Disappointing situation down on the waterfront:

A developer with hopes of transforming a North End furniture store into the neighborhood’s next residential hotspot is calling it quits.

Local builder Byron Gilchrest recently informed City Hall and state regulators that he is suspending plans to turn 585 Commercial St. into a luxury condo project, with units starting at $1 million.

Instead, Gilchrest said yesterday he has put the building, the one-time home of Roche-Bobois and more recently the headquarters of former Gov. Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign, on the sales block.

The decision to pull the plug, first reported in the North End News, comes after two years of community battles and even more plan changes.

Some people blame the developer for not “playing” this right, that he didn’t work with the neighborhood from the beginning, or that he was asking for too much, to begin with.

Not me. If you know the location, you know there is nothing to complain about. The height he requested was appropriate for that corner, given the massing of the buildings across the street.

“Neighbors win!” read the headlines.

“Everyone else loses!” reads mine.

Source: Developer axes North End condo complex plan – By Scott Van Voorhis, The Boston Herald

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