Savin Hill market plan moves ahead, asks for input

A rendering of the proposed market. RODE Architects image

The city’s planning agency this month approved James Baker’s proposal to construct a three-story commercial building at a prominent Savin Hill Avenue corner, as well as build a new three-story, residential building on Sydney Street with nine condominium units. Now the development team is seeking community input into the small future market planned for the retail site before construction begins later this year.

Baker is proposing a two-building, mixed-use development at 102-110 Savin Hill Ave. The commercial/retail structure is about 10,574 square feet and the condominium building is about 13,410 square feet. All nine units would be market rate, in a mix of one handicapped-accessible one-bedroom unit, six two-bedroom units, and two three-bedroom units.

The project showpiece is a neighborhood market on the ground floor of the Savin Hill Avenue and Sydney Street building, as the rest of the commercial structure rises up behind it with increasing setbacks on each story.

There will be at-grade, garage parking for up to 13 spaces, accessible by Sydney Street. The ground-level would have bicycle storage and a trash/recycling room.

At an Aug. 10 meeting of the Boston Planning and Development Agency (BPDA), project proponents noted 330 completed surveys, 200-plus online comments, and two two-hour community focus groups regarding the site.

“We feel confident we know exactly what the community would like to see in the commercial building,” Baker told the board, “and we’ve received overwhelming support.”

A community benefits agreement commits $10,000 to the St. Mary’s Center for Women and Children, due at the time of a building permit. The project needs additional design review through the BPDA and variances from the Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA).

Through the project page on, Baker and his team are asking neighbors to weigh in on what amenities their small market should include.

“The most popular answer for the kind of market you’d like to see was a Trader Joe’s,” the most recent update post said. “While the space is just too small for a national chain, we’d like a future “Trader Savin’s” to have the same things you love about Trader Joe’s.”

After a to-be-scheduled ZBA hearing, Baker’s team hopes for a Fall 2017 groundbreaking and a January 2019 opening.

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