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Condos to replace old South Boston theater

420 West Broadway rendering

Two stories in front, six stories in back. Rendering by Rode Architects, Inc.

The Board of Appeal today approved plans to replace the old Broadway Theater, 420 West Broadway, with a 42-unit condo building that will preserve the theater's old facade and lobby on Broadway and replace the seven-story theater space fronting Athens Street with six stories of residences.

Developer Brian Crowley's plans, which include 42 parking spaces for residents, accessed via Athens Street, were approved by the BPDA board last month.

Crowley's attorney, Joseph Hanley, told the board this morning the project, which he said will replace a building that has been "distressed and vacant since the 1980s," will also include roughly 1,300 square feet of retail space along Broadway.

The theater lobby will be turned into entrance space for both the commercial space and the residences, he said.

The mayor and Councilor Bill Linehan supported the proposal. An aide to City Councilor Michael Flaherty called the proposal "a good project," but said the councilor formally opposed it because of issues related to the overall rezoning of South Boston.

In response to one Athens Street residents' concerns about decks facing her street, Hanley said the plans had been redrawn to make them smaller "terraces" and that Crowley will plant evergreens on that side of the building.

420 West Broadway small-project review application (2.1M PDF).

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Comments

Seems like a good use of space.

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the Bug House?

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Why a property in a prime location like this has been allowed to sit empty for so long, without rehab or redevelopment or demolition, I don't understand.

CinemaTreasures page about this theatre

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Money. Why else? If they sold this when it closed down they'd be lucky to get $100k for it.

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Nobody makes any money or collects any rent on a vacant property. That's 35 years of lost revenue.

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I hope it's haunted.

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Keep all the immigrants down the Lower End. Tell them it's within walking distance of Stats and Lincoln.

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1 unit for each floor. prices would have started at 1.5 million. and it would have been large enough for a family (read: no frat boys, no miserable life long residents).

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... I had hoped over the last 20+ years that the theatre would be saved, like the Fairmount in Hyde Park, but wasn't meant to be. It would be fantastic to have a place in Southie to see classics movies, local theatre and bands.
For many years the Broadway sat open to the elements, soiling whatever was left in there (maybe even washing away all the built up goo from the floors!). It would've taken a substantial amount of money and commitment to restore and maintain.
All that said, this looks like a decent project and its nice that the boarded up blight will be gone from the streetscape. Just makes me a little sad.

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I remember the predecessors to the Wang and the Opera House when they were sad, faded dumps. (Fond memories: Bowie at the former, PJ Harvey at the latter.) But it took big philanthropy or private money (Mr. Wang and Clear Channel / David Mugar / Don Law, respectively) to do it. Would love to see someone find a reason to restore the Orpheum: those sprung seats are torture.

Letting the Bug House become just another residential development does seem like a missed opportunity for Southie. It's great having the revitalized BCA, with the Calderwood, Cyclorama, Black Box and galleries, in the South End.

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so it's like an architectural mullet then

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