By Seth Daniel
When Andy Montelli wanted to build a second project in Everett, he rounded up his architect and development team at Post Road Residential and went to Portland, Oregon.
The Batch Yard developer told the Board of Appeals in Everett on Monday night that his team got a fresh look at something different, and they brought that experience back to Everett and have now drawn up a unique 284-unit project for the former Harley-Davidson building on the Parkway.
“We went out to Portland to see something outside of Boston,” he said. “We immersed ourselves in development circles out there. With all that behind us, we began to do a design.”
After more than an hour presentation at Monday’s meeting, the Board found that approving the project was a no-brainer – just as the Batch Yard was welcomed.
A total of eight variances were approved for the project by a vote of 5-0. Variances included allowing smaller parking spaces and less parking than was required.
“We think it’s the right building for the site,” said Montelli, who mentioned that before even starting their design their hired a top Harvard University Urban Planner to advise them on ideas. “We didn’t want to turn out backs to Revere Beach Parkway. Instead, we decided to put this beautiful courtyard that beautifully landscaped facing the Parkway.”
The 281 units will be accompanied by amenities that include an outdoor pool, fireplaces, bocce courts, a yoga area and dining areas.
“I thought the Batch Yard was a no-brainer when I heard the presentation on it, and I think this was a no-brainer also,” said Board Chair Joseph DeSisto III. “It is a very exciting time for the City of Everett. I’m really pleased that people are looking at the city I’ve lived in all my life and seeing the advantages we have by being so close to Boston. I’m glad to see you and others looking at us so favorably.”
Montelli said he believes they will deliver a building that is better than the Batch Yard and anything available in Cambridge or Somerville.
“These are people who would otherwise be living in Charlestown, the North End, Back Bay or Beacon Hill, but now they want to live in Everett,” he said of the Batch Yard residents. “We think it will be the same customers here as we had there. I think this will be even higher quality than the Batch Yard was.”
In other Board of Appeals news:
- Anthony and Marilyn Roberto of Baldwin Avenue were denied, 0-5, for their plan to put parking in the front yard of 92 Baldwin Ave. to accommodate their growing day care center. Roberto indicated that it was a solution to their parking and traffic problems at pick-up and drop-off time. However, Board members indicated they felt the business had outgrown the neighborhood and needed to seek a new location. Several neighbors were in opposition too, as well as Councilor Michael McLaughlin – who lives on the street.
- Carmine and Christina DeMaria were approved, 5-0, to convert their 2-family home on 94-96 Central Ave. into a four-family – adding two one-bedroom apartments of unknown size on the ground floor. There was no opposition, and several neighbors said they supported the petition. Attorney Peter DeLorry said the large lot is a unique “pork chop” lot in Everett, caused by subdividing many years ago. That, he said, presents quite a hardship in developing the new units and, thus, requiring variances. Carmine DeMaria formerly was a candidate for City Council and is the brother of Mayor Carlo DeMaria.