed by October 2020.

Lisa Collins said she thought it looked like a good project, and several on the CNC agreed that it was a good fit for the empty lot.

“I want to thank you for the look of it,” she said. “It looks like it fits. It looks like it should be there. I remember what was there a long time ago, and this looks like it fits.”

•Later in the meeting, members of the CPS were on hand to present their letter to the CNC for review – a letter sent out this week to the Boston Planning and Development Agency (BPDA) calling for a Master Plan and Landmarks District study.

The CNC enthusiastically said they endorsed the idea, and agreed to craft a similar letter to the City on their own letterhead to lend support to the effort.

“We want everyone involved; no one is excluded,” said Amanda Zettel of the CPS. “At this point, we’re just trying to get a seat at the table for a study with the BPDA.”

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