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Neighbor Sues To Block Development Of $80M North End Hotel

A rendering of the North End Cross Street Boutique Hotel

The development partners on a planned $80M hotel in Boston's North End are being sued by a neighbor for exceeding the maximum height allowed by local zoning.

Cross Street Ventures LLC, an entity controlled by 6M Development principal William Caulder, won approval from the Boston Planning & Development Agency in March to build a 134-room boutique hotel at 42 Cross St. on the site of the former J. Pace grocery store, according to Banker and Tradesman.

A local resident, Mary Beth Sweeney, filed suit in June to block the development, claiming that the rooftop deck that was included in the initial proposal for the hotel would cast shadows and restrict airflow at her property on Stillman Street.

The project awaits approval from the Boston Zoning Board of Appeal, and Caulder and his co-defendants filed a motion to dismiss the suit last month. Massachusetts Land Court Judge Howard Speicher scheduled a hearing on the motion for Aug. 15.

"We have yet to go through the zoning board," Caulder told Bisnow Thursday. "The lawsuit was filed preemptively, before even requesting the relief sought, so we hope that it will get dismissed."

Plans for the hotel were filed in 2020. The original plan called for an 87K SF project spanning six stories, but a couple of months later, Caulder bumped down the proposal to five stories and 80K SF. The BPDA approved the plans, which include two restaurants and the 300-person roof deck, over some fierce neighbor objections.

Sweeney defended her lawsuit at a public meeting of the North End/Waterfront Residents Association last month, the North End Regional Review reported.

"We have an unfinished public process and significant neighborhood opposition that has many of us asking why and how this project is moving forward," Sweeney said at the meeting, according to the local newspaper. “We can’t afford to keep quiet and risk the North End becoming another Seaport.”