A guy named Buckley built a garage at 621 Reed St. back in 1915 and liked it so much he decided to put his name on the front. Though the first floor has been used fairly consistently as a garage over the years, the upper floors were converted to a furniture storage facility during the middle of the 20th century. Perhaps in service of this business, the original window openings got filled in, with the infill brick contrasting with the original brick to make the job incredibly obvious all these years later.

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In the past

If you visit this property today, however, it doesn’t look the same. Developers bought the building about a year ago, paying $945K, and given the purchase price, it’s pretty obvious that they were planning redevelopment. With the mixed-use zoning for the property and with the utilization of a zoning bonus that awards extra height and density for the inclusion of moderate income housing, the developers were moving forward with a plan to build an addition on the building and create 12 apartments above retail on the first floor.

Perhaps due to COVID or maybe because this was always the plan, they’re now planning to go to the ZBA to eliminate the retail downstairs and add four more units, for a total of 16 apartments. Because the 12 units on the upper floors are happening by right, they didn’t have to wait for the ZBA before starting construction. As a result, there’s already a considerable amount of work happening at the property, with the new window openings especially notable. Unfortunately, the new windows have not reduced Buckley’s masonry signature to “B Ley’s GG,” so that’s kind of a shame.

Current view
Sister garage next door

Assuming the ZBA approves the project (and even if they don’t), we’d call this a positive change for this property. And it makes us wonder whether we could see a similar situation with the active auto garage next door at some point in the future, which sits on an even larger property. Fortunately, the Eglin’s Garage sign is positioned differently than the Buckley’s Garage sign, and any addition to the building could probably take it into account and keep it around. Let’s hope that happens, it would indeed be a shame to see both signs on these old garages impacted by development that’s otherwise a benefit to the neighborhood.