CAMH Votes on Three New Projects

Around 35 people gathered at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health on Wednesday, January 16, for the first meeting of 2019 of the Community Alliance of Mission Hill (CAMH).

Those in attendance included about 16 Mission Hill residents, a handful of presenters hoping to develop properties in the area, as well as representation from Pine Street Inn, the Mayor’s Office, and the office of State Rep. Nina Elugardo, who represents Mission Hill.

At the start of the meeting, attendees were asked to share their goals for Mission Hill in the new year. Wishes included cleaner streets, more affordable housing, more eco-friendly buildings, a 24-hour police beat, quality development, improved neighbor relationships, more families, effective snow removal efforts and a higher attendance at CAMH meetings. A representative from the Mayor’s Office said she hoped for a more robust relationship with CAMH in 2019.

On the agenda were properties at 1520  Tremont St., 1427 Tremont St. and 101-105 Heath St.

The first to present was Thomas Pham, who is applying for a common victualler license for a Taiwanese tea and dessert shop at 1520 Tremont Street. His menu features traditional dessert teas made with boba (chewy sweetened tapioca pearls), as well as popcorn chicken and colorful ice-cream cones with a variety of toppings. The nearest shop featuring such items is Chatime in the Symphony area. The plans for the shop, which would be called BobaMe, include a sleek, modern interior, free wi-fi, a sitting area and takeout. The hours would be from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Monday through Wednesday and 11 a.m. to noon Thursday through Sunday.

CAMH voted unanimously to approve BobaMe.

John Pulgini and architect Lucio Trabucco presented their idea for a four-story property in the same building as AK Pizza at 1427 Tremont St. The ground level would include a 900 square-foot garage for five vehicles, as well as 950 square feet of retail space. The second, third and fourth floors would each have three rental units a piece. Each unit would be entitled to one off-street parking space. The building would have a brick veneer and fiberglass windows and would be the same height as other properties on the block. Cast iron would frame out the retail space to distinguish it from the residences. A separate area for dumpsters is included in the garage portion of the layout. In terms of who will occupy the retail space, presenters said they are open to “whatever fits the neighborhood.”

CAMH was tied 6-6 on whether to support or oppose the project, so it will not take a stance either way.

The last presenters were Patrick Mahoney, a zoning attorney, and architect Phil Hresko who are proposing a four-story residential building at 101-105 Heath St. The first floor would feature retail space and nine parking spaces. The second, third and fourth floors would each have three condos for purchase. The facade would be simple masonry with glass, taking its inspiration from the local brewery building. The retail space would be the offices of the condo manager.

CAMH voted nearly unanimously in favor of the project, with only one rejection and one abstention.

Also on the agenda were general community updates and concerns.

The representative from the Mayor’s Office said that some residents have been harassed by door-to-door salesmen who claim to be from National Grid, as well as by callers pretending to be from Social Security. She encourages residents to report all such activity and to warn neighbors.

She also announced that there are planned improvements to the E Line of the MBTA, and that the city will be conducting its annual homeless census. The next meeting of CAMH will be Wednesday, Feb. 27, 7 p.m. in room G-2 of the Kresge Building of the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health at 677 Huntington Ave. Email [email protected] for more information.

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