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Little used block of stores in Roslindale to be replaced with residential units

Roslindale storefronts to be replaced

Storefronts and house to come down in Roslindale.

The Board of Appeal today approved plans to replace a four-storefront block and house at 878 South St., across from Green T at Walter Street, with a three-story, nine-unit residential building.

Property owner Christos Kourtidis's plans call for 11 parking spaces and a rack for 14 bicycles. The lot's zoning calls for 18 parking spaces, but Kourtidis's attorney, Nick Zozula, said the site is a quarter mile from a Needham Line station and within an easy walk of several bus lines.

Zosula said the one commercial tenant, a barber, was planning on retiring so the elimination of his storefront won't affect him. The building is not the one that Hong Kong 888 is in; that has a different owner.

Eight of the units will be 980-square-foot two-bedrooms; the other will be a 780-square-foot one-bedroom.

The proposal was supported by the mayor's office, City Councilor Tim McCarthy and WalkUp Roslindale, which asked if Kourtidis would consider contributing to Roslindale's impending Hubway station and for building a bike rack in the pocket park at South and Walter streets.

The owner of a neighboring three-family building expressed concern about the effect on parking in the neighborhood and of construction on her tenants.

Board Chairwoman Christine Araujo cautioned Kourtidis to be careful with construction: "I'm a Roslindale resident, so I'm going to be watching this very closely."

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Comments

Exactly the kind of development we need - although it would be nice if they could keep the retail on the ground.

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There is only one store (barbershop) in this existing commercial building. Three of the commercial units have been vacant for a while. Are you thinking of the right spot? Henry's Market and the 888 Hong Kong are next door but in separate unaffected buildings. Either way, you're right. This is a good project.

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Not the building I thought it was (thought it was the place with Henry's and Checkmate Pizza- still would be nice to have some small retail. But still - this is the kind of housing we need - in spades! Love him or hate him - Marty is doing a much better job pushing these small/medium sized projects through in the neighborhoods.

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What Rob said. About to go take a photo of it to clear up the confusion.

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Even though some of the commercial spaces are vacant, I'd still support having retail in the new building. Small retail in or near residential areas is important for walkable communities.

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As long at the Hong Kong stays where it is ---- LOVE THEM

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I rent right down the street from this site in an apartment, I would love to be able to purchase in Roslindale. It's nice to see new buildings go up, but always disheartening when I know this will be out of price range for myself and others in my neighborhood. Additionally it seems like all new builds are 2 bedrooms, really limiting on raising a family in such a nice neighborhood.

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I go to Ghassan's barber shop just about monthly! He's been there over 20 years, so it's not just "a barber shop".

I asked him about his plans when this first surfaced a few months ago. He said he assumed it would take a couple of years before they get ready to start demo & construction and that he'd likely find a new place when that time comes. He never mentioned retiring.

Here's the streetview:
https://goo.gl/maps/hJ12dbiXYDT2

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By "little used," I meant that the other storefronts have been vacant for a long time. And retirement was what the lawyer said at the hearing today.

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The other stores have been a bunch of different things over the years, but they rarely lasted more than a year or so.

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Which is the phrase of choice these days amongst the pro-hyperdevelopment crowd.

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I thought it was strange when the attorney said that at a previous community meeting. I talked to Ghassan (I go there every other week), and he said the same as what you heard.

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This block was the original Sullivan's Pharmacy (back in the day -- as the saying goes).

After Sullivan decided to move on, Tony Salloum purchased the business and ran it for decades, keeping the Sullivan name. The house behind that structure was where Tony lived and raised his family. Many fo the area doctor's knew Tony and had his home number and if they truly felt you needed medication right away it was commonplace for them to call Tony at home, he's venture down to mix up what ever, and you'd meet him at the back door of the pharmacy, and usually pay him later when he was opened. My father met Tony a couple of times in his PJs and bathrobe -- Tony that is.

When it was time for Tony to retire, Greg Laham purchased the business and ran it there for a while until the current Sullivan's was built at 1 Corinth St where it stands today. The location at Corinth had previously been a block of stores as well that suffered a fire and was demolished.

The prior block included Surman's Mens Store, a dry cleaner (Antons or Rocket -- I forget ?), a hardware store, and Cuddys Donut Shop.

If the Mattapan Bus (not numbered 30 as yet) was parked at the granite wall with no driver, you could usually meet him at Cuddy's on his break. We'd all have coffee and a donut, and then a mass of people would walk back to the bus with the driver.

Different times.

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I walk and drive by there all the time and never knew the backstory you just shared!

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Thanks for sharing that. Typically people are quick to dismiss old neighborhood buildings as useless and prefer new shiny development. However, people lived and worked in these structures that were a part of the fabric of the neighborhood. My grandmother was raised in Roslindale... her mother cleaned houses and her father worked in a shoe factory; they didn't have a lot of money yet they were able to raise a family there. I hope it doesn't turn into the next Southie: gentrified and full of yuppies who want to tear down the neighborhood and kick working class people out.

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... your reminiscences! Thanks so much!

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This is good news. Hopefully it will be tasteful. Now if only the owner of the building down the street with the Hong Kong would figure out what to do with that property....

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Whats wrong with Hong Kong?
They do well. Leave them alone.

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Nothing wrong with the Hong Kong, but the rest of that building is vacant and makes for dead street space.

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Nothing except Checkmate and the convenience store.

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Dang! I go to that barber shop

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Condos or rental?

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If Walk Up Roslindale wants HubWay, they should negotiate with the T. The Commuter Rail lot is a better location.

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