Written by Betsy Walsh Frissora
As West Broadway continues to transform into a hot area- filled with new restaurants, luxury residential buildings, and even hotels, the new development is often bitter-sweet. While the development brings in new business and new opportunities, it sometimes comes at the cost of saying goodbye to some quality South Boston establishments and landmarks.
One of the more recent projects coming up for review on the BRA calendar (Monday June 9th at the James Condon Elementary School at 6:30 pm) would mean saying goodbye to both a quality establishment and South Boston landmark, Liberty Bell Roast Beef. Everyone who lives in Southie (and even those who do not live in Southie) know the family owned sandwich shop, which has been serving the neighborhood since 1979. The freestanding building that is home to Liberty Bell Roast Beef is located on a giant plot of (underutilized) land, in the prime development location on 170 West Broadway, between B and C Streets.
So what is the future plan for the current Liberty Bell Roast Beef? The new project proposed for 170 West Broadway would re-develop the current building and parking lot into a mixed-use residential and retail building. The developer in charge of this 4.5 million dollar project is going under the name of 170 West Broadway LLC, and the architect is O’Sullivan Architects, Inc. The new 46,194 sq.ft. five-story building will contain 33 residential condominiums, 4 of which will be designated “affordable”. The condos will all range between 681 sq.ft. and 1790 sq.ft. There will be 4,278 sq.ft. of ground floor retail/restaurant space, and the additional 7,290 sq.ft. space on the ground floor will be for parking. The building will provide parking for 39 vehicles. To help reduce traffic on Athens Street (directly behind it) the project proposes that the garage entrance be off of Broadway. The four levels above the retail/ restaurant space on the ground floor will measure out to approximately 40,571 sq.ft. of residential one and two bedroom condos. There will be a penthouse level on the fifth floor that consists of duplex units with roof terraces.
The project promises improvements in the open spaces around the area, landscaping, architecture, as well as pedestrian and vehicular access to the building. While the new project will bring a lot of improvements and opportunity to our neighborhood, do you think it is going to have a positive impact for the future of our neighborhood? The comments period for the project ends on Friday June 27, so make sure to participate in the BRA meeting on June 9th and be ready to voice your opinion!