The Zoning Board of Appeal today approved a proposal to add three floors of apartments to the building that now houses Ace Hardware and several smaller stores on Washington Street at Metropolitan Avenue.
However, the board agreed to ask BPDA designers to work with owner Josef Porteleki and his architect to figure out how to increase the 14 parking spaces he now has behind the building, after residents of the Metropolitan Avenue dead end there said people already block their short street by parking illegally.
Porteleki is proposing to add apartments from 750-square-foot one-bedroom units to 1,500-square-foot three-bedroom units, in the latest example of a Roslindale commercial-building owner seeking to add residential floors. The building would be topped with solar panels.
Porteleki’s proposal calls for his new tenants to share the existing 14-space parking lot behind the building and off the Metropolitan Avenue dead end with the stores on the block, which he said would work because most of the stores close by 5 or 6 o’clock anyway. He added that building is on three bus lines.
The mayor’s office and the offices of city councilors Ricardo Arroyo, Michelle Wu, Michael Flaherty and Annissa Essaibi-George all supported the proposal.
Three residents of the dead end all said they wanted to support the project. “I love Joe!” Sarah Holden said.
But they said they were very concerned about what they said was already a bad parking situation there, one they said would only grow worse if residents parked their cars there all day during the week, which would force still more people to try to park illegally on their street.
Porteleki said the problem is really the gas station across Metropolitan, which he said parks cars on the street and uses it for tow-truck access to its lot. But he agreed with acting board Chairman Mark Erlich to look at squeezing more parking in behind the building.