A variance has been approved for new apartments to be built inside a former Fall River church and its rectory.
Atty. Mark Levin, and one of the principals of Roll The Dice Inc., CEO of Amaral & Associates Real Estate Michael Amaral, went in front of the Fall River Zoning Board of Appeals on Thursday seeking a variance to allow 46 two-bedroom units to be built in place of the existing church and rectory at 160 Linden Street (former Sacred Heart Church), waiving lot coverage, front yard, side yard, and rear yard setbacks.
Levin stated that the current structure has been vandalized. Most of the windows have been broken. The building has also been spray painted inside and outside with graffiti. Uninvited people have been and are still living inside and outside of the church.
Amaral plans to keep the structures by remodeling and repairing the interior, including the windows. The group wants to keep the unique structure and maintain a piece of its history.
The Board approved the variance to allow the project to move forward, however, when it came to the request for a Special Permit to reduce the number off-street parking spaces by 8, there was pushback.
Several members of the community expressed their displeasure at the meeting concerning losing the spaces. That led to a change in the permit that decreased the number of parking spaces within the property from 62 to 54 and retained the 50 off-street parking spots in the area. With that change, the special permit was granted.
According to Amaral, the goal is to get all the plans completed and permits in hand by January 1st then the buildout should take approximately 14 months until the units can be occupied.