Business

Will next mayor make or break the Strand Theatre?

Strand Theatre: Columbia Rd. landmark goes unused most days.

What will the next mayor of Boston do with the Strand Theatre, the Uphams Corner landmark that debuted as a movie palace in the waning days of World War I? Like a Charlie Chaplin character flickering across its earliest screen, the Uphams Corner landmark stumbled and lurched across the 20th century and, on more than one occasion, damn-near plunged hat-first into an abyss of debt and decrepitness. And, like the ‘Little Tramp’ himself, the Strand has proven to be an enduring and endearing figure – with the promise of new audiences and a heroic revival that has been years in the making.  Read more

Mayors behind push for greater local control of alcohol licenses

By 
Colleen Quinn, State House News Service
Aug. 19, 2013

A Boston city councilor and three mayors are pushing to overturn the state's "antiquated" liquor license law by lifting caps and wrestling control away from the state to give it to local communities.  Read more

Baker steps away from landmark debate on Savin Hill house

By 
Gintautas Dumcius, News Editor
Aug. 19, 2013

City Councillor Frank Baker: In disclosure, asks that his previous testimony before city commission be "struck from the record."City Councillor Frank Baker: In disclosure, asks that his previous testimony before city commission be "struck from the record."(Updated on Wed., Aug. 21)— District 3 Councillor Frank Baker this week said he would recuse himself from an ongoing debate about whether a dilapidated home on Savin Hill should receive landmark status from a city commission. In an unusual step, Baker also asked that testimony he made before the Boston Landmarks Commission — in which he argued against a landmark designation for the property on Grampian Way— last week be “struck from the record.”

The move, along with a disclosure form filed with the city clerk’s office noting that his brother had previously made an attempt to purchase the property, came after a neighborhood activist raised questions about his comments to the commission at a City Hall hearing.  Read more

Letter: Let’s all try to find a middle ground on the parking lot at Adams Village

Parking lot in Adams CornerParking lot in Adams CornerTo the Editor:
I think I can speak for the majority of the many attendees at the Cedar Grove Civic Association meeting on Tuesday evening when I say that we appreciate Mr. Tom Cifrino and his development team, including representatives from Boston Sports Clubs, for engaging the community in the conversation regarding what will be done with the former Rite-Aid space as well as the adjacent parking lot. We are impressed that BSC plans to make much needed aesthetic improvements to the building façade. We appreciate their stated desire to actively participate in our neighborhood. Moreover, we are excited for this chance to finally “get it right” with regards to the parking lot that is such an important piece of Adams Village.

We understand that the parking lot is private property, but the reality of the situation is that over decades, as we have all parked in the lot while we have lunch at Gerard’s, coffee at Greenhills, or attend a wake at O’Connor’s, the precedent has been set that it is a de facto public lot.  Read more

Meeting focuses on parking lot fix in Adams Corner

By 
Mike Deehan, Special to the Reporter
Aug. 7, 2013

Parking lot re-design: An architect’s drawing shows proposed changes to the parking lot owned by Supreme Realty Company in Adams Corner. At top left, the north-west corner of the present-day lot would be closed to Minot Street under this plan.  Image courtesy Supreme Realty ComParking lot re-design: An architect’s drawing shows proposed changes to the parking lot owned by Supreme Realty Company in Adams Corner. At top left, the north-west corner of the present-day lot would be closed to Minot Street under this plan. Image courtesy Supreme Realty Com

The Cedar Grove Civic Association held a special meeting on Tuesday evening to review plans for a proposed Boston Sports Club at 540 Gallivan Boulevard— one of the village’s most prominent properties that also includes an adjacent, privately-owned parking lot that has long been heavily used by neighborhood residents and other businesses. Neighbors see the proposal for a new fitness center as a chance to upgrade and improve safety in the heart of the busy business district.

Boston Sports Club (BSC) intends to open its 31st location in the first floor of the building most recently occupied by a Rite Aid pharmacy. Attorney Larry DiCara, a former Boston City Councillor who is representing Supreme Realty Trust — the business entity that owns the building that will lease space to BSC— presented the plans for the renovations and re-use of the site.  Read more

District Attorney Conley questions legality of East Boston-only casino vote

By 
Gintautas Dumcius, News Editor
Aug. 5, 2013

Suffolk District Attorney Daniel Conley, a candidate for mayor, on Sunday raised questions about the legality of an East Boston-only vote on a Suffolk Downs casino. Conley added that the 13-member City Council should “come to their senses” and move to endorse a city-wide vote.  Read more

Fair play along the Fairmount Line

This week’s lead story about an apparently aborted City Hall proposal to build a Public Works yard on a key parcel next to the Uphams Corner commuter rail stop sparked a whole lot of outrage from readers and residents when the Reporter broke the news online last Friday.  Read more

Menino: Key Uphams Corner parcel should be re-developed; Maxwell site called “lynchpin” to boom along Fairmount Line

Maxwell site from the air: Proximity to Fairmount commuter rail station makes it a prime target for re-development. BRA imageMaxwell site from the air: Proximity to Fairmount commuter rail station makes it a prime target for re-development. BRA image

A pivotal Uphams Corner property became embroiled in a fast-moving controversy last week after neighbors learned that the city of Boston planned to convert a now-dormant industrial site into a Public Works storage yard. The news prompted outrage and fast action from local stakeholders, who have targeted the three-acre parcel once occupied by the Maxwell Box Company as a “lynchpin” redevelopment project along the Fairmount commuter rail corridor.

The 120,000-square foot property — which sits adjacent to the Uphams Corner station on the Fairmount Line— is today a sprawling warren of run-down warehouses. But its proximity to the commuter rail stop makes it a prime location for so-called “transit-oriented development.” The site is owned by the city of Boston, which took control of it in 2010 after a protracted standoff with the previous owner over unpaid taxes.  Read more

City Legends Barbershop opens on Adams Street

By 
Brianna Macgregor, Special to the Reporter
Aug. 1, 2013

City Legends Barbershop: Michael Smith owns the newly-opened shop in Lower Mills. Photo by Brianna MacgregorCity Legends Barbershop: Michael Smith owns the newly-opened shop in Lower Mills. Photo by Brianna MacgregorMichael Smith, a local barber formerly working in Neponset, has come a long way from cutting his friends’ hair in a makeshift basement barber shop during his high school years.

On July 19, Smith held the grand opening of his own shop, City Legends Barbershop. Located at 1173 Adams St in Lower Mills, the spacious shop offers parking out back and a video game station for waiting customers.

After cutting hair in Neponset for seven years, Smith, 27, spent three months doing haircuts in his customers’ homes while waiting for the perfect barbershop location to open up. Smith said that it was “a tough few months to get through,” but that he got lots of support from previous customers.  Read more

On heels of tax hike, lawmakers sign off on weekend of relief

By 
Andy Metzger, State House News Service
Jul. 31, 2013

The 6.25 percent sales tax will be temporarily suspended the weekend of Aug. 10 and 11, under a bill that sailed through the Legislature Wednesday and only requires the governor's signature to become law.

Gov. Deval Patrick said Monday he expects to sign the tax suspension law as long as the more than $20 million in foregone revenue is made up with other funds - concerns the bill addressed.  Read more