On April 1, 2014, the Planning Board unanimously approved a Special Permit for 15-33 Richdale Avenue, the old Hathaway Bakery building. The plans call for adaptive reuse, preserving essentially the entire exterior and adding penthouses to provide 46 residential units and parking spaces. The revised plans and related materials are available on the CDD web site, at
This outcome is based on a remarkably successful dialog between the developers and the neighbors, resulting in a memorandum of understanding dealing with a variety of issues. Last night's hearing went remarkably smoothly, with all participants supporting the MOU and raising only minor issues, most of which (sidewalk trees, sanitary sewer capacity, overhead wires) had more to do with city infrastructure than the building and zoning issues.
While the Historical Commission’s landmark study is ongoing, they have already granted a certificate of appropriateness for the revised project. They too expressed enthusiasm over the way the project honors the historical value of the building. The only remaining review step is City Council approval of a modified curb cut. This is expected to be routine.
Congratulations to the developers and their architects for their willingness to negotiate, to the architects for coming up with a creative design within the constraints of the building and zoning regulations, and to the neighbors for negotiating seriously and in obvious good faith to reach such a desirable outcome. Congratulations also to the Historical Commission, the Planning Board, and city staff for helping to make it all work.