It is the end of the road for one of the South End’s oldest freestanding retail buildings.
The Olde Dutch Cottage Candy & Antiques store on Tremont Street is being demolished this week to make way for a luxury condominium complex called Chevron on Tremont.
Over the next year, developer PEG Properties & Design will construct five levels of Parisian-style flats on the property that will be priced at about $3 million a piece. Each unit will occupy an entire floor and have at least three bedrooms, two bathrooms, and underground parking.
“It’s a blighted corner with the existing building,” said PEG co-owner Peter Georgantas, adding that the new residences — along with fresh landscaping and lighting — will help enliven the drab-looking property. The candy store’s owner is planning to reopen in one of two retail spaces planned for the ground floor; the other is still available for lease.
The property is situated between East Berkeley and Dwight streets, on one of the few prime development sites left along that section of Tremont, which boasts numerous upscale restaurants and boutiques. Chevron on Tremont will be across from Atelier 505, a larger mixed-use development completed in 2005 that added dozens of residences to the neighborhood.
The building that houses the candy store was constructed in 1924, after a series of fires destroyed rooming houses and other buildings that had been on the site since the 1840s. In recent decades, it has hosted a White Castle, the Old Dover Tavern, The Gypsy Reading Room, and a variety store called Paul’s Exports, among other tenants.
The Olde Dutch building is an anomaly in a neighborhood of period brownstones and modern sleek architecture. A squat stone structure, it is finished with brick columns and has an upper facade covered in dirty brown shingles.
“The building has been altered so many times over the years, there really wasn’t anything worth saving,” said Georgantas, whose firm typically looks to restore or repurpose existing buildings in city neighborhoods.
The condominium building will be clad in light-colored brick and limestone with Art Deco ornamentation. An elevator will open into each of the units, which will be about 2,500 square feet and have large living rooms overlooking Tremont. The building’s design also seeks to take advantage of the property’s open perimeter, which allows for each condo to have two balconies.
Olde Dutch Cottage Candy & Antiques has operated on the site since 1994. The owner of the store, Leo Motsis, will reopen his business in a 700-square-foot space in the new building and also live in the penthouse, according to Pam Holian of Sotheby’s International Realty, the sales and marketing agent for the property.
Chevron on Tremont will be among the first wave of condominium projects to move forward in Boston since the housing crisis and recession, which dried up funding for construction of new ownership units in the city. Other condominium projects are also moving forward in Downtown Crossing and on the South Boston Waterfront.
Georgantas, whose company has redeveloped an array of residential buildings in Boston, noted that only about 65 condominium units are currently available for sale in the South End, the neighborhood’s lowest inventory in several years. He said three of the five units in Chevron on Tremont are already under contract.