November 1, 2015

What’s up with CloverNEW?


Many of you are wondering what is happening with Clover Newbury St. Yeah, me too. Here’s the short update. The MBTA approached us in 2011 about building a kiosk at the slab (affectionately known as the “crack slab”) on the end of Newbury. Some of you saw the “coming soon” sign the MBTA put up there 2 years ago.

After 2 years of jumping through hoops, including one of our contractors getting licensed by the state to build and install pre-fab units, multiple applications, etc. the kiosk idea was effectively blocked by a combination of State and City politics. But we got approval to operate a truck at the site.

The MBTA stipulates that we can’t use propane on their property. So they agreed in June 2014 to install power. 6 months later (this time last year) they got that power installed. We were hoping this had us set to open spring 2015.

The State requires we make the slab level with the sidewalk so that the site is ADA-compatible. We appealed that we could accommodate those with limited mobility by serving them at sidewalk level. That was rejected. So we have to cut open the concrete pad on the site, remove it, and install a new pad that is sidewalk level. Thankfully this only costs $30k + 20k of engineering fees : )

So after 9 months of getting permission to cut the slab (don’t ask why that took so long) we got it cut up. That’s what you see now. When doing that we uncovered what look to be power lines. Our contractor stopped, and spent weeks getting confirmation on the lines. Utilities cleared the site before, and cleared it again. Suggested it might be T-related. It appears it is. So that took a while.

We had to resubmit for permits to pave the site. And then there were some new requirements the inspector came up with that required new engineering fees etc. Now I understand we have approval to lay the slab (again).

But… it looks like the power the MBTA installed doesn’t match the specification our truck builder shared. So we’re trying to figure out how to fix that.

Overall? It’s a crazy crazy maze to get this work done. There is no way I would have ever embarked on this journey if I had any idea at all. It was a crazy mistake.

That said, we’re near the finish line with a ton of time and resources invested and can’t wait to open, even if that means a winter open. We did install heaters in this truck : ) I don’t have an open date, but I will update you all when we know more.

Oh yeah, and “shoot people not dope.” Ha, do you see that on the wall? Isn’t that the worst message you’ve ever seen? That’s just horrible. Looking forward to bringing a different life view to this tiny corner of Boston.

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