“Bay House” Rental Project Goes to Planning Board Public Hearing June 12th; Former Site of Village Cafe

By Carol McCracken (Post # 1,143)

A principal of the Bay House project, Demetri Dasco, received a solid thumbs up from planning board members when he appeared before it yesterday afternoon for the purpose of bringing the matter to a public hearing before the board next month.

The original plan was approved in 2009 was for condominium units on the former Village Cafe restaurant. However, in the intervening years, money to finance such developments has dried up. So, the investors have decided to build rental units instead. However, Dasco emphasized that one of the two Buildings, Building 2, will become condominiums during the construction of the project.

This change in plans would result in the elimination of one level of on site parking and thus lowering the building height by approximately 6 feet, said Nathan Smith, attorney for the investors. The development would be comprised of 94 rental units rather than 82 condominium units. Parking spaces would be reduced from 145 to 84 for the rental units. There would be changes to the utilities as well.

Despite the best efforts of two India Street Neighborhood Association officers, Allison Brown and Hugh Nazor, the two were unsuccessful in derailing the project. Brown testified that she does not support the scale of the project. Nazor agreed that the project is too large and is not compatible with the neighborhood.

Developer Dasco thanked the city for sticking with them during this elongated process. “We had to modify our plan to have it go forward. We would immediately convert one building to condominiums from luxury rentals.” Planning board members said they were not concerned about scale compatability in the neighborhood and supported its placement on the June 12th planning board agenda.