The 600: Development Team Sees Promise at the Crown of Broadway

A development team that includes Ricky Beliveau and John Tocco is looking to stake their claim atop the crown of Broadway, proposing an 85-unit building with restaurant and retail in the 600th block of the thoroughfare – an area that hadn’t changed much in years until recently.

“I think this is a perfect location because it’s a new area for Everett,” said Beliveau. “It’s up from the casino and just above the downtown area. It’s a half-block from the Blue Bike station, it has the bus access, the Encore bus and other amenities. What we really love is that we’re at the top of the hill here. The way we designed the building creates a large number of units that will look down on the city. Plus the shared roof deck on top will have outstanding views of Boston.”

A rendering of the proposed building as submitted to the Planning Board this week – a project now known as The 600.

Said Tocco, “We want to do something that the community will really appreciate. Our goal is this is a tremendous success for the community and we are invited into more opportunities to do work here.”

Tocco – who was formerly the community liaison for Encore Boston Harbor – is now working with Beliveau via his own company, A10 Associates. The property, which is actually two properties, contains a professional medical building and the house/office of Dr. Joseph Yee. Both properties, which are directly across from the Parlin School and the upcoming 18-unit development by Greg Antonelli, will be put together to form the footprint of the new building.

The 85-unit building looks to be a modestly-priced project, starting at around $2,000 per month and containing 75 percent studio and one-bedroom units. While they have 33 parking spaces, both said the project is geared towards a market that is trying to get rid of a car to save money – such as people working at Encore or in downtown Boston that want a quick commute by bus or bike.

The duo was slated to have their first public airing of the project on Tuesday night before the Planning Board, which came after Independent deadlines.

Beliveau, of Volnay Capital, had been developing smaller properties, anywhere from 16-19 unit projects in South Boston, East Boston and Chelsea. Having known Tocco, he began to see the prospects in developing something in Everett, and recently the two found the Broadway property.

While Beliveau has 150 units currently under development, this would be the largest project the company has taken on, and it intends to be the most locally-focused as well.

One of the local angles is a proposed restaurant concept with the owner of The Square Deli. Using approximately 4,000 sq. ft. of the 8,000 sq. ft. of proposed retail, owner Chris Moreira – a trained chef – is looking to bring his deli business to the top of the hill, and also add a new restaurant concept.

“He’s very good at what he does, and with 85 units in the building, that gives him a built-in customer base,” said Tocco. “He’s committed to taking the feel of his deli to the space, and then using part of the space for a new restaurant concept. It will be a great addition to this part of Broadway.”

Still, the area is a bit of a pioneer’s territory when it comes to new development such as what they are proposing. Most of that area of Broadway – aside from McKinnon’s Market – is a sleepy area with lots of residential areas and very few businesses.

“We’re taking a chance on the restaurant,” said Tocco. “The mixed-use is a chance. Housing will work well here. However, a full-service restaurant here is a big risk. There isn’t a lot of businesses to draw people out for lunch or dinner. The other retail space is also a risk. I think it will be something everyone is very pleased with. However, there just isn’t enough activity here yet to draw people out, and that’s the risk.”

Beliveau said he was very impressed with the City’s approach to development, noting that the design standards handbook they had made the proposal much easier than in other locales. The design standard is a product of the Planning Board and the Planning Department that tells developers what the City would prefer in terms of materials and appearance for the various districts.

“The design standards really helped us in the initial design to create something the City preferred,” he said. “In many communities, it’s he said-she said. The fact they had a document explaining what they wanted, we found extremely helpful.”

If the development team gets approvals this fall, they said they could envision breaking ground in late spring of 2020.

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