How much time does this guy devote to choosing which brand of cereal to buy?

There’s a plot of land at the corner of Commercial Street and “Joe Tecce Way” (?) that seems ripe for development.

On the site is a tennis court, rarely used (is it gone, in fact?), a three-story building (most recently occupied by Roche Bobois), and a couple parking lots.

The perfect site for a residential building, wouldn’t you think?

You would, unless you live in the North End.

Under the proposal by the developer, Gilchrest Associates, detailed in a public meeting 10 days ago in the former store’s showroom, that building would be razed and an eight-story, 62-unit residence built in its place.

The new development, according to developer Byron Gilchrest , would include several benefits for the neighborhood: a better connection between the North End and the North Station area, and creation of much-needed housing and public amenities such as a restaurant, health club, marina, and small inn.

Each of those, however, was quickly shot down by residents who spoke out, sometimes angrily, during a question-and-answer session after the presentation.

“With all these big high-rises, they’re pushing all the little people out. This is supposed to be a neighborhood, and now they’re ruining it.”

The area is only zoned for buildings up to 50 feet, apparently. I am all for following the rules when it comes to zoning. In this case, however, I feel strongly that there is no downside to allowing the developer to build up to eight stories. The developer should be granted a variance.

The area is practically industrial, all around, with a parking lot across the street (which is taller than three stories, I think), a funeral parlor, and little else.

Let’s be serious, and pick our fights more carefully, okay people???

More information: Condo plan meets grumbling – By Will Kilburn, The Boston Globe

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