Bella Vista is such a settled neighborhood, it hardly sees much development activity these days. When it does, most projects are one-off homes getting renovated or rebuilt after longtime owners move on, in one way or another. It’s precisely because the neighborhood is so settled that any slightly underused property surely catches the attention of developers and attracts waves of unsolicited offers. And we suspect that 729-33 Pemberton St. fit that description for a long time.
This property is a little tough to figure out just from looking at it. It includes two rather skinny homes at 729 and 731 Pemberton St., a one-story garage at 733 Pemberton St., and six garage spaces in the rear, accessed from Perth Street. The homes, though they’re narrow, make plenty of sense here. The one-story garage isn’t an ideal use of space, but it’s also too skinny to tear down and replace with a 12.5′-wide corner home, so we understand why it’s there. The six garages on Perth Street, however, are crying out for redevelopment. So it’s without a shred of surprise that we share the news that there are now plans to tear down those garages and built three homes in their place. This project, which also calls for the subdivision of the existing three buildings, went before the community last night and was received favorably, setting the table for ZBA approval.
The construction of three homes on Perth Street feels like a no-brainer, and in terms of pursuing the easiest possible project we can appreciate why the owners of the property are pursuing this course of action. Without drilling down on the numbers, we wonder whether it might have made more sense to tear down the three buildings on Pemberton Street and build two more homes or a single huge home at the corner. Another developer took this approach across the street, building a large home which eventually sold for $1.6M. We imagine the reuse is projected to be more lucrative than demolition and new construction though, or else the developers would be taking a different approach to the property. Fortunately for people planning to enjoy the use of Cianfrani Park across the street over the next year, renovation rather than demolition and new construction should prove less disruptive on a day to day basis.