A fight to preserve a sliver of East Boston's history is running out of options and time.
Two brownstones and their surrounding buildings are now slated to be demolished as part of a $12 million two-story retail development in Maverick Square.
"I think that it is a dangerous and slippery slope," said Meg Grady of East Boston.
"We love the character of our community, we have an amazing immigrant history and to tear down some of these buildings from the late-1800s for some strip mall looking development is just unfortunate," said another neighbor, Lisa Jacobson.
Last November, the Boston Landmarks Commission issued a two year moratorium on the demolition.
But on Tuesday, the Zoning Board of Appeals unanimously lifted that moratorium, paving the way for the demolition.
"During this tsunami of development we feel like we really need to protect our historic structures from becoming a casualty of development," said East Boston’s Julia Burrell.
The developer, Linear Retail Properties, said in a statement, "We have always believed that the allegations resulting in the moratorium were without merit. We now look forward to completing our vision of bringing retail uses such as restaurant, café and fitness to Maverick Square that will serve the needs of the surrounding community."
Boston Mayor Marty Walsh had been supportive of the push to preserve the buildings, but also said he believed in due process for the project.
"Those two buildings are not on the historic register and there's going to be an investment made in Maverick Square that quite honestly we haven't seen in about 30 years, so we're going to let the process take its course," Walsh said.