Greenhills cooks up new Adams Corner space

Greenhills Bakery owners at a meeting Monday night discussed plans to demolish their existing one-story building and construct a four-story mixed-use building that would house a revamped and updated bakery. (Rendering courtesy of Choo & Company Architects)

The owners of Greenhills Bakery in Adams Village unveiled a proposal Monday night that would see the demolition of their existing building and the construction of a four-story building with nine housing units above a new bakery on the ground floor.

During a city-sponsored meeting, abutters heard the owners, Dermot and Cindy Quinn, say it was a chance for them to pump new life into their 30-plus year-old business at 780 Adams St.

Said Cindy: “We’ve worked hard on this plan to make something that will add to the neighborhood and that people will accept. We’ll see what the city says and abide by the rules, but the units are small and efficient…We put a lot of thought into it.”

The meeting was attended by 15 people, including presenters, and lasted 18 minutes. The nine for-sale condo units would be housed in three stories above the new bakery, and would include three two-bedrooms and six one-bedrooms, with no parking provided. The units would be sized at between 600 and 800 square feet.

The project would not include any affordable units as the project currently fits under the city policy that has a 10-unit threshold for such housing, a mandate that Mayor Wu has proposed lowering. “We’re not there yet [on affordable units],” said project attorney John Pulgini. “We’ll be keeping an eye on that proposal.”

The proposed building would be 42 feet tall, with the maximum allowed set at 40 feet.

Mark Sullivan of Choo Architecture said the owners plan to use red brick on the ground floor and on the top of the building, which sits on the corner of Adams Street and the narrow Henderson Street entrance and exit to “create a monument piece on the corner.” The remainder of the building would be fiber cement siding, as is commonplace on most buildings these days.

Dermot Quinn said the construction period would last around two years, and added that they have a plan to temporarily relocate Greenhills Bakery within the Adams Village area.

“We have three offers to accommodate our bakery during the time the building is being erected and they are right in the neighborhood,” he said. “Neighbors are really out to help us in that respect.”

Mary Swanton, the executive director of the nearby Irish Pastoral Centre, said she hopes the community will support the proposal to keep a keystone business in Adams Village, which she called the “Irish center” of Boston. “To remove Greenhills Bakery or block any project or development hinders what we have here,” she said. “Just as we have a Chinatown or the North End in Boston, we are very committed to maintaining this area as the Irish center of Boston. I can’t see that happening without Dermot and Cindy.”

Greenhills Bakery building in Adams Village.

Abutting property owner Ed Brooks, who lives at 772 Adams St., said he saw no problems with the proposal, but he hoped to work closely during construction to preserve the shared wall and cellar foundations. “I am excited for them and hope everything goes as planned,” Brooks said.

An attorney who represents abutting property owners in the 700 block of Adams Street, said his clients currently have “no position” on the proposal.

The project will require Zoning Board variances for maximum floor area ratio (FAR), maximum height, rear setback, and off-street parking (16 spaces required, none provided). The new bakery would also need approval for take-out food.