The Zoning Board of Appeal yesterday gave developers who first proposed a 94-unit residential building at 135 Bremen St., in East Boston in 2014 another eight months to begin actual construction or risk having their approval rescinded.
The BPDA approved the project, proposed by Michael Merullo and Joseph Ricupero for the corner of Bremen and Porter streets, in 2014, followed by zoning-board approval in 2015. The BPDA then approved it again in 2017 after the developers proposed changing the building from rental units to condos.
The project's zoning approval expired in June, and at a hearing yesterday, Acting ZBA Chairman Mark Erlich at first seemed reluctant to grant an extension because the board is reluctant to roll over approvals that have already expired - - an issue that has taken on some added urgency because of its role in the zoning bribery case.
But after the developer's attorney, Jeff Drago, said the delays were due to working with the T, board members allowed as how the could see that, but just don't let the next extension expire if another one is needed.
Drago said the delays in starting construction were due specifically to the complexities of building above the Blue Line tunnel that runs under the site. He said the T would not even start talking to him or the developers' engineers until after they had won all the required permits from city agencies, and then work on borings and designs to ensure the building did not affect the tunnel at all took additional time.
135 Bremen St. documents.