2017-08-31 / Around Town

Fifth Element Owners Present Proposal

By Lynne Tungett

The above rendering of the Fifth Element proposal by Herk Works Architecture and 2Hands Studio. The above rendering of the Fifth Element proposal by Herk Works Architecture and 2Hands Studio. At the monthly meeting of the Off-Broadway Neighborhood Association (ONBA) on Tuesday, Aug. 29, owners of the Fifth Element received support from residential and business neighbors regarding their proposal to build a 40-room boutique hotel.

Brad Cherevaty and Frank Doyle made a presentation to about two dozen people, where they expressed confidence, following months of meetings and research with architects and engineers, that they have met all the height, setback and many other regulations required for zoning. The proposed hotel location is within the general business zone, though the property has abutting residential neighbors on Ayrault Street and Kilburn Court.

“There were many driving factors which led us to this project,” Doyle said. “With our strengths in hospitality, this seemed like a natural first choice to develop the site with a hotel as a progression of our business model.”

Cherevaty said, “It’s an exciting way for us to be part of the ongoing revitalization of Broadway. We think this will add future growth to this part of the city and benefit many of our neighbors.”

The owners said that the concept for the structure is not yet formalized. “This is just so exploratory,” Doyle said.

Currently there is no green space on the lots of the restaurant and the former Foley’s Gas Station, but green space, plantings and other environmental improvements will be made to the location in order to meet the city’s development guidelines and current ordinances. The combination boutique hotel and restaurant will be amongst the city’s largest street front properties at 180 feet, and will include an entrance at the southern end of the proposed building.

The Fifth Element’s owners extended an open invitation to the community to ask questions or express concerns. “We want to be transparent,” Doyle said.

Added Cherevaty, “One of us is literally at Fifth [Element] six nights a week behind the bar. Come see us.”

One of the concerns is parking. “In essence, we are really only seeking [zoning] relief for parking spaces,” Cherevaty said.

The Fifth Element is referred to as an “existing non-conforming use,” which means there were no strict parking ordinances when it was built in 1947. If constructed today, the restaurant would require eight spaces. The owners are seeking to combine two parcels, which would require a total of 61 spaces. The plan now includes 40 off-street spots. “Most restaurants on Broadway and in the city don’t have any parking spaces,” Cherevaty said.

The owners are tentatively scheduled to ask for a demolition permit at the Sept. 7 Planning Board meeting. If approved, they would then need to petition the Zoning Board of Appeals to address the parking issue. However, given the board’s full agenda, the owners’ appearance is likely to be postponed.

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