Zoning and Licensing Committee Votes Not to Oppose Proposed Jeffries House Addition

By Dan Murphy

A proposed four-story addition to the John Jeffries House met with a vote of non-opposition from the Beacon Hill Zoning and Licensing Committee on Wednesday with the stipulation that the applicant enter into a satisfactory good neighbor’s agreement with the Civic Association.

Boston development firm Related Beal intends to build an approximately 12,000 square-foot extension to the existing John Jeffries House on the parking-lot parcel adjacent to Savenor’s Market that would add 20 new rooms to the hotel, bringing the total to 66 rooms.  The proposal also includes plans for a lobby-café space that would occupy less than 2,000 square feet on the ground floor and a bar with seating for eight customers. The applicant also intends to create an accessible entrance on Charles Street.

Related Beal purchased the hotel at 170 Charles St. from Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary for $25 million in July of 2016 and the adjacent garage at 144 Charles St. from the hospital for $40 million the previous summer.

Committee members and neighborhood residents expressed concerns that the applicant’s plan to use three valet spaces for deliveries and drop-offs could create a “bottleneck” at the top of Charles Street.

Tom Clemens, committee co-chair, said the non-opposition vote reflected the committee’s recognition of the overall merits of the proposal, despite having serious concerns about its potential impact on pedestrian and vehicular traffic. “Any agreement will require intensive review and input from the Beacon Hill Civic Association Traffic and Parking Committee addressing entry location, valet zone, customer drop-off, loading, etc.,” Clemens wrote.

The Beacon Hill Architectural Commission is scheduled to review the applicant’s request for zoning relief at City Hall on May 18.

In another matter, the committee voted not to oppose the latest, revised application to build a proposed penthouse-roof-deck addition to a five-story condominium building at 28 Hancock St.

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