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Amrheins replacement wins final board approval

80 West Broadway rendering

Rendering by Stantec.

The Zoning Board of Appeal today approved plans to replace the historic Amrheins restaurant and its parking lot on West Broadway with a five-story office building with room for a new, reduced-size Amrheins.

Developers Matteson Companies and GFI Partners agreed to a proviso that the R&D allowed in the building would only be "dry" R&D - "nothing with biotech or viruses or any of that stuff," attorney Jared Eigerman said. Eigerman gave a couple of his clients elsewhere as examples of the sort of work that would be allowed: A company in Fort Point Channel that prototyped military helmets and one in Liberty Square that used its space to develop specialized LEDs.

Beside letting nearby residents not worry about infectious organisms, the limitation means the building will have much smaller HVAC equipment on the roof - life-sciences labs require more extensive, and potentially noisier, ventilation systems on the roof.

The proposal calls for retention of the shell of the original Amrheins building right at the corner of West Broadway and A Street. The restaurant will shrink from its current full-service size to something more akin to a deli.

The mayor's office and the office of City Councilor Ed Flynn supported the proposal. Nobody spoke in opposition.

80 West Broadway filings.

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Voting closed 8

Couldn't they at least try to have a facade that echoes the appearance of the shell of the original building? It doesn't have to be identical, but at least incorporate the colors or some of the architectural details so there's some sort of acknowledgement of the design of the historic structure.

Voting closed 6

You been down Old Colony recently?

Voting closed 9

But I'm not complaining that the majority of the facade is typical 21st century cookie-cutter architecture -- that's to be expected. They could at least have chosen colors that would harmonize with the historic structure and added architectural details to further that effort.

They don't need to make the new building look exactly the same as the Amrheins structure. Take a look at the Lucas on Shawmut Ave.: https://goo.gl/maps/dLMVympALmURhstq9 The new part is completely different from the historic church, but the lines of the windows and the metal ribs echo architectural elements of the church's facade. It doesn't feel like some sort of half-assed effort which screams: "We only kept this old part because the city told us we had to."

Voting closed 8

One in a million.

Voting closed 7

I hate it!

Voting closed 2

Southie folks love shitting on any change (unless one of their own stands to profit on it!) This should all be housing. Have a great day!

Voting closed 9