Sports: Boys’ Basketball Takes Opener Defeating Melrose, 66-58

Photo: Belmont’s Cole Bartels fouled vs. Melrose. 

Belmont High Boys’ Basketball went “small” in the second half to shrug off a sluggish first half to win going away, 66-58, over a game Melrose squad in the 2015-16 season opener on the road.

“We have an advantage of being able to change our lineup when the circumstance arises,” said Belmont’s long-time head coach Adam Pritchard, who spoke highly of “the juniors who stepped up” during the third quarter when Belmont’s defense held a quick Red Raider team to eight points.

Belmont was led by its senior all-star backcourt of co-captains Cole Bartels (20 points) and pre-season Middlesex League all-star point guard Matt Kerans (16 points) who threw in three threes (his only baskets of the game) to stem a Melrose surge that saw Belmont at one point trail by five (25-20) midway through the second quarter. 

Belmont came out the gates strong with big men senior Luke Peterson (6 of his 8 points in the first quarter) and co-captain Justin Wagner (8 points) who put in a banked three (!) and a hoop early to lead the Marauders to an 18-13 lead at the end of the first.

At the start of the second half, (Belmont held a 37-34 lead at the half) the Marauders substituted to what at times appeared to be a four guards and one forward formation to counter the speedy home team. And Pritchard’s gamble paid off as Belmont’s perimeter defense forced the Red Raiders to take shots from distance that, turned out, was not their forte. 

On offense, the inclusion of sophomore Tomas Donoyan (4 points) and three juniors; Dylan Ferdinand, Bryan Goodwin (his four points on 2-2 shooting were the only baskets for the Marauders in the final quarter) and Paul Ramsey (6 points), opened the court for Bartels who stroked a pair of threes to end the quarter with nine points as the Marauders outscored the Raiders 14-8 to grab a nine-point lead (51-42). 

While the hosts cut the lead to two possessions at 62-56, there only remained half-a-minute on the clock, with Belmont feasting on the charity stripe in the final eight minutes as Bartels went 4-4 and Kerans 6-6 from the line. 

Next up for Belmont is a road match at Stoneham on Friday before the home opener at the Wenner (on the new court) on Monday, Dec. 21 at 5 p.m. vs. Wilmington. 

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Selectmen OKs Feasibility Study for Proposed Community Path

Photo: Russell Leino (center), chair of the Community Path Implementation Advisory Committee with Heather Ivestor (left) and Brian Burke.

The Belmont Board of Selectmen took a significant step in moving the idea of a town community path towards reality when it approved the hiring an engineering consultant to create a feasibility study of a dozen proposed routes from the Waltham line to the Alewife bike path off of Brighton Street.

“Once [the Selectmen] makes a decision, we can make this happen,” said Russell Leino, chair of the Community Path Implementation Advisory Committee, which is overseeing the process for the town.

“Let’s get going with a [request for proposal] and move forward,” said Selectman Mark Paolillo, after hearing from the Community Path Implementation Advisory Committee at its meeting Monday, Dec. 15 at Town Hall.

Bowing to residents along Channing Road whose south-lying properties abut a favorite proposed path, the selectmen approved a suggestion by Selectmen Chair Sami Baghdady to have an additional route, traveling along a portion of Concord Avenue, added to the list of reviewed paths.

In his presentation, Leino said the guiding principle of the five-member group is not to “reinvent the wheel” instead build on the work of its predecessor, the Community Path Advisory Committee, which did the heavy lifting of carving out the possible routes through town.

The five-member Implementation Advisory Committee (Leino, Vincent Stanton, Heather Ivestor, Michael Cicalese and Brian Burke) was created a year ago to develop recommended strategies for the design, construction and implementation of community path route options selected by the Selectmen, “diving deep” into the routes recommended by CPAC, focusing on any choke points including rough terrain or intersections on busy roadways.

In addition to the pathway, the committee looked into an underpass from Alexander Avenue to the south side of the commuter rail tracks that would allow residents and students transverse from the Winn Brook neighborhood to Belmont High School safely. 

After spending a great deal of time adhering to the mandate, “we are now at the stage to put pen to paper” by moving to a feasibility study,” said Leino.

During the initial process, the study will help determine “what things did we missed? What are things that CPAC missed? Are there alternatives that we should be thinking of?” said Leino. 

With the Selectmen’s approval in hand, a draft request for proposal (RFP) will be put out to bid in early January. Leino expects to hire a firm in late spring and have a completed feasibility study by the end of 2016. A group will decide on a final recommended route that will be sent to the Selectmen in the Spring of 2017.

The $100,000 to hire the engineering consultancy comes from a grant from the Community Preservation Committee that was approved by the 2015 Town Meeting.

In addition to the CPC funds, the Massachusetts legislature approved a $100,000 earmark that would pay for a study. If Gov. Baker releases the funding – no small feat in this time of fiscal restraint – the state money could replace or, supplement the town’s funds.

According to Leino, once the final route has been selected, the committee can then focus on funding a project, which could be the least difficult portion of the project. A Belmont community path is in line for both national and federal grants that would pay for nearly 90 percent of the total cost of approximately $10 million for the 2.2-mile route. 

Leino said because Belmont is a significant link to an extensive bike path from Somerville to Berlin, Mass and will lie close to other popular community routes nearby in Cambridge, Watertown, and Arlington, “we’d be right up there in priority for funding.”

The federal and state money would be available once the town invests about $1 million into the trail as they “want us to have some skin in the game,” said Leino.

Despite that the feasibility study is more than a year away, there is pushback from residents in two neighborhoods – Channing Road and homes on Clark Lane adjacent to Clark Road – to the path’s proximity to the property lines and the chance that homeowners on Clark Lane and the Boston Housing Authority could lose a portion of their land to the path.

Baghdady’s request for the feasibility study to look into using Concord Avenue and School Department land at Belmont High School came after some Channing Road residents felt the Community Path Advisory Committee did not give that proposal enough consideration.

Leino said that the Advisory Committee found the Concord Avenue route was “impractical” for several reasons including busy intersections, traffic, active driveways and other impediments. Also, a Concord Avenue route would effectively end financing plans for an underpass at Alexander Avenue, said Paolillo. 

But Baghdady did not see an additional route as overburdening the feasibility study.

“The objective is to have a community path and to me, the more options we have before us, the better decision we can make,” said Baghdady, winning the argument. 

Spike in Average Property Tax Bill Anticipated As Override Comes Dues

Photo: Board of Assessors’ (from left) Robert Reardon, Martin Millane, Jr. and Charles Laverty III

Belmont property owners can expect the equivalent of a lump of coal in their next two quarterly tax bill arriving in February 2016 as residents prepare to pay for the Prop 2 1/2 override voters passed in April.

The average household can expect to see its next two tax bills jump by $350, according to Robert Reardon, chair of the Belmont Board of Assessors which presented its recommendations for next fiscal year’s property tax rate to the Belmont Board of Selectmen at its Monday, Dec. 14 meeting.

While the assessors are recommending a significant drop in the tax rate – $12.56 per $1,000 in fiscal 2016, down from $12.90 in fiscal ’15 – any possible dip in taxes was offset by a dramatic increase of 11 percent in assessed values of all property town-wide, from $5.928 billion in 2015 to 2016’s $6.598 billion.

Approximately $4.5 million of the $6.9 million spike in assessed values comes from the Proposition 2 1/2 override that passed comfortably by voters at this year’s Town Election to stabilize school finances.

In comparison, assessed values rose in fiscal year 2015 by $2.3 million and by $1.9 million in fiscal ’14.

The value of an “average,” or median priced Belmont house has rocketed to $928,003 from $847,900 in fiscal 2015

For the “average” Belmont home, taxes next fiscal year will be $11,655, an increase of $717.45 from the $10,938. 

In comparison, property taxes increased $373 between fiscal 2014 and fiscal 2015.

Reardon said after the new fiscal year begins on July 1, 2016, the increase will be spread over four quarters, and the average customer’s bill will be about $180 higher.

Suspecting many Belmont residents would “notice” the large change in their tax bill, Reardon said the Assessors’ Office would include in the next two bills a two-page “explanation to the taxpayers on why the levy was increased and the approximate increase can is the result of the change.”

“Just so they have a better understanding and cut down the number of questions they may have,“ said Reardon, who was accompanied to the meeting by his colleagues, Martin Millane, Jr. and Charles Laverty III

The Massachusetts Department of Revenue has a handy primer on calculating the tax levy.

As with past years, the assessors recommended, and the selectmen agreed to a single tax classification for all properties and no real estate exemptions.

Reardon said Belmont does not have anywhere near the amount of commercial and industrial space – at a minimum 20 percent – to creating separate tax rates for residential and commercial properties.

“We are not raising more money by having a commercial rate, we are only shifting it” onto businesses while the savings for residential ratepayers would be “negotiable,” said Reardon.

“One of the dilemmas is because our residential property values are so high, I think it artificially drives up a lot of our commercial properties,” said Baghdady.

“Commercial rents to justify the value is tough to absorb by a business,” said Baghdady.

Belmont Swimming, Field Hockey Standouts Honored as Globe All-Scholastics

Photo: Jessie Blake-West (left), Nicoletta Kalavantis and AnnMarie Habelow, Belmont High School Boston Globe All-Scholastic fall 2015.

Three Belmont High School student-athletes were named Boston Globe All-Scholastics, which recognizes the best participants in each sport during the recently completed 2015 fall season, with one earning the prestigious title of Swimmer of the Year.

Senior Jessica Blake-West was named the Division 2’s top swimmer after winning three state championships (100-yard butterfly, 50-yard freestyle, and 400 free relays) in the State Finals in November. She topped her high school career with a meet-record time of 54.66 in the butterfly – in which she is a three-time state champion – in a time that earned her an automatic National High School All-American status. Blake-West will matriculate and swim at Brown next season. 

Joining Blake-West as a swimming All-Scholastic is freshman Nicoletta Kalavantis, who like her teammate won a pair of individual events – the 200 free (1:58.91) and 500 free (5:17.97) – and joined Blake-West in winning the 400 free relay title.

Blake-West and Kalavantis were Middlesex League All-Stars as were Julia Bozkurtian, Sophie Butte, Thea Kelsey, Dervla Moore-Frederick, Sara Noorouzi and Emily Quinn.

The third Belmont High All-Scholastic is junior field hockey player AnnMarie Habelow. The MVP of the Middlesex League’s Liberty Division, “Habelow scored 22 goals and added 11 assists, running her career total to 83 points through three years. She also plays lacrosse and has committed to play field hockey at Louisville,” wrote the Globe in its write-up.

Belmont’s Middlesex Field Hockey All-Stars includes Habelow, Julia Chase, Kerri Lynch, and Serena Nally.

Joining the swimmer and field hockey players as Middlesex League All-Stars include:

  • Leah Brams and Sara Naumann for Girls’ Cross Country.
  • Faye Reagan in Volleyball.
  • Bob Malcolm and Michael Pergarm for Golf.
  • Girls’ Soccer’s Carey Allard, Kristin Gay, Katrina Rokosz.
  • Boys’ Soccer’s Edward Stafford.
  • Belmont Football is represented by senior running back Mekhai Johnson, who ended his senior year with 22 touchdowns and scoring a total of 136 points.

The All-Scholastic teams are selected by the school sports staff. Selection is limited to MIAA schools that compete in Eastern Mass leagues.

This Week: Winter Crafts, Pols’ Office Hours, Legos and What’s Up with the Path

Photo: Solstice Sackbuts.

On the government side of “This Week”:

  • The Belmont Board of Selectmen is meeting twice on Monday, Dec. 14: at 8 a.m., the board will approve a boat load of Common Vic licenses as well as approve next year’s property tax rate. At 7 p.m., the board will hear from the Community Path Implementation Committee on what they’ve been doing and more licenses and stuff. Both meetings at Town Hall.
  • The Belmont School Committee meets at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 15 at the Chenery Middle School where it will discuss the district’s accountability status and vote on the PARCC testing system.
  • The Belmont Vision 21 Implementation Committee meets at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 15 in Town Hall.
  • The Belmont Planning Board is meeting at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 15 in Town Hall where it will discuss monitoring the Cushing Village project and discuss cases both new and continued.
Author Dorothy Stephens will discuss and read from her novel, A Door Just Opened, on Monday, Dec.14 at 11 a.m. in the Belmont Public Library’s Assembly Room. Set in 1910 in rural New Jersey, this novel is filled with luminous prose, period detail, and vivid imagery. Stephens is a freelance writer and former teacher whose work has appeared for the past thirty years in numerous national magazines and newspapers. Books will be available for purchase and signing.  Refreshments will be provided.  The Assembly Room is handicapped accessible.
• The Belmont Storm Water Working Group is holding its monthly meeting on Monday, Dec. 14 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Tuesday is story time at both of Belmont libraries.
  • Pre-School Story Time at the Benton Library, Belmont’s independent and volunteer-run library, at 10:30 a.m. Stories and crafts for children age 3 to 5. Parents or caregivers must attend. Siblings may attend with adults. Registration is not required. The Benton Library located at the intersection of Oakley and Old Middlesex.
  • Pre-School Storytime at the Belmont Public Library beginning at 9:30 a.m. We’ll read longer books, sing, and dance, and make simple crafts. For 3-5-year-olds with a longer attention span.

• Staff from US Rep. Katherine Clark’s office will be available for walk-in office hours at the Beech Street Center, Tuesday, Dec. 15, 1. p.m. noon to 2 p.m. 

• The Belmont Public Library is holding a “Crafternoon: Winter Crafts” for kindergartners to fourth graders who would like to have some fun making winter-themed crafts on Tuesday, Dec. 15 from 3:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
• Belmont High School’s winter athletic season gets under way this week, on Tuesday, Dec. 15 as Boys’ Swimming opens its season vs Needham at the Higginbottom Pool while at Melrose High School Boys’ and Girls’ Basketball gets their seasons underway.
• The brass trio Solstice Sackbuts will be performing a concert of medieval and Renaissance music, as well as traditional holiday music from around the world and secular pop favorites, on Tuesday, Dec. 15 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. the Belmont Public Library’s Assembly Room.
• Everyone is invited to Chinese Storytime which takes place in the Flett Room of the Belmont Public Library from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. 0n Wednesday, Dec. 9.
• The International Fiction Book Club will discuss Death of a Red Heroine by Qiu Xiaolong on Wednesday, Dec. 16 from 7 p.m. to 8:15 p.m. in the Flett Room of the Belmont Public Library. The monthly event was created for fun conversation along with tea and snacks. Everybody is welcome. If you have questions, or need help finding a copy of the book, contact Kylie at
• It’s one of the biggest and best musical events of the year: The Belmont High School Winter Concert takes place at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 16 in the Belmont High School Auditorium.
• If you love building with Legos, this program is for you! Kids in grades Kindergarten to Second Grade will build with the library’s Legos and we’ll put all the creations on display in the Children’s Room. The Lego event takes place at Thursday, Dec.  173:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. in the Belmont Public Library’s Assembly Room.
Literacy Playgroup is a parent and child group that supports child’s language and literacy development on Friday, Dec. 18, 10:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. in Flett Room. You’ll play, read, sing and take home new ideas. Presented by educators from the CFCE grant program; for children age 4 and under.
• On Friday, Dec. 18 at 10 a.m. at the Beech Street Center, staff from State Sen. Will Brownsberger’s office will be available for walk-in office hours.
• Attention teens, grades 9 and up!  Looking for a new community service opportunity that will look great on your college applications? Come to the Belmont Public Library Teen Advisory Board meeting on Friday, Dec. 18, from 2:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. in the library’s Young Adult Room. Sign up to attend by stop by the library’s reference desk, or call 617-993-2873.
• The Belmont High School Performing Arts Company will be holding a Holiday Coffeehouse Fundraiser on Friday, Dec. 18 from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. in the school’s cafeteria. It is an evening of entertainment sponsored by PAC students and Patrons (Parents of Performing Arts). Enjoy an evening of musical acts by students, dinner and dessert, including Anna’s Taqueria, Foodies, Vicki Lee’s, Moozy’s Ice Cream and more. Admission is $10 for adults and $5 for students. Get a full dinner plate for $5 and desserts for $1-2. Proceeds from the Coffeehouse will help fund new Lighting Equipment for the Little Theater and Auditorium.

Sold in Belmont: All I Want for Christmas is a Million-Dollar House

Photo: 14 Watson Rd. sold for nearly a quarter of million dollars over its assessed value.

A weekly recap of residential properties sold in the past seven-plus days in the “Town of Homes:

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206 School St., Single family (1925). Sold: $1,098,000.

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140 Watson Rd., Brick Colonial (1940). Sold: $1,020,000.

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31 Amherst Rd., Two-level ranch (1954). Sold: $1,025,000.

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200 Rutledge Rd., Garrison Colonial (1940). Sold: $1,580,000.

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4 Waterhouse Rd., Center-entrance Colonial (1938). Sold: $685,750.

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29 Cowdin St., Colonial (1940). Sold: $724,000.

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18 Lodge Rd., English Tudor Colonial (1935). Sold: $710,000.

140 Watson Rd., Brick Colonial (1940). Sold: $1,020,000. Listed at $1,050,000,. Living area: 2,277 sq.-ft. 8 rooms, 4 bedrooms, 2.5 baths. On the market: 57 days.

31 Amherst Rd., Two-level ranch (1954). Sold: $1,025,000. Listed at $1,125,000. Living area: 2,347 sq.-ft. 6 rooms, 4 bedrooms, 3 baths. On the market: 117 days.

18 Lodge Rd., English Tudor Colonial (1935). Sold: $710,000. Listed at $755,000. Living area:  1,783 sq.-ft. 7 rooms, 3 bedrooms, 1.5 baths. On the market: 93 days.

4 Waterhouse Rd., Center-entrance Colonial (1938). Sold: $685,750. Listed at $850,000. Living area: 1,742 sq.-ft. 7 rooms, 3 bedrooms, 1.5 baths. On the market: 79 days.

29 Cowdin St., Colonial (1940). Sold: $724,000. Listed at $749,000. Living area: 1,708  sq.-ft. 6 rooms, 3 bedrooms, 1.5 baths. On the market: 93 days.

206 School St., Single family (1925). Sold: $1,098,000. Listed at $1,098,000. Living area: 2,805 sq.-ft. 9 rooms, 3 bedrooms, 2.5 baths. On the market: 86 days.

200 Rutledge Rd., Garrison Colonial (1940). Sold: $1,580,000. Listed at $1,795,000,. Living area: 3,608 sq.-ft. 13 rooms, 5 bedrooms, 3.5 baths. On the market: 93 days.

A million dollar house on Rutledge? Of course! How about in the shadow of the Temple on Amherst Road? You bet. Even along School Street, where the production of “This Old House” came to visit, makes sense to see a price tag for a cool million. 

But Watson Road? The road off of Washington below the Presidential neighborhood is typical of many Belmont side-streets, one of homes built in the same style as their neighbors; sturdy but far from fancy. 

And 140 Watson is just that: the town rates it as a B grade house – heated by oil with an unfinished attic – with its last significant renovation was the installation of replacement windows a decade ago. 

The town’s assessors did bump up its assessed value in the past year, to a whopping $784,000. 

Somehow, this “average” house oversold its assessed value by nearly a quarter of a million dollars! Maybe the buyers misheard an important fact: it’s heating is oil not that there is oil in the basement, a la “The Beverly Hillbillies.”

The fact that an average house could sell for a fat premium should give people pause, during which time they can recall the last few housing financial “bubbles” and their impact on the community and town finances.

Pleasant Selling: Long-time Gas Station on Market for $3.8 Million

Photo: The Star K Gas station at Pleasant Street and Scott Road.

As the residents of Belmont Hill and the Winn Brook neighborhood focus their attention on a proposed Dunkin’ Donuts shop that would occupy a new strip mall at the corner of Brighton and Pleasant streets, they may also want to keep their eyes on the business across Pleasant Street at the corner of Scott Road.

According to the Multiple Listing Service, the Star K Gas station at 368 Pleasant St. is up for sale with an asking price of $3,800,000.

According to a description of the site, the location is “[p]erfect for the entrepreneur or developer, this property/business is ready for your vision. Steps from Route 2 and minutes to Fresh Pond/Cambridge/Boston.”

The business owned by Belmont resident Irakalis Kotzobaldiris consists of a two-story building and the gas station, built in 1975, and is located on a sizable half-acre of prime real estate at the base of Belmont Hill. 

After buying the property in 1985, Kotzobaldiris renovated the two-bay service station building in 1998, adding a 700 sq. ft. retail convenience store, a customer waiting area, the second floor office/storage area and other improvements for $320,000.

The property is listed by Century 21 Commonwealth. 

The Loading Dock Starts Dinner Service as Bistro Increases Seating

Photo: The Loading Dock on Brighton Street. (Courtesy, Loading Dock)

When Fuad Mukarker received a full liquor license from the town a year-and-a-half ago in May 2014, he mentioned his new business, The Loading Dock on Brighton Street, “would become a destination for shopping and eating”

It took a while for his promise to come to fruition, but Mukarker is now just about ready to begin serving dinner at 11 Brighton St. within a week after the Zoning Board of Appeals approved on Monday, Dec. 7 his request to add 36 seats (30 inside, 6 outside) for a total of 60 on site.

The bistro/market with liquor sales held its grand opening in April. Since then, Mukarker has been slowing gearing up the operation, with an eye on serving dinner from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. on three nights, Thursday through Saturday.

“We are finally ready to ask for the seating,” said Mukarker, who came with more than 100 signatures of support backing his move.

The one big issue for the Board was that Mukarker could find the required 18 parking spots for the nearly 40 extra seats. With construction continuing across his parking lot on Belmont Light’s new electrical substation, Mukarker made arrangements with two local businesses, a nearby service center and a business across Brighton Street.

While his fellow commercial condominium client, attorney Joe Noone (whose office is located less than a block away from The Loading Dock), thought Mukarker was attempting to grab a hold on to too many spaces that were not sited adjacent to the bistro, the ZBA approved the request on the condition that Mukarker placed signs that clearly tells patrons where his spots are located.

With the parking issue resolved, Mukarker said he is looking to showcase events at the location, starting with a reading by four children’s authors this Sunday, Dec. 13 from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Despite Dunkin’s Postponed ZBA Presentation; Owner Confident He’ll Get An OK for Store

Photo: An image of how the Dunkin’ Donuts on Pleasant Street would look like.

Belmont residents will need to wait until the New Year before getting their chance to debate whether the town wants to run with a third Dunkin’ Donuts, located at the corner of Pleasant and Brighton streets.

Belmont’s Joseph Noone, the attorney for Vincent and Nicholas Leo, asked the board for a postponement on Monday, Dec. 7, due to attorney/client “issues,” resulting in a dozen or so residents who came to speak to keep their powder dry for a month.

The ZBA rescheduled the hearing for January.

While the decision was a bit unexpected, according to the property owner, Vincent Leo – who also is a well-known Dunkin’ Donuts owner/operator – isn’t fazed by the delay, confident that once residents hear from him and his family, any “concerns” to having a donut shop as a neighbor will be set aside.

“We have been in business for over 35 years, and I am one of the premier Dunkin’ Donut franchisees in the system,” said Vincent, whose family business owns and operates 19 locations in both Massachusetts and Florida.

Vincent said the Pleasant Street property has been an eyesore for decades “and we are trying to make it right.” The Getty Corporation is currently remediating the land. 

“We are going to enhance that whole corner, elevating all of the property values in the surrounding neighborhood,” he said. The family purchased the property for $1,060,000 in July 2014.

Read about the proposed plans for the site here.

Leo said that the City of Cambridge had complimented his operations “many, many times for our passion with the landscape as well as the maintenance of the property.

He reiterated that there would “never be a drive through” at the Pleasant Street location. 

Leo said he believes a Belmont store “will enhance our little micro-market” that includes shops on Mass. Ave., Alewife and Fresh Pond.


Dunkin’ Donuts franchise owner Vincent Leo (at the door, left) and his son, Nicholas, (door, right) listen to their attorney, Joe Noone, as he speaks before the Zoning Board of Appeals, Dec. 7, 2015.

“It’s just another niche we’re trying to protect and develop as an investment,” he said. 

As for issues of traffic – the intersection of Pleasant and Brighton is known as a choke point for both daily rush hours – Leo said a traffic study that he included with his application to the town, predicts no added vehicle trips due to the inclusion of a donut shop on that spot. 

While some residents have pointed to how close the site is to Route 2, Leo said his experience with his stores in Medford just off Route 93 shows that “no one gets off a highway to grab a coffee then heads back on it.” 

“It’s always a concern when they hear a brand like Dunkin’ Donuts is coming into a neighborhood. But at the end of the day, when the restaurant is in place, you’d be very surprised that it’s not a hindrance at all,” said Leo, noting there are several “as of right” businesses he could locate there that would increase traffic flow and litter. 

“With the type of building we are putting in, it will not be a barnburner regarding sales. This will be a nice neighborhood location that should be profitable and help us with the investment we made,” said Leo.

“It will be a nice place to come in for a cup of coffee,” he said. 

Stroll Cushing Square for Discounts, Sales During 2nd Holiday Celebration

Photo: Poster of the Cushing Square Holiday Stoll.

The Cushing Square Merchants Association is holding the Second Annual Holiday Stroll on Thursday, Dec. 10.

Running for the entire day starting at 10 a.m., stores in and around the square – located at the intersection of Common Street and Trapelo Road – will stay open late and will be offering discounts, prizes and refreshments.

The Belmont High School Madrigal Singers will be performing from 6:30 to 7:30 around the Square.