Egleston block eyed for massive mixed-use project

July 18, 2014
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EGLESTON SQ.—A block of Washington Street that includes former plumbing company and car garage is being eyed for an energy-efficient, mixed-use development.

Developers Dan Mangiacotti and Paul Iantosca are looking to redevelop the 3190-3204 block of Washington Street, between Montebello and Iffley roads, into ground-level retail and housing with “some sustainability and energy conservation components,” their attorney, Joe Hanley of McDermott, Quilty & Miller, told the Gazette this week.

“We’re very excited. Egleston Square is a vibrant, diverse neighborhood,” Hanley said.

According to Hanley, the project is currently in a very rudimentary stage. No filings have been made with any City agency so far.

“We’re just starting to discuss things with the City and he community,” he said.

The developers are under agreement to buy a large brick building that is the former home of Economy Plumbing & Heating Supply Company, and the neighboring E&J Auto Tech, which is in business. They are also pondering ways to include an adjacent apartment building and a row of old garages.

An owner of the auto shop, Jesús Diaz, said he rents the property and was not aware of the sale and redevelopment plans until the Gazette told him.

The developers are scheduled to present the idea for the potential project to community at a July 21 Egleston Square Main Street Economic Development Committee meeting and at a July 23 Egleston Square Neighborhood Association meeting.

The troubled apartment building at 52 Montebello Road, which the City is in the process of taking over, is also being eyed for inclusion in the project, Hanley said.

“We were made aware that the community has had issues with this property. We may be able to be helpful in cleaning up the building and repurpose it for better residential housing,” whatever the community and the City decide is best, Hanley said.

Lisa Pollock, spokesperson for the City’s Department of Neighborhood Development (DND), told the Gazette that DND is still undergoing the process of taking control of the Montebello Road building and was not aware of the developers’ plan.

The property at 52 Montebello Road has been vacant for several years and drawn complaints for illicit parties and squatters. It has been on JP’s Problem Properties Committee list since mid-2012, when the City’s Inspectional Services Department boarded it up.

Old garages at 11 Iffley Road may also become involved with the project, though it is not clear in what capacity, according to Liana Poston, aide to state Rep. Liz Malia. Poston is Malia’s representative on JP’s Problem Properties Committee, where some of these properties have been discussed recently.

According to City assessment records, 3190 and 3204 Washington St. are owned by Four Brothers Trust. The Gazette was unable to find an active phone number for that entity.

The developers have hired architect Kevin Deabler of RODE Architects.

Developers are showing increased interest in Egleston Square. Another developer is eyeing another commercial property just a block north on Washington, and the Boston Redevelopment Authority is considering a master plan for Washington Street corridor, as the Gazette previously reported.

CORRECTION: Due to a reporter error, in a previous version of this article, Mangiacotti’s name was misspelled.

The former Economy Plumbing & Heating Supply Co. building at 3190 Washington St. (Gazette Photo by Rebeca Oliveira)

The former Economy Plumbing & Heating Supply Co. building at 3190 Washington St. (Gazette Photo by Rebeca Oliveira)