Dot Block awaits demolition OK

The mixed-use Dot Block project is not undergoing a major overhaul, but with new investor Gerald Chan involved, the development team is fine tuning materials and minor design details with a “fresh set of eyes” as they pursue a permit to demolish the existing industrial space, said Catherine O’Neill, who represents the developers.

At a small meeting gathered by local activist Janet Jones, O’Neill and Kevin Kelly, who works on the construction side of Dot Block, offered an update on the project set to transform a predominantly industrial block of Glover’s Corner.

Wintergold LLC, a subsidiary of Hong Kong billionaire Gerald Chan’s Morningside Group, purchased the Dot Block land for $19.1 million in December 2016. The development team says the plans, already okayed by the Boston Civic Design Commission, are unchanged. Five buildings between four and six stories will include 362 rental units, about 37,000 square feet of ground floor retail space, and a five story garage to include 450 parking spaces.

“Gerald Chan is not what they call a merchant builder or a merchant developer,” O’Neill said, “and this is exciting news for people in Dorchester, because a merchant developer/builder is somebody that turns it around for a quick buck. And they’re not concerns about the finishes lasting 25 or 50 year, but now our new financial partner is quite the opposite of that and he is concerned about the finishes, the longevity, the quality.”

“We have been looking at things a little differently now,” she added. They will be going through the design and materials “with a finer-toothed comb.”

Properties to the corner of Hancock Street and Dorchester Avenue have gone under agreement three separate times, O’Neill said. At present the parcels are still not under Dot Block’s control, with the exception of the gas station, which the development team owns, she said.

“We want the community to know we are going forward with this project full steam ahead,” she said. They have begun to look at the demolition process, which requires a hazardous material inventory, Kelly said.

With the preliminary inspection complete, the team is awaiting a report to determine next steps. O’Neill said the team is hoping to start demolition in October or November.