JP CENTER—Centre Street’s lunchtime crowd will likely have two more options in the near future.
The Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Council (JPNC) recommended approval of requests for common victullar licenses for two new sandwich shops, the Real Deal sandwich shop and grill and JP-based City Feed and Supply at its January meeting.
Due to an apparent misunderstanding, the owners of City Feed and Supply will have to slog through the community process one more time before they can open, to secure a take-out license.
After a brief presentation, Real Deal received approval from the JPNC for a license transfer to open at 736 Centre St., the former home of Emack and Bolio’s ice cream shop.
The shop will serve gourmet sandwiches and thin-crust pizza, among other things, and will continue to carry Emack and Bolio’s ice cream.
“I know there is also J.P Licks, but it is nice to keep it honest,” said Real Deal proprietor Eric Battite.
Kelly Tynan, executive director of West Roxbury Main Streets, told the JPNC that Real Deal’s flagship shop in West Roxbury has the cleanest storefront in the neighborhood.
Battite said he is planning to apply to JP Centre/South Main Streets for a storefront improvement grant for the JP store. The benches in front of the store will remain.
Real Deal manager Mike Black said the new shop may not have free wireless Internet access, a service that Emack and Bolio’s offered.
“If people were to hang out there all day it would not necessarily be good for us, but we are not totally opposed to it,” Black said.
Council member Carlos Icaza said he would prefer that Real Deal not offer wireless, saying it is an important draw for Sweet Finnish bakery across the street.
Black said that is no problem.
The transfer application now goes before the City of Boston Licensing Board.
City Feed and Supply’s request for a common victullar license for its planned sandwich shop/grocery at the old Videosmith space at 672 Centre St. was approved last month by the JPNC Public Service Committee. That decision was affirmed by the whole council at its meeting.
The owners have since learned, however, that they must also apply for a take-out license. Normally, take-out license requests are heard by the JPNC Zoning Committee before they move on to the council as a whole and then to the Licensing Board.
The council briefly considered provisionally approving City Feed’s request for the take-out license, providing it is approved at the next JPNC Zoning Committee meeting. The plan was dropped when Zoning Committee member Red Burrows objected, saying he felt the full JPNC approval would prejudice the committee.
Jackson Square: Variances
Burrows reported that the council’s Zoning Committee approved a request for multiple zoning variances for the first phase of plans to redevelop Jackson Square.
Phase one of the planned redevelopment of 11 acres of public and private land in Jackson Square include a Youth and Family Center, retail space and hundreds of residential units on Columbus Avenue and the northeast corner of Centre Street.
Burrows said the Zoning Committee strongly recommended more three-bedroom units and more parking be included in latter phases of the project.
The project is being developed by a group of community development corporations (CDCs) and for-profit developers known as Jackson Square Partners. The team includes the CDCs Urban Edge and the Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Development Corporation; the non-profit Hyde Square Task Force; and for-profit developers Mitchell Properties and Gravestar.
As usual, JPNC chair Jesús Gerena and council member Mark Pedulla, both of whom work for the Hyde Square Task Force, recused themselves from the vote and left the room during conversation about the project.
Jackson Square Partners’ requests for zoning relief were approved by the whole council and next go before the city’s zoning Board of Appeal.
Forest Hills: 60-foot antenna
Burrows also reported that the Zoning Committee did not approve a request from cell phone company Sprint Nextel to install a billboard and a 60-foot antenna on Hyde Park Avenue.
Sprint Nextel declined to meet with the community about the proposal, so its request was summarily rejected, Burrows said.
Chances for approval of zoning relief requests are greatly diminished if applicants do not seek community support.
Hyde, Jackson Egleston: Council Vacancy
Victor Martinez, who had been representing Area A (Hyde, Jackson and Egleston squares) on the JPNC, has stepped down.
Anyone interested in filling the vacant seat on the council should present himself or herself at the next council meeting, Tues., Feb. 26 at 7 p.m. at Curtis Hall.
The council could then approve a replacement at its March meeting.