In early October word of possible residential expansion above the Middle East Restaurant and Nightclub started circulating through the region as the 472-480 Massachusetts Ave. complex held a public meeting with nearby residents. The Middle East’s owners, Joseph and Nabil Sater, promised more open meetings with the community, and the next one arrives Wednesday, November 6 at 7pm. The location is likely the venue’s corner area off Brookline Street.
Plans for a possible 150- to 200-unit residential unit has been discussed for the property located at 472 Massachusetts Ave., and any construction would also impact the rock club’s live music neighbor, T.T. The Bear’s Place. As news spread last month, Vanyaland’s Hilary Hughes looked at the cultural effect losing or impacting the Middle East would have on our area’s arts and music scene.
With approval from the neighborhood, the Saters would purchase the property from the building’s owners for $7 million, then build above it to offset costs. From our post on October 2:
Those sidewalk conversations could soon be coming to Mark Sandman Square in Cambridge, as the Middle East Nightclub and Restaurant is considering a proposal to build four or five stories of residential apartments above its Central Square complex. Cambridge Day reported on a community meeting last night at the Middle East’s corner, where owner Joseph Sater sought input and approval from neighbors to move to buy the property for $7 million then build above it.
The issue has come up due to the death of the current landlord, and the Saters now have the option of buying the property from the DuPont family within two years. But to meet the asking price, they need to expand the current building at 472-480 Massachusetts Avenue, which houses two stages vital to the Boston music community: the 195-capacity “Upstairs” room and it’s 575-capacity “Downstairs.” The overall complex also features an award-winning restaurant and the ZuZu nightclub and eatery.