Fiumara Realty Trust was looking for the North End / Waterfront Residents’ Association (NEWRA) to support their two-story, two-unit addition to 38 Fleet Street at the July 12th meeting. NEWRA voted against the proposed additions after a debate about whether a proposed outdoor staircase to a courtyard was considered a balcony or not.

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The current building hosts three units in three stories with a basement. The surrounding buildings are five-stories tall and the owner’s proposed additions, with construction lasting about a year, would make 38 Fleet Street match the rest of the buildings. Each new unit would host a one-bedroom apartment, increasing the total number of beds in the building from eight to ten. The basement would be part of a first floor duplex in the building.

In addition to the added stories, the proposed building would undergo a full renovation. The fire escape would be removed and replaced with an outdoor staircase to the courtyard. This staircase started controversy at the meeting as the landings on each floor appear to be outdoor balconies with enough room to sit outside on. See the floor plans below to see if the landings should be considered balconies.

Caroline Connelly, representing Fiumara, said that to her knowledge, the proposed building has no balconies. The notes in the plans for the proposed building, however, refer to the staircase landings as “decks.”

The proposed renovations come with some violations that Fiumara hopes to appeal. Connelly said there is a roof violation needing correction, rear yard set back violation (it currently is zero and will remain at zero), parking violation for adding units without adding parking (there currently is no parking), and a violation for the floor area ratio increasing to 3.2.

Connelly was sure to state that the Fiumaras are “very against AirBnB.” The building will be owner occupied as the Fiumaras will be living in the first floor apartment. The proposed units would be available for rent at the market rate in about one year.

The North End / Waterfront Residents’ Association (NEWRA) meetings are held on the second Thursday of the month. The meetings are at 7:00 p.m. at the Nazzaro Center, 30 N. Bennet Street.

See the Community Calendar for the latest meeting and event updates!


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8 COMMENTS

  1. I don’t understand why are they not allowed decks. The decks will be facing s courtyard. Enough will telling people what they can or cannot do with private property

  2. I’m disappointed that 15 of my fellow NEWRA members voted against this common sense way to add housing incrementally without disrupting the character of the neighborhood. Still, I’m grateful that 13 NEWRA members voted for the project and I’m hopeful that we will flip the result for similar projects in the future.

    • LLDR – you live in the city and a neighborhood with plenty of noise from cars and revelers. Most buildings by 38 Fleet Street have either balconies, fire escapes, or roof decks. Nothing about the proposal for 38 Fleet Street would be out of character with the neighborhood. If you want a nice quiet place, then please move to the suburbs.

  3. That’s your problem Jarred don’t try to agree how other people feel just tell them to move sadly maybe you should move. I have to believe they are fire escapes just from the family reputation they aren’t looking for trouble. Noise from cars is to be excepted we live in the North End the loud parties and trash and no respect for your neighbor is not acceptable these are the people that should move.

    • Loud parties and trash? Yes, those people should change their behavior or move. My issue is that many members suggested that having fire escapes (or balconies) is reason enough to vote against a project. It’s ridiculous because fire escapes, balconies, rooftop decks, etc. are quite common in the North End and very much in keeping with the character of the neighborhood. Moreover, I suspect that members living in the Harbor Towers would not want to give up their balconies…

      • Enough with noise complaints. I just bought a brand new SUV a few weeks ago. V8 engine. Beautiful piece of American muscle. As I was parking it at night a guy yelled at me and said it was to loud. It is the city for crying out loud.

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