Real Estate

NEWRA Supports Zoning Variance at 112 Prince St.

At its December monthly meeting, the North End/Waterfront Residents’ Association voted 46-11 to support a zoning variance for Damian Szary at 112 Prince St.  As part of an ongoing renovation, Szary is looking to expand the first floor unit into the basement and increase the living space by 265 square feet.  The added space will be part of a duplex, 2 bedroom unit connected to the first floor through a spiral staircase. The variance is required in order to meet floor-area ratio requirements. Due to the slope on the property, the basement is only 2 feet below grade and will have full windows in the rear. Szary will live in the building on the upper floor with sole access to a private roof deck.

112 Prince St. Building Owner Damian Szary
112 Prince St. Building Owner Damian Szary

In his presentation, the building owner indicated that he purchased the building from Albert Tranqualino in September 2009. He is including a trash room, individual washer/dryer units and internal HVAC so window air conditioners will not be required. In answer to a question, the trash room will only be accessible through a ship’s ladder, though Szary indicated he would personally oversee trash disposal.

Assuming the zoning variance is approved, the renovation will be completed by March 2010 and the units converted to condominiums. Szary indicated he would be looking for a family for the duplex unit and will limit renting as a result of new financing requirements that encourage owner occupied condo buildings. Szary was previously the development manager at Archstone Avenir on Causeway St.

Following the discussion, NEWRA members voted by secret ballot with a result of 46 in support and 11 in opposition. NEWRA will write a letter of support advising the Zoning Board of Appeal for its February 12 hearing.

4 Replies to “NEWRA Supports Zoning Variance at 112 Prince St.

  1. This is a solid plan that increases the quality of the property and of the block. However, I was a bit chilled by the quest to specifically seek a "family" for ANY residential unit in our community.

    It is not legally possible in Massachusetts to select "a family" from pools of renters. But I’m more concerned with the growing family-seeking Zeitgeist in this quarter versus legislation. I’d hate to see others such as a gay individual, gay couple, single female, older gentleman, foreign graduate student, et al., turn up and be told, "Sorry, we’re looking for a family."

    What is the impact that I have in noise, carbon footprint, shopping outside the neighborhood versus in (as do I for every ounce of food I eat)? How does a "family" necessarily rank better than I as a residential unit? Will they be ordering from Peapod, throwing diapers out for rats to snack on, and recycling more materials and creating more trash from the very same residential unit?

    I’m not disparaging families; after all, I am more conservative than most and love a tight nuclear family arrangement. I just don’t want to be kicked to the curb and limited from my pursuit of happiness, whether that is in where I use the gym or where I can rent or own.

    While many talk about bringing families into the neighborhood, the family demographics are increasing in The South End–not here (among the more dense quarters of Boston). Many of these "family" proponents live in luxury condominiums that used to be school houses. There are two converted schools right by the Nazzarro Center.

    Let’s focus on maintaining a sense of community among whatever demographics comprise our neighborhood. Let’s focus on creating an environment that attracts quality people, and show less concern with household arrangements. There are plenty of families, single people, young professionals, students, gay people, etc., who make terrible neighbors. Good neighbors come in all "shapes and sizes."



  2. Well said! I wonder if these people who are asking for units to be rented to families, rent their own units to families or are like every other landlord who rents to whoever can pay the rent being asked?

  3. Thank, Joyce!! That is certainly an additional question for discussion.

    My overarching opinion is that Mr. Szary should be free to find whatever tenants he selects, even if he chooses not to rent to families or to any other group. I’m pretty libertarian in that regard. He should not be restricted in his quest, nor feel compelled to add a quest for families as part of his proposal in order to give it more appeal to voters. I do, however, feel that this is yet another sniff on the breeze of the growing zeitgeist I cited. And I feel, again, that Mr. Szary might have felt compelled to appeal to it. In addition to that, I am admonishing the zeitgeist.

    Should I ever join two units into one on my hypothetical property, no one is going to tell me I have to move a family in. Disturbing! Come knock on my door if my property is adversely impacting the community, and leave it at that!


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