NEWRA Defers Salem Street Occupancy Change

By Phil Orlandella

A change of occupancy, an update on dog recreation space, and large projects in and adjacent to the North End were discussed at the latest North End/Waterfront Residents’ Association (NEWRA) monthly meeting held in the Nazzaro Community Center.

There was also a presentation by Representative Aaron Michlewitz relating to the possible sale of the North End Health Center on Fulton Street.

The state representative said he was “not happy with the news which will force the nursing home residents to be relocated to other facilities by Partners which owns the center.”

He along with Councilor Sal LaMattina and Senator Joseph Boncore, have joined forces to find out all the details including a reported document at City Hall that indicates the facility must be used for elderly purposes.

He also made it clear that he will do everything possible to resolve the situation and that he will fight to make sure the facility, if sold, will not be turned into high-priced condominiums. He also noted that this possible sale would not affect the North End Health Center.

Hundreds of phone calls have been made to the representative’s office from residents not happy and concerned of a possible relocation of seniors to other neighborhoods.

Apparently, the Senator and Councilor are receiving the same phone calls seeking answers.

While North End resident George Mendoza presented numerous documents indicating that the Mendoza Brothers, LLC, d/b/a Monica’s Mercato Pizza’s application to change the occupancy of the lower level at 130-130B Salem Street from dry storage to restaurant, there was much discussion on the subject.

One opposing abutter thought there should be a public vote taken, despite the proposal already being approved.

NEWRA President Ford Cavallari deferred any vote until it was positively clear that a vote was or wasn’t needed. He asked Maria Lanza of the Mayor’s Neighborhood Service Department to help clarify the vote or no vote controversy.

Both neighborhood groups, NEWRA and NEWNC supported the Mendoza brothers request at public meetings in the past.

Updates on the next steps of a dog recreation space in DeFilippo Park on Prince and Snow Hill Streets were presented by Marshall Jacques-Yarde, Outreach Coordinator and Parks Manager and Kelly Thomas, Dog Park Project Manager, Boston Parks Department.

The idea of a dog park was put forth by a local group of canine owners that call themselves Responsible Urbanites For Fido (Ruff).

Victor Brogna and David Kubiak gave updates on 88 North Washington Street Hotel and Parcel 9 development both managed by the Boston Redevelopment Authority (BRA). They claimed both projects will impact the community with environmental issues created by an increase in motor vehicle traffic.

A new page has been created, as an information resource on BRA large projects impacting the neighborhood.

The next NEWRA monthly meeting will be held on Thursday, July 14 at 7pm in the Nazzaro Community Center, 30 North Bennett Street.

An aerial view looking north-east towards the park.

An aerial view looking north-east towards the park.

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