The Cronin Group, which owns the Brighton Beer Garden on Market Street, tonight proposed tearing it down to make room for an apartment building of up to seven stories.
Michael Kineavy, the company's chief operating officer (and former aide to Tom Menino, shown at right), appeared before the Brighton Allston Improvement Association to ask its suggestions on the company's initial proposal, which showed 34 apartments in a seven-story building with commercial space on the ground floor, 24 parking spaces and a roof deck.
The consensus: The building is too tall. And Cronin should see if it could work with St. Columbkille to rent parking spaces in its large lot across the street.
Kineavy said the building, which, of course, would have no units with more than two bedrooms, would appeal to the sort of young professionals who would want to be near numerous bus lines and, eventually, the commuter rail station that New Balance will build up the street. Part of the draw, he said, would be dedicated storage spaces for bicycles.
He added the building, by adding more residents to Brighton Center would help perk up the surrounding business district.
But residents said seven stories would be too tall in an area where no buildings are taller than four stories. And while Brighton Center could use some more density, residents worried the building would set in motion a cavalcade of what one described as South Boston-style development - far too much in what is basically a small-town center.
Residents also disputed whether the young professionals would be as disinclined to own cars as Kineavy said, in part because many people who live in the city now work in the suburbs, which you can't get to by public transit or bicycle.
Kineavy said he took the criticisms to heart and would come back to the group with a revised plan. He noted the company has yet to begin the formal process for seeking city permits and approvals.
The company's initial plans showed the building moved ten feet back from the property line with the adjoining and historic Market Street cemetery - the current restaurant building goes right to the line. A company architect said that even at seven stories, the building would not cast shadows on the cemetery.
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