Additional Residential Units Sought for Former Y

The owner of the former YMCA building on Shurtleff Street is seeking to add five new additional residential units to the first floor of the building.

Chelsea Commons at 207 Shurtleff St. provides affordable housing units for men, with wraparound services such as educational and vocational training provided by Bay Cove Human Services.

At Tuesday night’s Zoning Board of Appeals meeting, building owner James D’Amico said he is looking to replace recreational space on the first floor with five microunits of 250 to 300 square feet. Those units will also be part of the affordable housing program with services overseen by Bay Cove.

The project needs zoning relief for parking and for alterations to a nonconforming use. The proposal will be before the Planning Board on Feb. 28, and back to the ZBA for a potential vote on March 14.

“Since we purchased the building in 2017, we haven’t stopped with improvements in the building,” said D’Amico. “We were here previously in 2017 and we developed seven units on the second floor and it’s been very successful.”

Each of the new units will have its own kitchen and bathroom, as well as an open space and will primarily be meant for one occupant. D’Amico noted that currently, there aren’t any issues with parking, and that many of the occupants either use bikes or public transportation.

D’Amico said that the first floor was previously home to an Explorers Club, but that it was no longer feasible to house it in the building.

Theresa DiPietro, the director of permanent supportive housing for Bay Cove said many of the current residents of the building have been referrals from Chelsea HUB, the eviction task force, and the neighborhood task force.

“It’s been a really good success helping Chelsea individuals live in affordable housing,” she said.

DiPeitro noted that there is common space on the third floor of the building for recreation and educational purposes that is used by the residents and Bay Cove.

In other business Tuesday night, the ZBA approved a special permit allowing Enterprise Rent-a-Car to use a lot at 245-257 Marginal St. for overflow parking for its business. Enterprise has used the lot in the past, but gave up its lease for a time during the height of the Covid pandemic.

The ZBA also approved a curb cut and driveway for the St. Mary Orthodox Church at 8 Addison St. that will allow the church to park two to three more cars on its property.

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