GentriWatch: Developer Buys Former James’s Gate Site in Jamaica Plain

Plus, a developer wants to replace a Dunks in Southie with—you guessed it—condos.

Welcome to GentriWatch, where we look for signs of gentrification happening around the city.


James’s Gate, an authentic Irish pub in Jamaica Plain, served its last pint of Guinness last September, closing its doors after 18 years in business. Now, a local residential developer has plans for the property.

The Ballas Group, of Jamaica Plain, has purchased the property on McBride Street, along with two other nearby parcels in JP for $1.95 million, BLDUP reports. The parcels, located in walking distance from the Forest Hills MBTA station, previously sold for $135,000 in 1997.

The Ballas Group previously tore down a 115-year-old Victorian in Forest Hills, making room for eight luxury units.

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Rendering by , via Boston Redevelopment Authority

Rendering by Pisani + Associates, via Boston Redevelopment Authority

When churches close and, as has been the case around here, are converted into luxury apartments, they must first be desanctified. In Boston, is the same the case for a Dunkin’ Donuts?

Developer Frank E. Sorrenti, who owns three parcels on the corner of West Broadway and Dorchester Streets in South Boston, has proposed merging them into a single mixed-use project at 482 West Broadway, reports the Boston Business Journal‘s Catherine Carlock. This would mean the existing Dunkin Donuts there, as well as Perkins Plumbing Supply, would be demolished.

The five-story condominium building would include three ground-floor retail spaces and 21 underground parking spaces. Two of the eighteen luxury units would be made affordable. The proposed 51-foot structure was designed by Boston’s Pisani + Associates Architects.

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Coinciding with Boston City Council hearings this week on a Just Cause Eviction Ordinance, a new volunteer project has launched to track displacement around the city.

The Boston Displacement Mapping Project has built an interactive map with first-hand accounts from residents who received no-fault eviction notices, along with the rent hikes that forced them out and the landlords who issued them.

“When I tried to get in touch with the new owners, they told me it was because the tenants of this building couldn’t manage to pay between $1800 and $2100 a month—I pay $1300 a month—and it was for that reason that we were being evicted,” a woman named Marta from East Boston says. “We’re always talking with the people in our community about what’s going on in East Boston, that they should push for their rights, that they should know that we have rights too.”

Notice something changing in your neighborhood? Let me know: [email protected], @KyleClauss.