Developer adds sweeteners to bid for East Boston apartments


A Wakefield developer eyeing a $10.4 million apartment project in East Boston has sweetened the pot with a planned $25,000 contribution to the city’s Parks and Recreation Department and an offer to shovel the sidewalks in front of Noyes Playground for a decade.

CB Equities Saratoga Street LLC, led by John Conley, has submitted plans to the Boston Planning & Development Agency for a 47,600-square-foot residential development that would include 42 apartments and an interior parking facility for 43 vehicles at 944-946 Saratoga St., in Eastie’s Orient Heights neighborhood.

The new construction building, designed by South Boston’s Embarc Studio, would replace a former “unsightly” auto repair service center next to the playground, which is slated for a multimillion-dollar overhaul by the city.

It would “revitalize an otherwise underutilized site and will take advantage of its ideal location next to a public park and thriving business district,” Conley’s BPDA filing states.

CB Equities purchased the property for $1.55 million in January, according to the deed registered with the Suffolk County Registry.

The planned five-story building would include 39 market-rate and three affordable apartments, all of them one- to two-bedroom and many of which would have exterior decks. Tenant amenities also would include a ground-floor lobby, three bike rooms and a 3,000-square-foot common landscaped roof deck with planters, tables, lounge furniture and a glass railing facing the park.

In addition to open space, the deck would minimize shadows and the impact of the building on abutters, according to project documents.

The Saratoga Street site is located in a neighborhood shopping sub-district, where multifamily dwellings are allowed, but the new building would require zoning relief for its proposed 57-foot height, insufficient parking, floor area ratio and rear-yard setback.

To help improve the surrounding neighborhood, the developer has pledged to shovel the sidewalk on Saratoga Street in front of Noyes Playground for 10 years, provide grass seed for the park in the spring and fall, and furnish portable toilets for Little League baseball games there. It also said it would add street trees and five street parking spots.

CB Equities hopes to start construction on the project next spring and finish in the fall of 2019.


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