New Greenhills bakery topped by nine condos wins approval

Rendering of new Greenhills building

Rendering by Choo & Company.

The owners of the Greenhills Bakery, 780 Adams St., won approval on Tuesday to raze their current store to replace it with a larger bakery topped with three additional floors with nine condos.

Dermot and Cindy Quinn have run the bakery for 33 years now. Their attorney, John Pulgini, said they are looking for temporary space nearby to keep the bakery open during construction.

The new bakery would have 2,000 square feet on the ground floor, with a 1,200-square-foot kitchen in the basement, Pulgini said.

The condos would range between 627 and 861 square feet. One would be sold as affordable. The new building would have no parking of its own, but Pulgini said the owner of a parking lot behind their building has said he has up to 20 spaces available for rent to new residents. He added the building is a five-minute walk from the Mattapan Line and seven minutes from Ashmont station.

However, parking proved to be a bone of contention at the hearing.

Vincent DePalo, attorney for John Lydon, who owns two nearby commercial buildings with 14 retail tenants, blasted the proposal, saying all those new residents in a commercial district would only clog up parking spaces and harm the "mom and pop" stores he leases to. And if you let in one project like this, it sets a precedent for even more such parking-space takers, he said, adding that despite repeated requests, Lydon "has not have any substantive discussions with the developer" to discuss his concerns.

One of Lydon's tenants, Heather Younger of Top Shelf Cookies at the corner of Adams Street and Gallivan Boulevard, said she already struggles with parking on a daily basis and that she has had people tell her they won't come to Adams Village because parking is so difficult. "I can't be in support of anything that makes parking more difficult" for her customers, she said.

Pulgini called Lydon's concerns "kind of disingenuous." Pulgini said he has, in fact, had several conversations with both Lydon and DePalo and that both have his cell number. He noted that Lydon is himself proposing a bar with planned occupancy of 120 people at his building at Adams and Gallivan - and with a 1 a.m. closing time. He said that has way more potential for affecting traffic than nine condos.

The Quinns "are not blow-ins," Pulgini said. "They have been working their butts off for 33 years."

Greenhills had supporters at the hearing.

Mary Swanton, executive director of the Irish Pastoral Centre, said Greenhills and the Quinns are key to the "Irish heritage area" that Adams Village is.

John Weir of Myrtlebank Ave. offered praise as well. The Quinns, he said, "have been very good" for the neighborhood.

In addition to the lack of parking, the project also needed a variance because it exceeded the street's 40-foot height limit - by 2 feet. Pulgini said the reason for that was so that the ground floor would better blend in with neighboring commercial buildings, but that if the board required, the project could be lowered by the 2 feet to meet zoning. The board raised no issues about the height.

The board's unanimous approval included a proviso that the Quinns work with the BPDA and Boston Transportation Department to figure out ways to minimize parking impact during construction.


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