Josef Porteleki, owner of the Ace Hardware store on Washington Street at Metropolitan Avenue, goes before the Zoning Board of Appeal next week for permission to add 14 apartments in three floors to what is now a one-story commercial block.
At a hearing slated for 1 p.m. on Tuesday, the board will consider whether to grant variances for the proposal, which otherwise would violate the area's zoning because of its density, height and number of proposed parking spaces. Porteleki is also seeking permission to combine what are now two separate lots along the street - which now contain, in addition to his hardware store, a laundromat, Chinese takeout place, nail salon and insurance agency - into a single lot for the expanded building.
It's the latest in a series of proposals by the owners of single-story commercial buildings in Roslindale to add floors. Crews for Wallpaper City at Poplar and South streets in Roslindale Square are currently building eight apartments in two floors.
Last month, the ZBA approved plans for nine apartments on three floors atop a one-story block down the street on Poplar Street. In 2018, the board approved plans by Tony DeBenedictis to add two apartments on two floors above his eponymous market on Washington Street. Local landlord Vinny Marino started the trend several years ago by adding two floors to the Washington Street building where Redd's and Tony's used to be and where Chilacates recently opened.
In several of the cases, owners were restoring floors that had either caught fire or been torn down on purpose during Roslindale's commercial nadir in the 1970s and 1980s. Porteleki was one of the founders of Roslindale Village Main Street, which helped turn the square into what it is today.