The clock is ticking down to midnight for the infamous Savin Hill “hole.”
A building that once housed the Bulldogs bar room has been gone for decades now— replaced by a prominent crater in the Savin Hill Avenue streetscape. Walled off with faded plywood and jersey barriers, the hole is nestled between the popular Savin Bar + Kitchen restaurant and the bridge that carries people and vehicles over the expressway below.
A plan to fill the void with 14 condominiums has been slow to start, but a new ownership team is poised to break ground in the coming days and weeks. Kenneth Osherow, who also owns Savin Bar + Kitchen, is pushing the project ahead with his new partner, Driscoll DoCanto. The modern design of the condos, which will rise above the restaurant as well at the corner of Sydney Street, has been advanced by Dot-based RODE Architects.
The new construction will also feature ground-level retail space that is not yet claimed. Osherow told the Reporter this week that the “beautiful” first-floor space may be filled by a “sister restaurant” with a different food concept to his existing eatery.
The elusive groundbreaking is now so close that Osherow took to social media last week to help find a name for the condo complex, since, evidently, “The Hole” is off the table.
After a flurry of comments from friends and neighbors, the name for the condos has been narrowed to two finalists: One-Twenty Savin — a straightforward reference to the street address; and Flats at Savin, a name that conjures up the nickname of one of the many Flahertys in town.
The Flats name does have a certain geographic resonance, according to the invaluable website Dorchester Atheneum, which references a 1994 survey of Dorchester commissioned by the Boston Landmarks Commission. The “Savin Hill Flats” — as defined in that document— included the current site of the hole and stretched over to Dorchester Avenue.
“Savin Hill Avenue, which runs east-west through Savin Hill Flats, represents a segment of the oldest road in Dorchester, dating back to the 1630s,” the survey noted.
Not everyone is feeling the Flats concept.
“The whole ‘Flats’ thing sounds like you've been watching too much Downton Abbey,” one Savin Bar + Kitchen regular chimed in on Facebook.
Osherow said that the team is, in fact, leaning toward One-Twenty Savin as the choice. Either way, the condos will be a welcome improvement to the avenue.