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Starbucks in Boston’s North End apparently grounds for controversy

Chain hopes to open at historic neighborhood’s gateway

Rendering of new Starbucks Rendering via Charter Realty & Development

Developer Charter Realty & Development’s plans to open a Starbucks as part of a major retail development at the gateway to the North End, right across from the Rose Kennedy Greenway, has engendered a growing amount of controversy.

Recall that the project plans stretch back to 2016, and were controversial enough for some given the modern look that Charter was apparently going for in a neighborhood mostly known architecture-wise for re-purposed buildings with bones centuries old.

Now toss plans for a Starbucks at 198 Hanover Street into the mix, and things are really starting to boil over. Opponents say such a presence at such a prominent spot would spoil the feel of the North End. It would also encroach, they say, on the caffeinated turf of existing North End coffee shops.

Opponents are out with a video touting the neighborhood’s distinctness.

But the Starbucks would join a national coffee chain that’s already on the block: Peet’s at 50 Salem Street. And the Starbucks would take the place of a Citizens Bank branch, not exactly a neighborhood original.

There are three community feedback sessions coming up this summer, starting with one on June 28. Stay tuned.