The Board of Appeal yesterday approved plans by the owner of 135-139 Border St. to gut what is now a three-story office building and turn the upper two floors into apartments or condos.
The board waived the lot's normal zoning requirements for both open space and parking because the building already takes up 100% of the lot with no room for either plantings or parking spaces. The attorney for owner David Shulman said the building is within a ten-minute walk of the Maverick Blue Line stop and near five bus lines.
With the approval, the building will go from one residential unit to seven.
However, the board did deny the Shulman's request to exempt him from a requirement to do something about the potential fire hazard to a neighboring building that would come from existing windows on one side of the building. The attorney said the board should exempt the windows, installed in 1977, because the new use does not increase the fire risk, but the board agreed with member Anthony Pisani that since the project is a complete gut job, it needs to be brought up to modern code. Shulman can appeal the denial to the state.