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Irish bakery in Adams Village wins approval to build new space and nine condos

Rendering of proposed Greenhills Bakery and condos

Rendering by Choo & Company.

The owners of the Greenhills Bakery, 780 Adams St. in Dorchester, today won approval to raze their current store to replace it with a larger bakery topped with three additional floors with nine condos.

Dermot and Cindy Quinn have run the bakery for 33 years now. Their attorney, John Pulgini, said they are looking for temporary space nearby to keep the bakery open during construction.

The new bakery would have 2,000 square feet on the ground floor, with a 1,200-square-foot kitchen in the basement, Pulgini said.

The condos would range between 627 and 861 square feet. One would be sold as affordable. The new building would have no parking of its own, but Pulgini said the owner of a parking lot behind their building has said he has up to 20 spaces available for rend to new residents. He added the building is a five-minute walk from the Mattapan Line and seven minutes from Ashmont station.

However, parking proved to be a bone of contention at the hearing.

Vincent DePalo, attorney for John Lydon, who owns two nearby commercial buildings with 14 retail tenants, blasted the proposal, saying all those new residents in a commercial district would only clog up parking spaces and harm the "mom and pop" stores he leases to. And if you let in one project like this, well, that only sets a precedent for even more such parking-space takers, he said, adding that despite repeated requests, Lydon "has not have any substantive discussions with the developer" to discuss his concerns.

One of Lydon's tenants, Heather Younger of Top Shelf Cookies at the corner of Adams Street and Gallivan Boulevard, said she already struggles with parking on a daily basis and that she has had people tell her they won't come to Adams Village because parking is so difficult. "I can't be in support of anything that makes parking more difficult" for her customers, she said.

Pulgini called Lydon's concerns "kind of disingenuous." Pulgini said he has, in fact, had several conversations with both Lydon and DePalo and that both have his cell number. He added it's kind of rich for Lydon to complain about parking when he's now proposing a bar with planned occupancy of 120 people at his building at Adams and Gallivan - and with a 1 a.m. closing time. He said that has way more potential for affecting traffic than nine condos.

The Quinns "are not blow-ins," Pulgini said. "They have been working their butts off for 33 years."

Greenhills had supporters at the hearing.

Mary Swanton, executive director of the Irish Pastoral Centre, said Greenhills and the Quinns are key to the "Irish heritage area" that Adams Village is.

John Weir of Myrtlebank Ave. offered praise as well. The Quinns, he said, "have been very good" for the neighborhood.

In addition to the lack of parking, the project also needed a variance because it exceeded the street's 40-foot height limit - by 2 feet. Pulgini said the reason for that was so that the ground floor would better blend in with neighboring commercial buildings, but that if the board required, the project could be lowered by the 2 feet to meet zoning. The board raised no issues about the height.

The board's unanimous approval included a proviso that the Quinns work with the BPDA and Boston Transportation Department to figure out ways to minimize parking impact during construction.



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should convert all low-rise commercial in neighborhood centers to things like that

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My baby shoes came out of shoe store which used to be where Greenhills is. I can still hear Mr. McCarthy telling 8 year old me that some no name shoes were better than the Nikes everyone else had.

Parking has been a problem in Adams Corner since about 1920. The place has still thrived and Supreme Realty had lots of parking out back, if you pay for it.

Greenhills is great. It is one of the few places in Boston where you can sometimes still hear Irish being spoken but that crowd is getting very old.

More housing with no parking is good and Ashmont is a reasonable walk.

Perhaps everyone can stick to the Eire and not patronize the new bar if the neighbor is so against Greenhills going up. The Lydon's attorney should read the room. Irish people tend to hold grudges for a few centuries.

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Hopefully it does "set a precedent". Four story buildings make much more sense in cities than one story buildings. If you value parking over putting a roof over peoples heads then move to the suburbs.

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Any bakery that would rather have parking than more neighbors deserves neither tbh.

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But a few things. I know this place. It's a great spot. The hangup is parking, which does and doesn't make sense. It makes sense because there's no way this can be considered transit oriented development. People who want to be carless will be living in Peabody Square, Fields Corner, and the like, but this is a ways out from strong transit. The residents will own cars. That said, the developer has worked out parking for the residents, so it's a nonstarter.

The parking issue that the other business owners is unrelated to this development. The lots off Minot Street are under the control of one property owner, and he seems to take that seriously. There's on street parking- I've never had trouble getting a spot on Minot, and if there were an issue, I could go up Adams Street and find some with no difficulty. That there is a store right at the intersection of Adams and Gallivan that can't really have parking is the problem of that store- don't open a business based on auto traffic when cars can't stop.

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Not transit oriented?? What even are you talking about? This spot is a 10 minute walk to the Ashmont T stop. But also, Adams Village is a walkable city square and the businesses there would benefit from the added foot traffic that more housing would bring. The cookie shop should be applauding this approach, not trying to shoot it down.

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