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Zoning Board removes supermarket requirement for One Canal project

Posted by Johanna Kaiser  April 23, 2013 03:03 PM

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The $175 million One Canal project planned for the Bulfinch Triangle is no longer required to find a much-desired supermarket for its ground floor in order to move forward.

The Boston Zoning Board of Appeal voted Tuesday to amend the provisions requiring developer Trinity Financial to lease 20,000 square feet of its 12-story apartment building’s ground floor to a supermarket in order to move forward with the development.

The firm’s attorney, Katharine Bachman, told the board it has been difficult to secure an operator for the space, especially as Delaware North Cos., owner of the TD Garden, moves forward with plans for a high-rise development on the old site of the Boston Garden near North Station.

Those plans call for two towers with hundreds of residences, a hotel, offices, a multilevel Target, and a 45,000-square-foot supermarket on an underground level with a prominent entrance on Causeway Street.

Trinity Financial's search for a supermarket operator has been “complicated by the North Station development,” Bachman said, noting that the proposed space is larger and more centrally located.

Under the agreement established last year, Trinity Financial is freed the supermarket requirement if an alternative supermarket was open and operating in the immediate area.

Downtown neighborhood residents have worked for more than a decade to bring an affordable supermarket to the area, and Bachman said Trinity Financial “is committed to do its best to bring a supermarket to this site.”

The request to remove the requirement and allow the project to move forward was supported by the Mayor’s Office of Neighborhood Services and city councilors Felix Arroyo, Sal LaMattina, Stephen Murphy, Ayanna Pressley, Mike Ross, and Charles Yancey.

The North End/West End/Beacon Hill Supermarket Committee and the Downtown North Association also submitted letters of support, according to Bachman.

“This will allow us hopefully to get to the final stage,” Robert O’Brien, executive director of the Downtown North Association, told the board.

E-mail Kaiser at Johanna.yourtown@gmail.com. For more news about your city, town, neighborhood, or campus, visit boston.com’s Your Town homepage.

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