M. DeMatteo Construction Co.’s $20 million renovation of the Motor Mart Garage in Boston’s Park Square area not only spiffed up the aged parking garage, but lured retail tenants like Legal Sea Foods to the building. But a year after the garage reopened, some neighbors have lodged complaints that the new roof-level lighting keeps them up at night.

Among the parking garage’s residential neighbors are residents of the Four Seasons condos, an elderly housing building and the Bay Village neighborhood. June McCourt is a representative for the Park Plaza Citizens Advisory Committee, which has asked DeMatteo Construction to turn down the lights. Also a board member of the Bay Village Neighborhood Association, she says the lights shine into her home.

“They’re like sparklers on top of a cake,” McCourt said.

Situated across from the Park Plaza Hotel, the Motor Mart Garage is used by hotel guests, theatergoers and office workers who rent monthly spaces.

The lights are not turned on every night, explained John DeMatteo II, president of the Park Square Revival Corp., which developed the garage. Generally the lights are turned on when daytime garage users do not pick up their cars until after dark or leave them over night. Roof parking is only used in the daytime, but at night enough spaces are usually available for visitors to park on a lower level of the garage.

“It’s only if cars are left over from the day that the lights are on,” DeMatteo said. “If we don’t have cars up there we don’t turn them on.”

Neighbors have also complained about the physical appearance of the light posts, comparing them to light fixtures at a suburban mall. DeMatteo Construction installed special lenses on the lights, with half of each lens painted black.

Despite the efforts to diffuse the light, neighbors say they still have a problem with the glare. DeMatteo said the company’s engineer will examine the problem and see what can be done. McCourt said the PPCAC plans to meet with DeMatteo and talk about other lighting options, “where they’ll have the right lighting but it will be appropriate for the people that live there.”

Small Change

We’re Here, We’re Fleet: At Boston’s Gay Pride Parade this month, Fleet Bank appeared to be carrying on the diversity awareness fostered by BankBoston, which it bought last year. Fleet sponsored the parade, and employees marched in the procession in T-shirts marked with the bank logo and a rainbow flag. However, the bank met with jeers instead of cheers along the route, as members of the boisterous crowd yelled “That’ll be $2 please,” alluding to one of the bank’s fees. Behind the marchers was a mobile Fleet ATM in a van with a vanity license plate from New York State, “Fleet 24.”

Another bank that sponsored the festivities, Wainwright Bank , had a better reception. Parade goers crowded the booth of the Boston-based bank, which has made a name for itself by involvement in social issues. Wainwright gave away freebies such as sunglasses, ink pens and lapel pins with the bank’s name.

Moving Tharp: Twanette Tharp , sister of the modern dance choreographer Twyla Tharp , has been making some moves of her own lately. In May Tharp sold a property on Saddle Club Road in Edgartown on Martha’s Vineyard for $9.5 million. Golf Club Road Realty Trust and Daniel H. Miller bought the property.

This month Tharp bought a pad in Edgartown for $2.1 million. The Morse St. property was sold by Joyce Greene .

Twanette’s sister Twyla made her name as a modern dance pioneer, studying with Martha Graham and working with Mikhail Baryshnikov . She has choreographed dances for four movies, including “Amadeus” and “White Nights.”

Weekly Statement

“We’re improving ball fields and cleaning up graffiti. The problem with the geese people is that they don’t want to share.”

State Rep. Jarrett Barrios, who pushed for $1.5 million in improvements to Magazine Beach in Cambridge. Opponents say increased use of the park will drive out geese that nest in the area.

Bright Light

by Banker & Tradesman time to read: 3 min
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