Dorchester Illustration of the Day no. 1744 1299 Massachusetts Avenue

Dorchester Illustration of the Day no. 1744


A recipient of the Illustration of the Day has asked what is going on with the building at Edward Everett Square, known as three different addresses.  As of March, 2012, the City of Boston Assessing Department has the parcel at the point of Columbia Road and East Cottage Street listed as 166 East Cottage Street.  The Inspectional Services Department seems to have it at 1299 Massachusetts Avenue, although in early years, an owner promised to file all applications under the address 708 Columbia Road.  The property owner is shown as Yellow Brick, LLC.

The building has been under construction for a number of years—the structure for a full three stories was added a few years ago, but progress has stopped.  The building once housed the New England Brake Center, and the building seems to have been owned by the Brake Center into the1990s.  The original building, built between 1910 and 1918 as a garage, had two stories at the curve but only one story back along both sides. 

For a short period in 2009, the curved portion of the building housed a produce market.  An article that appeared in the Dorchester Reporter in early 2009 said: Purchased by developer Steven Turner in the fall, the V-shaped building has been vacant since the early 1990s, exposing its skeletal structure to thousands of motorists who flood this six-pronged intersection each day. The city began to renovate the square in 1995 and marked milestones in the initiative in 2007. The fresh paint and new windows on the lone remaining eyesore are another significant breakthrough.

Permit application #4679 dated June 9, 2003, requested a change of occupancy from a garage to a furniture showroom and office space, to erect a vertical addition, to combine 5 lots into one parcel of 17,220 square feet (Ward 07, parcel 3957 at the point, and parcels 3598, 3599, 3600, 3601 along East Cottage Street).  The Assessing Department continues to maintain all the parcels as separate tax entities on their website.

In 2010 an attorney’s letter filed at Inspectional Services detailed proposed use of the building once improvements had been made: first floor local retail 4507 square feet; second floor place of worship for Church in Boston Inc.; third floor five residential units to be used as a parsonage, housing ministers, deacons and deaconesses; plus 29 parking spaces.  The letter seems to claim that the building owner can make use of the building in this way as of right under the zoning rules.  A change of occupancy seems to have been approved on September 22, 2010.

The permit applications for ongoing repairs and improvements as well as the change of occupancy on Sept. 22, 2010, seem to reference application #4679 filed in 2003.

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