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It's not easy finding a place for a scrap-metal business in Boston these days

Rendering of proposed 29 A St.

Rendering of proposed replacement for A Street scrap-metal business.

The Zoning Board of Appeal today gave the owner of a scrap-metal company at 29 A St. in South Boston a year to find a place in the city to relocate so that he can convert his current location into a nine-unit residential building.

The zoning board originally approved A Street Scrap Metal owner Frank Burns's plans for a six-story building in 2017. The board has since granted him two extensions on the time he needs to begin construction because of a title issue with a neighboring property owner.

Frank Burns's attorney, George Morancy, told the board this morning that the title issue has been fixed, but that Covid-19 screwed everything up last year. And now, Morancy said, Burns has run into another issue: He wants to keep his scrap-metal business in Boston, but is having trouble finding a site.

"As the board can imagine, it's been quite difficult to secure a location," Morancy said.

The board unanimously approved the request, but acting board Chairman Mark Erlich cautioned this would be the last extension the board would grant.

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or goes this look like every other big box condo that the City approves. These architects just change the addresses on the drawings. They don’t even bother to change color schemes.

Voting closed 10


Voting closed 29

2700 square feet of land, a 9 unit building..
How is that possible?

Voting closed 15

It being six stories tall is a key clue to answering that question.

Voting closed 20

but could the first floor of this (or a basement parking garage?) be built soundproof and used as the scrapmetal business with retail and residential and whatnot on the upper floors?

Voting closed 9

Not the aesthetic that they are looking for probably.

Voting closed 12

That'd be a cool solution, but scrap yards tend to be businesses that need literally high overhead. They've got magnets on cranes for moving and separating ferrous metals, and the resulting piles can get pretty tall.

It's a class of business that I think we'll see disappear from Boston proper in the near future due to seemingly ever-increasing land values. That's a shame, as it then means all the scrap has to be trucked back in to get on barges to send it out for recycling. Just adding extra miles to a process that on it's face, is helpful in reducing waste.

Voting closed 8

My husband was bemoaning that there aren't any junk yards in the city of Boston to look for car parts to fix our car. He didn't want to drive to where there are junk yards.

There is space in HP for a scrap metal place but it is not easily accessible for some of the clients probably.

Voting closed 6

Somerville... so far away. Surprised someone who can't trek to the ville for parts even has the energy to do their own car repairs.

Voting closed 2