Meeting on Nov. 1 will give Fields Corner community a look at Lucky Strike site plan

By 
Mike Deehan, Special to the Reporter
Oct. 20, 2010

Residents of Fields Corner will get their first look at a revamped proposal to develop the former site of the Lucky Strike bowling alley at Park and Adams streets on Mon., Nov. 1, when the project developers host a meeting for community members and abutters.

Former Fields Corner Civic Association president Hiep Chu will find himself on the other side of the issue at the meeting, having recently left his position with the association and joined the Lucky Strike development team as a paid consultant.

Though details of the new plans are being kept under wraps until the community gets its first look at them, Chu, now a project manager for the developers, told the Reporter this week that the plan for the new building is smaller than what had been previously proposed. Chu said that the revamped plan also includes many changes to the previous proposal and reflects the community’s past concerns.

Chu chose not to seek a second one-year term as president of the Fields Corner Civic Association after agreeing to work as a paid consultant for the Lucky Strike project, he said. Chu said that his decision not to rejoin the civic group was due to the conflict of interest created by his involvement in the Lucky Strike development and other projects around the neighborhood.

“It wouldn’t be fair for the civic group and it wouldn’t be fair for myself,” Chu said.

As a project manager, Chu is involved in the day-to-day finances, planning, concept design, and community relationship for the Lucky Strike development.

According to Chu, no one stood for election to replace him as president at the association’s September meeting, and the group could become dormant if no one is willing to carry on with the group.

“The civic group is going to be inactive until somebody steps up,” said Chu, who was the first Vietnamese-American to serve as an officer. “It’s a lot of responsibility,” he said, “not just the meetings; we need to follow up on all sorts of issues.”

Tam Tran, the owner of 289 Adams St., has been trying to develop the site over the last several years. At a community meeting last June, Tran told the Civic Association that he would present new plans for the property in the fall and that the project was delayed when he suffered a heart attack almost two years ago.

Previous proposals were not greeted warmly by the civic group, whose members were concerned over the amount of development Tran wanted to fit onto the 20,000-square foot plot, including a four-story mixed-use building.

The meeting is set for 6:30 p.m. at the Saigon Seafood Restaurant, 268 Adams Street.