The North End / Waterfront Neighborhood Council voted 7-1 in opposition of the occupancy changes and renovations at 276-282 Hanover Street, where a deadly fire occurred in November 2017.
The proposal is to join the two buildings, allowing two means of egress, and change the existing structure from 16 units to 20 units, which will result in eight 2-bedrooms and 12 studios. Floors two through five will be renovated, with no additional height. Trattoria il Panino will remain as is on the first floor.
The units in the rear will become smaller. (2:40) The largest two-bedroom unit will be 545 square feet. The council expressed concerns about this small size, saying it will not appeal to families and would rather bring in short-term stays like AirBnB. Attorney Rashi Mangalick assured the council the units would only be for long-term rentals.
There was an abutters meeting where there were no issues raised, according to the Mayor’s Office of Neighborhood Services.
The three violations for which building owner Barbara Angiulo of Federal Investments, Inc. is seeking zoning relief are FAR (floor area ratio), open space regulation and parking. (4:34) The specific change in the FAR was not provided.
From the council, Marie Simboli asked for more details about the fire escapes. (5:29) This is particularly relevant as a tragic fire at this location near a year ago claimed the lives of two individuals. Barbara said the fire department will not permit fire escapes on the front or rear of the building. By combining the buildings, a double egress is being added in the front and there will also be two escapes at the roof.
Barbara owns six other properties, five in the North End. (6:06)
Council member Brett Roman asked how many people were living in the building prior. (7:06) There were five singles and the rest were doubles. In total there were 24 residents; with the renovations it could go up to 26.
(8:10) The means of egress are changing in that the buildings were not previously combined. Now residents can cross between buildings.
When asked if there was any thought given to making the units larger and more livable, Angiulo said she looked at other studios in the North End and these were actually larger than some of the ones she saw. (9:32) She spoke with the zoning board and they said these were acceptable measurements. A studio has to be 430 square feet and anything above that can be justifiable as a two-bedroom unit.
The Neighborhood Council voted 7-1 to oppose the petition.