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Charles Street Market Looks to Stay in Current Spot with Expanded Services

With the threat of a bank moving in now gone, neighbors heard ways to keep a favorite marketplace on Charles Street.

In order to keep Charles Street Market at its current location, owner Tracy Hollander says he needs to install basement storage and expand his cooked menu, which requires a grill and, therefore, more rooftop venting.

The market needs to generate more revenue to be able to offer an attractive rent to its landlord, Linear Realty, which earlier this year tried to lease the space at to Capital One bank – a move the neighborhood mobilized against and shut down.

By expanding its services, Hollander said, it can come to a deal with Linear that would allow it to remain at 62-66 Charles St. In addition to storage, more cooked food, the market would expand its frozen food offerings, produce and meals to go. With a grill, it could offer burgers and fries as well as other deli fast food, Hollander said. It is also looking into bringing in Gengi sushi (which is what Whole Foods offers).

Dozens of neighbors attended the meeting, which lasted a little more than an hour, at the Firehouse Wednesday evening. Nearly all voiced strong support for Hollander and his market but abutters wanted more information about the venting system Hollander plans to use. 

Joel Kadis, a Linear representative who appeared with Hollander, said the ventilation system, which would not be visible from the street, far exceeds what is required by code. It costs three times as much as a normal vent system and eliminates 91 percent of odors. But neighbors said they would like to see one of these systems in person before agreeing that it is adequate.

A number also asked questions about the storage facility Hollander wants to set up in the basement. Hollander said it would be comprised of a bike rack and a number of small storage spaces, likely measuring 5-by-9 feet and 10-by-9 feet, designed to offer Beacon Hillers in small apartments a space to store their skis or similar items. It would be accessible by a key card and only open while the market is open.

If the neighborhood agrees to these changes, Kadis would offer Charles Street Market a long-term lease, Hollander said. Kadis made clear that this option is not the most lucrative to Linear, which would take a financial hit in this property in order to ingratiate themselves with the neighborhood.

LWC September 21, 2012 at 05:25 PM
Mr. Kadis and Linear have shown by their actions that only when forced by the neighborhood did they withdraw their plans for Capital One. In fact Capital One may have been the one "who respected the neighborhood" not Linear. Now the Linear is looking to turn the tables and enhance the value of their property by threating us and the Market. "Let me expand or the Market cannot stay" Is their bottom line. The best option is for Linear to sell the building. They rushed to make this acquisition over a Christmas period, leaving no chance for an educated buyer to purchase the building and did not understand the restrictions around the building they bought. Rather than admit their mistake they are forcing the neighbors to bail them out. They can sell the building today and escape " their suspposed financial hit"
John D September 22, 2012 at 07:40 PM
the NIMBY squad is at it again. perhaps they can step up to the plate and purchase the building from Linear, only then should they be allowed to dictate how others utilize their space.

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