A Winchester developer has filed with the Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) to build a five-story, 33-unit residential apartment building on the site of the closed 7-11 and its parking lot in Cary Square.
Anthony Quiles has filed the project with the City and had an initial hearing on Tuesday night, Jan. 8, with the ZBA, and will proceed to the Planning Board for a meeting later this month.
The project will be sited at 176-178 Washington Ave. and will contain 44 parking spaces (50 are required) for the 33 units. There will be a roof deck and other amenities. The project includes no open space and requires seven pieces of relief, including height variances and parking permits.
The unit breakdown would be nine studios, 15 one-bedrooms, and six two-bedrooms.
The Chelsea Fire Department has already voiced its concerns with the project as they do not believe they can access the building due to the size of the building on the lot.
“I am not in favor of a development of this size…which encompasses the entire lot with no setbacks on both sides and the rear,” wrote Deputy Richard Perisie. “The Fire Department should have access to at least one side for apparatus placement.”
Councillor Leo Robinson said he has called for the development to go down to at least 25 units and to add a retail venture on the first floor, preferably a grocery store/convenience store.
He said he was very disturbed that the purchase and sales agreement by 7-11 with Quiles details that no such retail operations can go there. He said he wants to see about changing that.
“My concern and what bothers me is that 7-11 put in the agreement not to allow a grocery store to go there,” he said. “That is detrimental to that part of the city. It is heavily used by the elderly at 14 Bloomingdale and the people from the neighborhood too. The fact of the matter is I’ve talked with the City Solicitor and the City Manager and I think there is a tool in our tool bag we need to use. I don’t think 7-11 should punish us for their failure not to run a good business. There has always been a grocery store there since I can remember.”