V10 Development Proposes Residential Tower in Commercial Triangle

After breaking ground on The 600 at the crest of Broadway, now V10 Developers are teaming up with the Varano family to propose a 21-story residential tower with 366 units and the highest roof-top restaurant in Greater Boston – to be known as SKY Everett.

It would be the second largest building in Everett, but behind Encore Boston Harbor by more than 100 feet.

A street-level rendering of the SKY Everett building in the Commercial Triangle on Spring and Second Streets.

V10, operated by Ricky Beliveau and John Tocco, filed the project last week and will begin the review process with the City. Unlike The 600, they will be focusing on one of the hottest development area in the city on the Commercial Triangle south of the Parkway – with their development at the apex of Spring and Second Streets being one of many large residential projects proposed there at the moment.
The entrance to the building has a large elevated entryway that isn’t apparent on any other buildings in the Triangle.

The residential building would be the tallest building in that area of Everett, which has historically been habituated by industrial uses and scrap yards. However, it is by no means the largest in terms of units and square footage. The project would bring 366 units to the market (103 Studios, 159 one-bedrooms, and 104 two-bedrooms) and 12,000 sq. ft. of amenity space. There would be ample open space at 28 percent, and 340 parking spaces on site. Additionally, they would include 9,000 sq. ft. of commercial space, and that would include a new rooftop restaurant operated by the Varano Family, who now operate the acclaimed Strega Restaurants.

“At a time when restaurants are closing and the industry is contracting, we couldn’t be happier to team with the Varano family and legendary team to bring this amazing concept to life,” said John Tocco, partner at V10 Development, the developer of Sky Everett. “The rooftop bar and restaurant reinforce our belief that you don’t have to be downtown to experience all the best that Boston offers. The sensational view, easy access and first-class amenities offered at Sky Everett is urban living at its best, without the city hassles. The breathtaking views combined with unmatched hospitality will create an atmosphere unlike any other in Boston. You can even get the best dining and hospitality experience of the North End here, without worrying about parking in the North End.”

At the top of the building is a water feature and amenities, as well as the highest dining experience in Greater Boston with a restaurant concept brought by the Varano Group.

Mayor Carlo DeMaria said it was a beautiful project, but was particularly happy that the developers were willing to cede a right-of-way on Spring Street to accommodate the future, expected expansion of the Silver Line.

“I commend V10 for working with the City to help advance our transportation priorities as well as creating fantastic public spaces,” said Everett Mayor Carlo DeMaria. “Silver Line expansion into Everett has been a priority of my administration for years. We have invested significant time and energy along with the Massachusetts Department of Transportation and the MBTA to make this a reality. This project supports our transportation goals and, just as important, cleans another significantly contaminated site in our city and returns it to the public for lasting enjoyment and revitalization. At the end of the day, it’s a beautiful project.”

Ward 1 Councilor Fred Capone, who represents that area of the city, said he had received word of the project and some information, but hadn’t completely finished analyzing it. He said he would wait to finish that review before he comments in detail on the project.

Other initial comments were mixed, with some rather uncertain about a building with that kind of height – as most of the rest have had many more units, but have been spread out at lower heights over several blocks. The height of the building will certainly be one of the largest hurdles to clear for V10 in the coming review.

Tocco said they are well-aware of that, but that they like the idea of mixing up the building stock. He also said because of the height, their building will be much more accessible to the public with the restaurant and more open space. While other lower buildings create a “wall” when they design circular buildings around private open space, he said their project would not create such a wall and be more free-flowing for the public to utilize at ground level – and even at the roof with the restaurant proposal.

Tocco and Beliveau said a highlight of the project is, in fact, the restaurant, which would be the highest-operating restaurant in Greater Boston now that the Top of the Hub has closed atop the Prudential Center.

Nick and Nico Varano, as well as the rest of the Varano Group, will operate the SKY Bar and Restaurant atop SKY Everett. They are excited to join the operation and said this concept will be unlike any other bar or restaurant in Greater Boston. The destination establishment will offer guests a 6,000 square-foot restaurant and lounge that is 240-feet in the air featuring a spectacular 1,500 square-foot sky deck and retractable roof for four-season indoor and outdoor dining. The Sky bar and restaurant will be the highest available dining option in New England, Tocco reiterated.

Sky Everett - Everett, MA

The project would be on the west side of the street, across from the current scrap yard and abutting a vacant lot on one side, and the Market Forge proposed residential community on the other side.

Because there is an Activity Use Limitation (AUL) on the site, V10 will have to undergo a significant environmental remediation effort before construction. They said due to that, they would be utilizing the City’s regulation exemption to allow a lower 5 percent affordable housing unit count.

The project would require two variances – one for height and the other for density (FAR). V10 Development was established in 2020 as a partnership between John Tocco, former head of Government and Community Relations for Encore Boston Harbor, and Ricky Beliveau, Principal of Volnay Capital. V10 currently has one transit-oriented project under development in Everett, known as The 600.

As published in the Everett Independent, March 3, 2021. Click the link to visit the source article.

Former Wynn executive unveils plans for 21-story tower in Everett, featuring a rooftop restaurant

Building would offer diners panoramic views of the Boston skyline

John Tocco helped build the tallest tower in Everett, Wynn’s Encore Boston Harbor casino, as head of community affairs and government relations at the casino. Now, Tocco is taking that experience and applying it to what would be the second tallest tower in the city ― a planned 21-story apartment building in an industrial area near the Chelsea line.

The 366-unit building, dubbed “Sky Everett,” would be topped by a restaurant run by father-and-son team Nick and Nico Varano, with views of the Boston skyline, harbor, and casino. V10 Development, Tocco’s real estate venture with Volnay Capital principal Ricky Beliveau, promises the future Sky bar and restaurant would be the highest restaurant in New England. The 6,000-square-foot eatery would include a 1,500-square-foot porch with a retractable roof.

Tocco said he doesn’t have a lease signed with Nick Varano, the famed North End restaurateur, just a verbal commitment to create a memorable rooftop restaurant. Ideally, Tocco would like to start construction next year, with a goal of opening in 2024.

Bob Luz, chief executive of the Massachusetts Restaurant Association, said he can’t think of any other restaurants in the region that would be higher, now that the Top of the Hub in the Prudential tower has closed. (There are some event spaces and dining clubs, such as the UMass Club at One Beacon Street in Boston, that are higher, though.)

“In general, people don’t put restaurants at the top of something [because] it’s not like people drive by and see it,” Luz said. “You would have to say, ‘I’m going to go there, park, and go up 21 floors.’ . . . You have to know it’s up there. That’s the challenge.”

Luz pointed to another potential issue: location. Before closing last year, the Top of the Hub used to draw business people and tourists, along with locals, in part because of its prime spot in the Back Bay.

“The challenge in Everett is it’s not the Prudential Center, in the middle of Boston,” Luz said.

Tocco said he is convinced his project’s unique sweeping views will be a big enough draw, helped along by Varano’s name recognition.

“It’s really an amazing spot with amazing views,” Tocco said. “If we can build something special that the community can enjoy, we really think it can be warmly embraced.”

He said V10 has started the permitting process in Everett, by filing for zoning relief to allow for a building of that size and height. The building property is currently an underused industrial site at 114 Spring St., along 2nd Street and nearly one mile from the new Chelsea commuter rail station that is under construction. The Sky Everett site could eventually be on a Silver Line rapid-transit bus route if the Silver Line gets extended into Everett as proposed.

Tocco got to know Nick Varano during the development of the casino; Varano and fellow North End restaurateur Frank DePasquale run the Fratelli restaurant at the casino, which opened in 2019. Varano is best known for the Strega group of restaurants. His business, The Varano Group, sold three Strega restaurants and related businesses to Dublin investment firm Danu Partners last year. That group is now run under the leadership of the Danu-owned PPX Hospitality Brands, which also owns Smith & Wollensky and recently acquired the Legal Sea Foods restaurants from Roger Berkowitz. (Varano held on to the original Strega, in the North End.)

Tocco left Wynn in August 2019, just two months after the casino opened. He teamed up with Beliveau to focus on Everett development opportunities, although they are also eyeing places outside of the city. Work on their first project, an 85-unit apartment building on Broadway called The 600, has already begun.

“I love the people, I love the proximity,” Tocco said of Everett. “I love being so close to an urban experience but having the flexibility to get in and out [of Boston] fairly easily.”

The Sky Everett project would be built in a roughly 100-acre economic development district dubbed the Commercial Triangle. City officials, led by Mayor Carlo DeMaria, established the district in 2018 by writing new zoning rules aimed to encourage high-density, mixed-use development and gradually change a drab industrial area into a bustling district. Interim planning director Matthew Lattanzi said Tocco’s project seems to align with the purposes of the 2018 rezoning, because it would convert a blighted parcel to a robust mixed-use development, featuring ground-floor retail space along with the rooftop restaurant.

The project site is also located within a federally designated Opportunity Zone, which provides some tax advantages for investors, particularly those that stick with the project for at least 10 years.

Tocco expects the Sky Everett tower will cost about $190 million; he said he is in discussions with several potential investors. He doesn’t expect to nail down financing until the city permitting process is done. The tallest residential building in Everett today, he said, is the Sacro Plaza, an 11-story apartment building in the city center.

“Our hope is this is not just like any other development in the area, that it is something people aspire to,” Tocco said.

This article was originally published in the Boston Globe on March 2, 2021. Click here to view the original article.