For sale: 1912 comfort station; bids start at $100

Build in 1912 as a "comfort station" for commuters, this building on Columbia Road is now for sale through the city of Boston.

It sits idle, a relic of Dorchester’s days as a bustling streetcar suburb. Tucked between a weathered supply store and the olde town’s first cemetery, the Uphams Corner Comfort Station— as it was called in its days of utility— is far from comforting to the modern eyes. Boarded up since 1977, its dual entrances are sealed off from the Columbia Road sidewalk by chain-links. Just over the fence is the historic Dorchester North Burial Ground, where some of the original settlement’s founding mothers and fathers have found three-and-a-half centuries of rest.

Despite its crumbling condition, there’s still a certain charm to the tiny building with the red, terracotta roof— or what’s left of it. It was essentially a rest stop for commuters who found shelter and a “powder room” here on their way into the city.

For a limited time, it can all be yours for just $100.  Read more

What next for the Globe property?

Columbia Point Master Plan: Task force created clear guidelines for development along Morrissey Blvd. including the Globe property.Columbia Point Master Plan: Task force created clear guidelines for development along Morrissey Blvd. including the Globe property.After years of “maybe it is, maybe it isn’t” for sale, it appears that the Boston Globe property on Morrissey Boulevard is really on the market as a number of developers have prepared bids to purchase the site. The big question for its neighbors, of course, is what will replace the Globe?

Several years ago the city was faced with several major properties on the boulevard being actively considered for new development. These included the air rights above the MBTA property outside JFK-UMass station, a parcel between the station and the Shaw’s supermarket parking lot, the market itself, the adjacent building that houses radio stations, the old Ch. 56 property, and the Globe. Additionally, there were plans being made for the other side of the boulevard – significant and substantial new buildings at UMass Boston and a redevelopment of the Bayside Mall site.

The Boston Redevelopment Authority (BRA) rightly called a “time out” on individual project proposals to prepare a master plan that would coordinate and integrate all the new uses for the several sites across the Morrissey Boulevard/Columbia Point peninsula.  Read more

New tool allows Bostonians to explore solar potential

Michael Norton, State House News Service
Sep. 17, 2014

Boston residents and businesses may now go online and learn about the solar power potential of their homes and buildings, including installation cost estimates. Mayor Martin Walsh on Tuesday announced Solar System Boston, a mapping system the city has launched in partnership with Greenovate Boston and Mapdwell, an MIT spinoff, that the mayor says will allow users to explore their own potential to take advantage of solar prices that the Dorchester Democrat says are "plummeting."  Read more

Opportunity sets up shop on Quincy Street

Quincy Street revitalization: Mayor Walsh and fellow elected officials at the Bornstein & Pearl Food Production Center opening on Monday. Photo by Don WestQuincy Street revitalization: Mayor Walsh and fellow elected officials at the Bornstein & Pearl Food Production Center opening on Monday. Photo by Don West

The $15 million, state-of-the-art Bornstein & Pearl Food Production Center is officially open for business after a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Monday at the long-vacant site of the departed Pearl Meats facility.

The 36,000-square-foot multi-use industrial food production facility will allow local food retailers of all sizes to prep their food with low overhead as they work to grow their businesses.  Read more

For Paciulli, his bank’s business is ‘personal’

Tony Paciulli: Pursuer of justiceTony Paciulli: Pursuer of justicePresident and CEO Tony Paciulli is very clear about priorities at Meetinghouse Bank: “We emphasize personal attention” he tells his clients and staff. That philosophy is especially the case, it seems, when someone attempts to hold up his bank.

Last Thursday, shortly after 2 p.m., a lone note-passer demanded cash from a teller at the Lower Mills bank and then, with money in hand, fled on foot down Richmond Street. “I heard the teller scream and I came out of my office and saw him going out the door,” Paciulli told the Reporter. Intent on giving the matter his “personal attention,” the chief executive followed the man down Richmond Street, and caught up with him a block away at the corner of Butler Street.

“I tried to tackle him to the ground, but he was too big,” Paciulli said, describing the suspect as weighing more than 300 pounds. “We took a couple of shots at each other, but when I saw him reaching into his pants, I backed off, in case he had a knife or a gun.”  Read more

Plans moving along for $1.7m brewery on Bowdoin Street

A rendering of the proposed brewery exterior by Rode Architects.

Over the next year, an 18,000-square foot abandoned warehouse at 181 Bowdoin St. will be transformed into the first contract manufacturing brewery in the state – a $1.7 million project set to make waves, beginning in the Bowdoin Geneva neighborhood.

“There’s no other facility in Massachusetts, that we know of, that bottles, cans, and kegs to smaller craft brew company contractors,” said Dorchester Brewing Company (DBC) co-founder Travis Lee. “We’re looking to create an intimate, artistic craft setting for multiple craft brewing companies.”  Read more

Carpenters union video shows 'reality of underground economy'

Sep. 1, 2014

This video produced by the Dorchester-based New England Regional Council of Carpenters shows how construction jobs are sometimes "misclassified" to avoid paying employees a fair or timely wage.  Read more

Landlord set to sell his key properties in Adams Village

Arthur S. Murphy owns property on both sides of Adams Street, including the two-story commercial building at 526 Gallivan Blvd., shown on the right. Photo by Bill Forry

The owner of two key commercial buildings in Adams Corner intends to sell his high-profile properties, a move that is likely to trigger a new round of redevelopment in Dorchester’s gateway village.

Arthur S. Murphy controls the flagship two-story corner building at 526 Gallivan Blvd. that houses Windy City and China Sky restaurants and the Butcher Shop, along with other office space. Murphy also owns an assortment of storefront condo units along Adams Street. He told the Reporter last week that he is entertaining offers for his entire Adams Corner portfolio.  Read more

Vietnamese eatery Anh Hong deserves ‘Best of Boston’ props

Hong Tran, Special to the Reporter
Aug. 14, 2014

Anh HongAnh Hong

It’s common knowledge among Bostonian Vietnamese and increasingly Dorchester’s worst kept secret: one may not find better, more authentic Vietnamese food elsewhere than here in the Dot. Indeed Dorchester is home to one of the fastest growing Vietnamese enclaves in all of America. Thanks to an array of outstanding Vietnamese establishments, Dorchester is hands-down the Vietnamese food capital of Boston.

Amidst the culinary heavyweights in restaurant-dense Fields Corner neighborhood, Anh Hong still rises to the top with its beef-times-seven magic, the signature dish bo bay mon (seven-course beef). In fact, the original venture by Julie Thai scored a hat trick vote by Boston Magazine as Boston’s best Vietnamese restaurant from 2011 and to 2013. This year, the magazine also votes Anh Hong the Best Neighborhood Restaurant in Dorchester.  Read more

The bike builder of Bowdoin Street

Kimberley Theodore, Special to the Reporter
Aug. 14, 2014

Noah Hicks, 28, worked on a bike at his Bowdoin Street repair shop.Noah Hicks, 28, worked on a bike at his Bowdoin Street repair shop.

Noah Hicks, a lifelong resident of Blakeville Street, refers to himself as “The Bike Builder.”

Hicks, 28, grew up with four brothers and they often rode their bikes together around their Bowdoin-Geneva neighborhood. With a house full of boys, his parents encouraged their kids to be active. They too owned and rode bikes.

Hicks outgrew bicycling as he got older, but he returned to it in his early 20’s as it became an affordable alternative to public transportation or cars.

“My thing is I was pretty broke so I ended up just experimenting on how to save myself a few dollars and fix a bike I bought that was in God-awful shape. By doing that, I was able to safe myself a few dollars,” said Hicks.  Read more