A new building project on Washington Avenue by a former business partner of Mayor Dan Rizzo got a hearing at the Council on Monday night, and most appeared to be warm to the plan.
The plan calls for a three-story, mixed-use building with 20 residential units at 770-778 Washington Ave. The plan came before the Council for a small zoning change to the rear lot, and it was put into the Zoning Committee for review.
No councillors spoke on the matter, including Ward 6 Councillor Charlie Patch – who at one time was on the fence about the project.
The project also goes before the Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) today, June 25, for variances of the side yard and buffer zone.
The project is located on property owned by the Fiumara Family, who previously owned the Squire Lounge for years. The property now houses Cosmo Pools, a nursery and a construction yard.
It is being proposed by Wakefield Associates of Wakefield, which is tied to Ray Nickerson. Nickerson is a business partner of the mayor and his wife is a coordinator in the mayoral campaign. At one time, Nickerson and Rizzo were partners in the Casa Lucia Function Hall.
Project Attorney Corey Rhodes said the project would add considerable value to the area.
“It is going to take significant investment to bring that project to the City,” he said. “Approximately $4 million is going to be spent to bring that project to the City. We think that this is the new type of condo people are looking for to move to the City.”
It will contain 2,500 sq. ft. of retail space on the bottom floor.
There was no opposition to the project, and eight people rose to support the project.
Some councillors mentioned that there might be some complications in bringing a sewer line to the property form Squire Road. That is expected to be addressed in committee.