It's a long way to Tipperary - and Newport, OR

MassDOT reports that tomorrow state officials will post a new Rte. 20 marker in Kenmore Square - marking the 3,365 miles to Newport, OR, which make the highway the longest continuous road in the US.

Officials in Newport, OR will, in turn, place a similar sign noting the distance to Boston.

The official ceremony begins at 9 a.m. - and marks almost a year since somebody filed a formal complaint over the lack of any signage noting the end of the transcontinental federal route.

Abandoned West Roxbury gas station to be replaced by condos

The Zoning Board of Appeals yesterday approved tearing down the long abandoned gas station on Belgrade Avenue off West Roxbury Parkway to make way for an 18-unit condo building with 33 parking spaces.

To cram in the extra parking requested by nearby residents, the building will use car "stackers" in a basement garage.

Attorney John Pulgini added that lot owner John Douros - who worked at the gas station as a teen - is working with the city to do something about the intersection of Belgrade and Beech Street, where Pulgini acknowledged that drivers routinely ignore the stop sign and pedestrians get to consider themselves lucky if they can get across the street in one piece. Options include extending the sidewalks a bit to try to force drivers to stop and painting actual crosswalks.

Six-story condo building in Edward Everett Square wins approval

The Zoning Board of Appeals yesterday approved a six-story, 40-unit condo building at 1258-1272 Massachusetts Ave., next to the new Dorchester Brewing Co.

Developer Douglas George's single building - he had originally proposed dividing the project into two - will have 10 studios, 15 1-bedroom units and 15 2-bedroom units, along with commercial space on the first floor that he's hoping to lease to a restaurant, likely a pizza place. Five units will be sold as affordable.

The building will have 37 parking spaces - compared to the roughly 65 it would normally require. Attorney George Morancy noted its proximity to "multi-modal rapid transit."

To ease concerns of the New England Regional Council of Carpenters, which has a union hall behind the site, George agreed to shrink the height of the building from 69 to 62 feet - by making each individual floor a bit shorter - and to move the building about 4 1/2 feet closer to Mass. Ave., increasing the distance from the rear property line.

A resident of a home across Mass. Ave. opposed the proposal, calling it "gigantic" and saying it would only add to traffic congestion on the street, which she said has grown worse since the brewery opened, and which she predicted will get even worse once the new shopping mall next to South Bay opens.

The BPDA approved the proposal in October.

1258-1272 Mass. Ave. filing with the BPDA (11.5M PDF).

Lot by lot, buildings on Havre Street in East Boston getting taller

The Zoning Board of Appeals yesterday approved a four-story condo building at 194 Havre St., next to the lot where the same family is currently building another four-story building - on a block where most of the other houses are two or three stories.

Joseph Fareta's proposed nine-unit building will replace a single-family house and will be four feet taller than the maximum allowed by the street's zoning.

The building will have eight parking spaces. Attorney Richard Lynds said the first eight buyers of units will get one of the spaces; the last will have to find parking elsewhere.

One neighbor, who bought his house just two months ago, spoke against the proposal, saying the building would be too high - "it's just going to hover above my house."

Condo building on Border Street in East Boston wins approval

Architect's rendering.

The Zoning Board of Appeals yesterday approved a developer's plan to replace auto-body repair shops with a six-story condo building at 301-303 Border St.

The BPDA had approved City Realty's plans for the $21.6-million, 64-condo project, which will include ten 3-bedroom units and consolidate five lots into one, last month.

Mayor Walsh and City Councilor Sal LaMattina backed the plan. LaMattina particularly praised the company's plans to "adopt" the small park and stairs that now connect Meridian and Border streets by cleaning it up, removing an ugly wall and adding plantings and WiFi.

The building will have only 42 parking spaces, in a first-floor garage. Attorney Jeff Drago, however, said the project will mean more on-street parking for residents by eliminating ten curb cuts along the block. He added residents will be able to use the Umana school's parking lot, at least between roughly 4 p.m. and 6 a.m.

A Meridian Street resident submitted a petition signed by 60 residents opposed to the building's height and number of parking spaces. Board Chairwoman Christine Araujo voted for the project, but told Drago she hoped his client would continue to look for additional parking for building residents.

301-303 Border St. project notification form (18.5M PDF).

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