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City Council send two housing developments to Zoning Subcommittee

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By Barbara Taormina


REVERE – The City Council heard applications for changes to permits for two development projects that were referred to the Zoning Subcommittee. The first was from Broadway Capital, which was looking to change their existing permit for a 72-unit mixed-use development at 133 Salem St. to increase the number of affordable units from seven to 18 with preferences for vets and seniors. The developer is able to make the change work financially thanks to a $4 million grant from MassHousing, a quasi-public agency that works to create affordable housing.

Chief of Planning and Community Development Tom Skwierawski said the project will not change or increase in size; the only difference will be the number of affordable units. “This is something we would like to encourage in the city. It’s an opportunity to increase our affordable housing stock.”

“I am in support of this,” said Ward 6 Councillor Richard Serino. “It doesn’t change the plan; the only thing it changes is how units are counted. It will benefit the city more than it will harm the neighborhood.”

Skwierawski and developer Michael Vienneau explained that the grant application to MassHousing will be more competitive with a show of community support. Skwierawski said the support Vienneau is seeking is a waiver of community investment trust fund requirement. And that did not sit well with councillors, who did not feel the city needed to sacrifice any development-related benefits. “If there is no form of local support, MassHousing would not support the project,” Skwierawski told the council.

Councillors asked the developer to investigate other ways the city can show its support for the project to be discussed with the Zoning Subcommittee.

The council also held a hearing on the application of Youssef Abouriaili to add a second story to the building at 570 Broadway – home of Domino’s pizza and the Colombian restaurant El Peñol. According to Abouriaili, the additional space will be used for storage by El Peñol.

Ward 3 Councillor Anthony Cogliandro said he had spoken with Abouriaili and neighbors about the project. Cogliandro said initially there was some misunderstanding and neighbors thought there would be a second floor to the restaurant. But it’s in the permit application that the added space is for storage. Cogliandro also said El Peñol now has a storage pod in back of the restaurant that can go once the second floor is complete. And that will add a little relief to tight parking in the area.

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