Ward 4 Councillor Brian Palmucci wants to get an update from FoxRock Properties on its plans for the Ross Lot in Quincy Center. He also wants to hear from legal counsel to review the pact between the city and FoxRock that allows the company to develop the lot.
Palmucci plans to introduce a resolution to that effect at Monday’s meeting of the City Council. The council will meet remotely via Zoom that evening starting at 6:30 p.m. The meeting will also air live on QATV.
FoxRock and Mayor Thomas Koch had negotiated a land disposition agreement, which the City Council approved in June 2019, allowing the company to acquire a portion of the Ross Lot from the city and to redevelop it. That LDA also allowed the company to buy out the city’s right of reverter at 114 Whitwell St., formerly home to Quincy Medical Center, freeing it up for a residential redevelopment. The developer agreed to pay the city $4.25 million as part of the pact.
FoxRock’s plans for the Ross Lot site – as first introduced to the council in early 2019 – called for the construction of a 200,000-square-foot medical office building, a 140-room hotel and 110 units of affordable or workforce housing.
Development at the Ross Lot site has yet to commence, as Palmucci noted in his resolution. FoxRock went before the Planning Board with plans for the first time on Sept. 8 and is scheduled to appear before the board again in November.
FoxRock’s plans, as presented to the Planning Board, call for a 150,000-square-foot office building, 125 hotel rooms, and 200 apartments. FoxRock did not say whether any of those apartments would be set aside for affordable housing at the Sept. 8; following the meeting, a spokesperson for the company told The Sun “The project will have to go in front of the affordable housing trust which will determine the affordability requirements for the project.”
In his resolution, Palmucci wrote FoxRock in September “publicly retreated from its commitment to create affordable housing” on the former Ross Lot, and that the 2019 LDA would allow the city to take back a portion of the land for $1 if the affordable housing requirement is not met. Alternatively, Palmucci said the city could require FoxRock to pay an additional fee, based on the land’s current appraised value, to construct market-rate housing.
Among other steps, Palmucci’s resolution asks FoxRock to appear at a future council meeting to discuss its plans for the Ross Lot site; seeks hearings with legal counsel to review the LDA; and asks the Koch administration for a new appraisal of the portion of the Ross Lot site on which the residential development would be built.
In a separate resolution, Palmucci asks that FoxRock appear before the council to discuss how the company will maintain public safety and compliance federal, state and local regulations while developing the Ross Lot site, and to address whether or not they plan to hire locally for the project.
A student at Central Middle School will be disciplined for showing classmates a taser outside of school, the school’s principal said.
In a letter to the school community, Principal Rick DeCristofaro Jr. on Friday said the student admitting showing the taser to classmates and would be disciplined for doing so.
“This morning during morning arrival, I was informed of the possibility of a Central Middle School student being in possession of a weapon, specifically a taser. After being brought to the office, the student admitted to having the taser in their backpack and showing it to classmates, in an inoperable position, outside of school,” DeCristofaro said.
“The student will be held accountable and appropriately disciplined for this serious incident.”
DeCristofaro encouraged anyone concerned about the incident to reach out to him or other staff members.
“Please know that Quincy Public Schools takes all reports of this nature seriously and as always, our focus is on providing a safe school community for students and staff,” he said. “If you or your student have concerns about this incident, please feel free to reach out to me at 617-984-8725 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
“Acting Assistant Principal Kathy Mahoney (email@example.com) and Guidance Counselors Matt Ramponi (firstname.lastname@example.org), Lili Moy (email@example.com), and Chrissy Shah (firstname.lastname@example.org) are available to speak with you or your student as well.”
Friday’s incident was the second incident in two weeks involving a Quincy student and a weapon.
A student at the GOALS program, which is located in North Quincy, was arrested on Sept. 27 for allegedly bringing a handgun into the building with them.
Supt. Kevin Mulvey at that time said the “student admitted to having a handgun on their person because of safety concerns outside of school” and emphasized “that the student did not threaten any staff members or students at any time.”
Police are looking for two suspects linked to a shooting that took place in Quincy Point on Tuesday afternoon.
Quincy police were called to Avalon Avenue around 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday on multiple reports of possible gun shots, according to Sgt. Karyn Barkas. Upon arrival, officers were unable to locate any type of disturbance in the area, she said.
After speaking with the initial caller and witnesses, officers learned that two Black males exited a dark-colored vehicle, possibly a Honda Accord, Barkas said. One of the suspects then fired two shots into a white BMW. The first suspect returned to the dark-colored vehicle and fled the scene. The second suspect, who had fired the shots, ran towards Avalon Avenue. The white BMW also fled the scene. This information was broadcast to Quincy police officers as well as surrounding cities and towns.
Barkas said the victim’s vehicle was located a short time later by the Braintree Police Department. The occupants of the vehicle were not injured.
Two shell casings were recovered on Avalon Avenue.
The first suspect is described as a Black male in his late teens, 5”10” with a thin build and wearing a black colored hooded sweat top and dark pants. The second suspect (shooter) is described as a Black male, early to late teens, approximately 5’8”, thin build, wearing a red do-rag, dark pants, and a black zipped up hooded sweat top.
Barkas said the investigation is ongoing and police do not believe this was a random crime. Anyone with information is asked to contact Det. Rick Wash at 617-745-5762 or email@example.com or Det. AJ Carthas at 617-745-5782 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Tips can also be submitted using the MyPD app.
City councillors on Monday unanimously approved a new ward and precinct map for Quincy, which will take effect starting next year.
The map will next be sent to state officials for final approval, City Clerk Nicole Crispo said Monday. By getting the map into the state before the end of October, state lawmakers will be able to use the new ward and precinct lines when they draw up legislative and congressional districts, she explained.
Some 16,500 Quincy residents, including 4,500 registered voters, will switch precincts or wards once the new maps come into effect, Crispo said during the council meeting. Those residents who will be impacted will get notices in the mail ahead of the September 2022 state primary election, which is the first election scheduled to take place under the new map. (The ward and precinct lines first put in place in 2011 will be used for next month’s municipal election.)
Crispo had first presented the new map to the Board of Registrars on Sept. 28, and the board approved it in a unanimous vote. The public had been invited to comment on the map at that meeting.
Earlier this year, Crispo told city councillors additional precincts may be needed given Quincy’s population growth over the past decade. No new precincts were added, however.
“Our elections are busy, busier than ever,” Crispo explained at the registrars meeting. “We have over 64,000 voters in the city. There are options available and people are taking advantage of them as far as early voting, in-person voting, absentee voting.
“So, we didn’t feel that this was necessarily the time to be adding precincts, especially where it is so hard to find polling places and staff to work on Election Day.”
The city will actually lose one precinct, moving from 31 back to 30, next year. Ward 2, Precinct 3A – which includes a single tower within the housing complex at 1000 Southern Artery – will be folded into Ward 2, Precinct 2.
The new precinct map was unveiled about a month and a half after the federal government released community-level data from the 2020 census that found Quincy’s population had grown to 101,636, up from 92,271 in 2010.
The 30 new precincts each have a target population of 3,388 residents and are allowed to vary by up to 5 percent in each direction – meaning the minimum population of each is 3,219 and the maximum population is 3,557.
Crispo on Monday said the map was drawn starting at the city limits and working inward.
“We did try to work on the edges of our community, all around the water and around the Blue Hills, and come into the middle and that is how we came to this map, and I think it is a good map,” she said.
“I’m really proud of it. I think that you have your diverse sections, you have your neighborhoods all still intact.”
City Council President Nina Liang thanked Crispo and her staff for the work they put into both the 2020 federal census and the reprecincting effort.
“I know well before the census came out in 2020, well before the pandemic, there was lots of planning that you had put into all of this and obviously having to adjust for that during the pandemic, making sure that everyone was counted, I think it is an incredible feat to be able to get these kind of results in – to know that we have now exceeded 100,000 folks here in the city,” Liang said.
“Certainly there are some folks that still aren’t counted, but just to see the increase in numbers and the accuracy of the work you have produced – I said this to you before in private but I certainly love this opportunity to say ‘I don’t know how you did it.’ I am exceptionally proud of the work you have put out for this city, so thank you so much.”
The Walmart location in Quincy has reopened days after police said a man intentionally set a fire inside the store.
The store reopened at noon on Thursday.
Firefighters were called to the Walmart at 301 Falls Blvd. just before 6:30 p.m. on Monday, according to Capt. John Dougan of the Quincy Police Department. When they arrived, firefighters saw fire and heavy smoke coming from the building, and people running from the store.
When police arrived, Dougan said one man standing near the front door “caught the officers’ eyes” as he matched the description of the party who was believed to have started the fire. Dougan said police asked the man if he had started the fire, to which the suspect responded, “yeah, I started the fire.”
The suspect – identified as Ronald Wulfer, a 35-year-old homeless man from Quincy – was then arrested and brought to police headquarters. Dougan said officers found a Bic lighter in Wulfer’s possession, which Wulfer said he used to start the fire.
Wulfer also told officers he started a fire at a wooden fence outside the Roche Bros at 101 Falls Blvd. on Sunday evening, Dougan said.
Dougan said Wulfer was charged with two counts of arson, one count of defacing property and one count of disorderly conduct. Arraignment information was not immediately available Thursday.
A Weymouth man has been charged with robbing the Quincy Credit Union on Tuesday after turning himself into police.
Capt. John Dougan of the Quincy Police Department said officers were called to the credit union’s main branch at 100 Quincy Ave. around 1 p.m. on Tuesday for a report of an unarmed robbery.
Dougan said the suspect – a white male blue sweatshirt, gray hat and a backpack – approached a teller and passed a noting demanding. The suspect was given a $20 bill and fled the bank. After leaving the bank, Dougan said the suspect removed his sweatshirt and hat and, in the process, dropped the bill.
At approximately 6:15 p.m. that evening, Dougan said Weymouth police contacted Quincy police and said a man had entered the police station and told officers he had robbed the Quincy Credit Union about five hours earlier.
The suspect, identified as Alexander Montanaro, 35, of Weymouth, was then arrested on a charge of unarmed robbery. Arraignment information for Montanaro was not immediately available Thursday.
The principal at South West Middle School in Quincy said an investigation is underway to identify whoever left hateful graffiti including a racial slur inside one of the school’s bathrooms and pledged to hold the responsible party accountable.
Derek Lakey, the school’s principal, said the graffiti was found in the bathroom on Tuesday.
“Hateful graffiti including a racial slur was found in one of our restrooms today,” Lakey wrote in an open letter. “This graffiti is extremely offensive to the entire school community and will not be tolerated at South West Middle School. An investigation is underway and the offensive graffiti has been removed. Please know that those identified as involved in this misconduct will be held accountable and appropriately disciplined.
“Moving forward, we will use this incident as an opportunity to reinforce that as a school community, we stand for respect and inclusion. At South West Middle School, we pride ourselves on providing a safe and welcoming learning environment for staff and students. We will continue to emphasize these values at every opportunity inside and outside the classroom.”
Lakey invited anyone concerned about the incident to reach out to him or other staff members.
The graffiti at South West Middle School was discovered one day after a student with the GOALS program – which is located in a building on Hunt Street in North Quincy – was charged with bringing a handgun to school.
In an open letter published Monday, the date of the incident, Supt. Kevin Mulvey said the student admitting having the handgun with them inside the GOALS building. Before police could arrive, Mulvey said the student fled to the North Quincy MBTA station and boarded a train. The train was stopped before leaving the station, however, and the student was arrested without incident.
“This morning, a student at the GOALS program was found to be in possession of a weapon, specifically a handgun. The student was quickly removed to an administrative area of the building and the student admitted to having a handgun on their person because of safety concerns outside of school. A GOALS administrator alerted the Quincy Police Department, Director of Safety & Security Michael Draicchio, and me,” Mulvey wrote.
“Anticipating the Quincy Police Department’s arrival, the student fled from the GOALS building to the North Quincy MBTA station and boarded a train. The Quincy Police Department notified the MBTA Police and the train was stopped before departing the station. After a search of the train, the student was identified and arrested without incident at the North Quincy MBTA station and the handgun was confiscated by the police.”
Mulvey thanked school staff and police for their response to the incident.
“My sincerest thanks go to the staff of the GOALS program, due to their actions and the support of the Quincy Police Department and the MBTA Police Department, this very serious event ended without injury to any member of the community. As you know, safety and security is very important to all of us here at Quincy Public Schools and I want to stress that the student did not threaten any staff members or students at any time,” he said.
“Please contact me at email@example.com or at 617-984-8701 if you have questions or concerns.”
Mayor Thomas Koch, in a statement, commended the response by school staff.
“From the initial response to the resolution, the school staff and our police officers did a truly excellent job in handling this incident and ensuring it ended the way it did,” he said.
Quincy city councillors on Monday called upon state officials to enforce the existing commercial traffic ban on Furnace Brook Parkway.
Councillors unanimously approved a resolution – put forward by Charles Phelan Jr., Brian Palmucci and Anne Mahoney – asking the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation, which owns the road, and State Police to enforce the commercial traffic ban.
Phelan said smartphone apps like Waze are directing drivers of commercial vehicles to cut through Furnace Brook Parkway and abutting neighborhood roads, even though commercial trucks are prohibited from using the parkway.
“What I have had problems with is huge tractor-trailers coming down Furnace Brook Parkway…taking turns off of Waze and going into neighborhoods. It let up a little during the pandemic but now it is starting to kick back up and there are huge delivery trucks that the street was never meant for,” Phelan said.
“These tractor-trailers will come down side streets, get caught in the middle of the street, and you have a disaster.”
Phelan suggested copies of the resolution should be sent to State Police and members of Quincy’s delegation on Beacon Hill to emphasize the importance of enforcing the commercial traffic ban.
“These roadways were never meant for this kind of heavy traffic on them,” Phelan said. “There are going to be a lot of cars – that is inevitable – but that is what is supposed to on them.”
Councillor Noel DiBona said he has heard from residents concerned about trucks on Furnace Brook Parkway and nearby roads over the past six years.
“You’re talking about going down the side streets – they are also going down do-not-enters and one-way systems sometimes. We have to prevent that from happening and I am happy that this is going forward,” DiBona said.
“I’m happy to see this come about and hopefully we can get this resolved as we move forward.”
Ward 6 Councillor William Harris delivery trucks should not be taking Furnace Brook Parkway and neighborhood streets.
“They are supposed to be going right onto the highway, not cutting through Furnace Brook Parkway, not going through our neighborhoods. It’s not right,” Harris said.
“This is a quality of life issue and that is what we are here to protect.”
A Quincy-based company has unveiled formal plans to redevelop part of former Ross Lot in Quincy Center, including a 20-story tower housing a combined 325 hotel rooms and apartments, a 150,000-square-foot office building, a two-story building with a restaurant and other amenities, and a 490-car garage.
FoxRock Properties pitched the proposed redevelopment, known as SwitchPoint Quincy, to the Planning Board during its meeting on Sept. 8. FoxRock is seeking two separate approvals from the board; the first is a certificate of consistency for the overall project and the second is a special permit to build the hotel and residential structure 20 stories high.
The board did not vote on the proposal that evening and will take up the matter again on Nov. 10. It has not been determined whether November’s meeting will be held remotely like the Sept. 8 session was or in-person.
FoxRock’s development would be located at 37R and 86 Parkingway, which is within the former Ross Lot in Quincy Center. The roughly triangular parcel – which is bounded by General Dunford Drive to the south, Granite Street to the north, General McConville Way to the east and the MBTA tracks to the west – contains 117,366 square feet of land and is located within the Quincy Center Zoning District-15, where buildings can be constructed 15 stories tall by-right and 20 stories high with a special permit.
The developer hopes to begin construction on site in the spring of 2022 and complete the project by early 2024.
FoxRock and Mayor Thomas Koch had negotiated a land disposition agreement, which the City Council approved in June 2019, allowing the company to acquire that portion of the Ross Lot from the city and to redevelop it. That LDA also allowed the company to buy out the city’s right of reverter at 114 Whitwell St., formerly home to Quincy Medical Center, freeing it up for a residential redevelopment. The developer agreed to pay the city $4.25 million as part of the pact.
The new office building would be located at the south end of the parcel, abutting General Dunford Drive. The hotel and residential tower – which, at 20 stories, would be the tallest building in Quincy – would be located at the north end of the site, separated from Granite Street by a new outdoor amenity area. The garage would be located in between those two buildings sitting behind the two-story commercial building on General McConville Way. The office building and 20-story tower would both have retail space on the ground floor as well.
“The project aims to create a vibrant streetscape through programming active uses along the ground floor with both lobbies, retail spaces and a series of outdoor spaces of different scales and type,” Josh Kleinman, FoxRock’s director of design and construction, told the board.
“We’ve located loading docks and back-of-house facilities away from McConville Way to truly create a pedestrian-centric city block.”
David Bois, principal at the design firm Arrowstreet, the master planner for the project, said the various uses included in the proposal would create an active site.
“We’re really looking to create an active, 18-hour environment with office, retail, hotel and residential,” he said.
In February 2019, Koch announced that FoxRock had struck a deal with Brigham and Women’s Hospital and South Shore Health System, the parent organization of South Shore Hospital, to lease space within the proposed office building.
At the Sept. 8 board meeting, Kleinman said the office building had been designed for medical uses. Ed Hodges, principal at the architectural firm Dimella Shaffer, said the office building would have a “robust infrastructure to handle a variety of tenants that may come along.”
The 20-story tower at the north end of the site would have 125 hotel rooms on the lower five floors and 200 apartments on the upper floors, with separate entrances for the hotel and the residences.
FoxRock’s initial plans for the Quincy Center site, as unveiled in 2019, included 110 units of workforce housing. Following the Sept. 8 meeting, a spokesperson for the company told The Sun “The project will have to go in front of the affordable housing trust which will determine the affordability requirements for the project.”
The garage, which will be located between the two larger buildings, would have space for 490 vehicles. FoxRock plans to include 20 charging stations for electric vehicles when the garage first opens, with capacity to add more charging stations in the future.
In addition to the 490 spaces FoxRock would construct in the garage, the city will set aside 300 spaces to the south of General Dunford Drive for the developer in accordance with the 2019 land disposition agreement. A new municipal garage has been proposed for that area to replace the garage formerly on the Ross Lot.
A two-story commercial building would sit between the new garage and General McConville Way. Bois said the ground floor would house a 6,000-square-foot restaurant – with additional space for outdoor dining – and the second floor would feature amenity and meeting space for the hotel next door.
Karlis Skulte, the applicant’s engineer, said the city has upgraded utilities – such as sewer and water mains – in the vicinity of the former Ross Lot in recent years to prepare the area for future development.
“Throughout the years, McConville Way as well as this area have been redeveloped and the city has spent a good amount of time and energy into improving the utilities within McConville Way,” Skulte said.
“As a rule of thumb, we are tying into all of the utility services and the design elements that have been installed essentially to facilitate redevelopment in this parcel as well as others in the area.”
Members of the public were invited to comment on the project during the Sept. 8 meeting.
Greg Baryza, a resident of the nearby Cliveden Place development, said he was in favor of the proposal.
“I am not speaking to object to any of this stuff – as a matter of fact, I am in favor of it,” he said. “My wife and I sold our house in the suburbs of Boston. We decided to live in a downtown area, we wanted to live close to public transportation, and we didn’t mind being part of a development district.”
In a letter to the board, which was read into the record during the meeting, Baryza raised concerns about the impact construction nearby would have on his building. He said his building “experienced regular and significant shaking” when the buildings formerly on the Parkingway were demolished and new infrastructure was installed in the area.
“I submitted pictures of furniture that had moved as a result of the shaking, movies of water sloshing back and forth in bottles, and potted plants quivering from the vibrations. My wife’s antique glass collection was put at risk because pieces were sliding to the edge of shelves in their display case,” Baryza said. “This occurred periodically, often multiple times per day, multiple days per week, over the past two years.”
Matt Warner, a Bigelow Street resident, said that “development is a thing that is going to happen – it’s not a bad thing,” but added he was “a little bit surprised and disappointed” that FoxRock was proposing to construct a 20-story building on site rather than a 15-story one. Warner also questioned how people would be able to access the medical office building if they had to park in the 300 spaces the city would be providing on the opposite side of General Dunford Drive.
Ward 5 Councillor Charles Phelan Jr., in whose district the site is located, said the Planning Board should take steps to protect nearby residents from construction impacts as part of the permitting process.
“Whether it is noise mitigation, vibration mitigation, I’m not sure how you do that, but I think we have to take a look at that,” Phelan said.
“The residents, they are living there, they are going to be living there through this and this is a lot to go through. What I think is going to happen afterwards is they are going to have a beautiful backyard, but for now, the next couple of years when they are doing the development, we have to take them into consideration.”
Following the public comments, board chairperson Richard Meade said he and his fellow board members would need time to consider the application.
“I think we need some additional time obviously to get through the information to digest it. What I would suggest is that the board put this on its agenda for November – not October,” Meade said.“I’m not suggesting we’re going to be in a position to vote it up or down in November, but…we will have an opportunity to discuss it further and digest it a little more.”
David Mahoney, the attorney representing FoxRock at the hearing, said he agreed with the decision to schedule the matter for the November meeting.
Quincy’s population has surpassed 101,000 residents, an increase of more than 10 percent over the past decade, according to recently released federal census figures.
The data also show that Quincy has become more diverse since the last decennial census.
The US Census Bureau on Thursday released results of the 2020 survey that show Quincy’s population had grown to 101,636 residents. That number is up from 92,271 residents in 2010, an increase of 9,365 people or 10.15 percent.
Mayor Thomas Koch said he expects Quincy’s actual population is higher than what the latest census indicates.
“The number that came in, I think, was a little low,” he said in a phone interview Thursday. “We knew we were going to be over 100,000.”
Koch said the Donahue Institute at the University of Massachusetts estimated Quincy’s population to be 106,000 earlier this year. He said city officials were awaiting ward and precinct data to determine whether to appeal the census numbers.
“I just want to make sure the count is as accurate as humanly possible,” Koch said, adding that immigrant populations can be difficult to count.
The mayor said Quincy would now be eligible for new federal and state funding because its population has surpassed 100,000.
The census data indicate that Quincy’s white population decreased from 67.3 percent in 2010 to 54.2 percent in 2020. The city’s Asian population rose from 24 percent in 2010 to 30.7 percent in 2020 and its Black population grew from 4.6 percent to 5.4 percent in that same time frame. The city’s Hispanic or Latino population increased from 3.3 percent in 2010 to 5.1 percent in 2020.
With 101,636 residents, Quincy is now the seventh most populous community in Massachusetts, up from eighth in 2010. Quincy edged out Lynn (101,253 residents) and New Bedford (101,079 residents) for the seventh spot – New Bedford was the state’s seventh most populous community ten years ago.
Only Boston, Worcester, Springfield, Cambridge, Lowell and Brockton have more residents than Quincy among Bay State cities and towns.
The new census figures will be used to draw up precinct and ward lines for local elections and will also be used to establish new federal and state legislative districts. The numbers are also used to determine how federal funds are allocated.
Overall, Massachusetts’ population grew from 6.55 million residents in 2010 to 7.03 million in 2020, an increase of 7.4 percent. The Bay State will continue to have nine seats in the US House of Representatives following the latest round of redistricting.
The Census Bureau has in the past released its community level-data by April 1. It was delayed to August this year, however, because of the COVID-19 pandemic.