Since filing a Project Notification Form (PNF) with the Boston Planning and Development Agency the developers of One Mystic Owner have made changes to the project.
At a meeting Tuesday night with Charlestown residents hosted by the BPDA, the developer’s architect Aeron Hodges explained that when the PNF wasd filed her clients looked to construct 695 residential units in a 29 story building with ground food commercial space. The updated plans look to construct a 478,880-gross-square-foot, 25-story building with 639 units on the site currently occupied by the BellSimons Cos. Flynn’s Auto Salvage, a transformer building, and a cell tower.
According to Hodges the building will have studio, one-bedroom, and two-bedroom apartments, as well as 37 three-bedroom apartments added to accommodate families. In their filing the developers also call for 17 percent of the units to be income-restricted under the BPDA’s Inclusionary Development Program units. This is five percent more income-restricted units than required and first pitched to the community last winter.
Peter Gori from the development team also expanded on some ground floor activation concepts for the project.
“We will create space for a variety of different small businesses who either want to grow their businesses or relocate or expand with additional units here at One Mystic,” said Gori. “The idea here is for a full service restaurant, a small market that would be sort of a neighborhood grocer. There would likely be a coffee shop or cafe component as well as smaller retail. We’re looking at a variety of different service retail uses like a fine wine shop, boutique, fitness (center), which have been located in Sullivan Square in the past.”
Gori said there would be a focus on creating women owned and minority owned small businesses at the site.
“That subsidy would be something that we would do, above and beyond other mitigation strategies because we really need to make sure that these local businesses, particularly small women owned and minority owned businesses, are successful here and the cost of capital to build out these spaces would be largely borne by the landlord,” he said.
Overall the community’s response to the changes made to the project were positive from a majority of the residents in attendance at Tuesday’s meeting.
“I just want to (go on record) in support of the One Mystic Project,” said resident Mark Russell. “I’m a lifelong resident and I think in this area this project will bring back many jobs that are already suffering because of the coronavirus pandemic. I’d be working right now if this job was going. So I just wanted to put my full support behind this project.”
Carl Alexander of Friends of the Mystic to Charles, a community group that advocates for the dedication of pedestrian and bicycle facilities between the Mystic and Charles River, said he likes the project said it would be a wonderful opportunity to finally connect the site to the future Mystic River pitbike bridge as well as the Mystic River paths that will follow the rail alignment on the northwest edges of the site.
“I just wanted to highlight that there’s a really great opportunity here,” said Alexander. “We’d love for you guys to explore that further.”
Council representative for the Sheet Metal Workers Local 17 Michael Burns went on record as well supporting the project.
“So I just want to rise tonight on behalf of my membership to support this project,” said Burns. “We feel it’s a great project for many local residents, minorities, women, and men to work on a quality construction project. This will be a project that will adhere to area standard wages and benefits, provide quality health care and retirement plans to allow our membership to retire with dignity. This project will also adhere to the strictest safety standards through bona fide apprenticeship training programs. But again, I want to stress more importantly, this is a project that will support our community residents.”
Another resident added that as a young renter in Charlestown he strongly supports this project because the mitigations proposed far outweigh the impacts and well an increase in economic activity around the area.