BHCA Traffic and Parking Recommends Unique Parking Plan

The former offices of Beacon Press/Unitarian Church at 39-41 Mt. Vernon St.

The former offices of Beacon Press/Unitarian Church at 39-41 Mt. Vernon St.

With several stipulations, the Beacon Hill Civic Association (BHCA) Traffic and Parking Committee voted last Tuesday to recommend to its board of directors a unique parking change proposed in conjunction with the residential redevelopment of the former Beacon Press/Unitarian Church offices.

Daniel René Capital Partners, a Greater Boston real-estate investment, development and property-management company, intends to convert the building at 39-41 Mt. Vernon St. into seven condo units, ranging in size from 2,000 to more than 4,000 square-feet each. The BHCA board of directors voted not to oppose zoning relief for the project on Dec. 8, on the condition that the developer could offer a parking plan agreeable with the Traffic and Parking Committee.

Marcel Safar, a manager of Daniel René, requested converting a residential parking area abutting the building into a 24-hour, unrestricted pick-up-and-drop-off zone for neighborhood residents only, with a 15-minute maximum idling time. This would allow building residents to leave their vehicles with a concierge, who would then transport them to a Staniford Street garage for off-site parking.

As a proviso of his agreement with the Traffic and Parking Committee, Safar agreed to locate the zone, which will extend 25 linear-feet, on Joy Street heading north towards Cambridge Street. (He had originally proposed the zone for Mt. Vernon Street, which experiences significantly higher levels of traffic than Joy Street, but consented to its relocation at the committee’s request).

Safar also agreed to help advocate for the conversion of several parking spaces located across from the building on the south side of Mt. Vernon Street to residential use during the evening hours on weeknights, weekends and holidays. These spaces are currently reserved solely for the Commonwealth’s General Court at the State House.

“I believe that this provides a solution for both the developer of the Mt. Vernon Street project and all the immediate neighbors who are currently constrained due to the General Court’s parking,” said Ben Starr, committee chair. “The decision-making process benefited from the participation of neighbors, as well as a transparent and flexible developer.”

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