The Beacon Hill Civic Association (BHCA) Zoning and Licensing Committee voted Wednesday not to oppose granting the zoning relief and permit necessary for the Charles Street Market to relocate from its present location to the space now occupied by the Charles Street Laundromat.
Tracy Hollander, owner of the Charles Street Market, currently located at 62-66 Charles St., is seeking to change the occupancy of the existing laundromat, located at 39 Charles St., to a convenience store.
According to the city’s Inspectional Service Department (ISD), a portion of the building at 39 Charles St. lies in a residential district and would therefore require a permit from the Zoning Board of Appeal to change it from one forbidden use to another.
Hollander said he is now operating the market at its current location without a lease and doesn’t expect to reach an agreement with the property owner, Linear Retail of Burlington.
“The owner isn’t willing to renegotiate the lease,” Hollander said. “They’re really not interested in keeping us on there long-term.”
Unlike the market’s current site – a single-story building at the corner of Charles and Mount Vernon streets – the new proposed storefront is on the ground level of a two-story building situated in the middle of Charles Street. Five apartment units are also located above the proposed retail space.
BHCA President Steve Young said, “The appropriateness of having the market move from the corner to the middle of the street is of considerable concern to the five rental units above and neighbors. This location is not ideal.”
Hollander countered that he settled on the new location only after making several unsuccessful attempts to contact the owner of the DeLuca’s Market about the possibility of taking over his shuttered storefront at 11 Charles St., as well as looking at other locations.
“I got lucky with the spot across the street,” Hollander said. “It gets us to stay on the street…it gives us more sustainability and, honestly, it’ll save the business.”
Hollander said he is negotiating a 10- to 15-year lease for the new space and hopes to relocate there in September or October.
Also, Hollander has proposed an opening time for the market of 6 a.m. and closing time of 2 a.m., but said he would be would revisit the business’ hours of operation after one year as part of a “good neighbor agreement” with the Civic Association.
Other terms of the agreement include a commitment from Hollander to address HVAC, traffic and delivery issues, if necessary.
Hollander said he is scheduled to appear before the Zoning Board of Appeal regarding this matter on April 24.