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.