Roslindale Neighbors: Gas station site awaits make-over

May 15, 2009
By

JOHN RUCH

ROSLINDALE VILLAGE—The notorious former gas station site in the heart of Roslindale Village is slated for a $5 million redevelopment into commercial and office space, though it is unclear whether construction will start before June as originally planned.

The 18,000-square-foot parcel at 4238-4244 Washington St. is in a crucial spot—next to the Roslindale Branch Library and across the street from Adams Park.

But the long-vacant gas station became an eyesore. Two years ago, an army of city officials, ranging from police to Inspectional Service Department inspectors, boarded up the building and scrubbed it clean in what City Councilor Rob Consalvo called an “attack” on its filthy condition.

Early this year, Needham developer Victor Kotslopoulos won city approval for a plan to tear down the gas station and replace it with a three-story commercial/office building. Kotslopoulos did not return a Gazette phone call for this article.

The second floor of the new, 25,000-square-foot building is already pegged for Social Security Admini-stration offices. The street-level space could be one to three storefront businesses, or even a restaurant. The front facade will be stepped back from the street to allow space for outdoor seating.

“We are certainly going to be part of seeking tenants in the neighborhood and making sure there is a sus-tainable, viable business mix,” said Jody Burr, executive director of Roslindale Village Main Streets.

Kotslopoulous originally planned for construction to start in the “second quarter” of this year—roughly between April and June—and finish in late 2010. But there are no signs of construction yet.

Burr said it “seems like the circumstances are changing on a regular basis.”

The new building is slated to have a 16-space parking lot in the back, along with some green space and benches. New lighting and trees are planned for the streetfront.

The new building will be fronted with red brick to match the former MBTA substation building that stands nearby at the corner of Washington Street and Cummins Highway. The substation is also the target of redevel-opment plans that are moving slower than originally intended. [See related article.]

David Taber contributed to this article.