Residents at Boston East Building Dealing With Some Fire-alarm Glitches

When Audrey Savikas and her family moved into their new apartment at Boston East, it had everything one could ask for. Modern amenities, views of the harbor, an artist gallery on the first floor and a close knit community of residents.

However, one amenity Savikas could do without was the frequent middle-of-the-night building-wide fire alarms.

For several weeks,  Savikas and her neighbors in the building have been awakened by false fire alarms that have forced mandatory evacuations in the early morning hours. 

“The last one was 4 a.m. and there was a 1 a.m. one the night before,” said Savikas last week. “There have been so many more, including multiple daytime “testing” periods with six-hour windows. I’m told by the concierge that there’s a known technical problem with the alarm system – something about a water pump – that is not being fixed.”

Savikas said the firefighters rightfully appear frustrated each time that they have to respond to the building.

“The residents are angry, and unfortunately many of them have stopped evacuating, creating a real safety concern,” she said.  “As for me, I’m tired of paying an inordinate amount of rent each month, only to end up standing outside in the cold, rain in the middle of the night with my two crying kids who are now scared to go to sleep.”

The Boston East opened to great fanfare last May. The $71 million waterfront development project was a collaboration between Trinity Financial and the East Boston CDC. The boutique, mid-rise residential community features 200 units, including six artist live-work-sell units and a community art gallery. Boston East also embraces and engages the waterfront with the development and expansion of the Eastie Harborwalk, which was made possible in part by a $3 million MassWorks Infrastructure Program grant to East Boston.

The interiors of Boston East’s common spaces and residential units were created by Cortney and Robert Novogratz – a Los Angeles-based husband-and-wife design team who have conceived some of the most unique living spaces across the country. The Novogratzes, who are known for their unique taste and style, have been showcased several times on HGTV.

Despite all the luxuries Savikas and others are understandably annoyed, and this week there’s been some progress on the issue but it’s far from being fixed.

“I don’t know how they finally found their sense of urgency after all these weeks but (the Fire Department) put the building on Fire Watch so the (managers) could shut down the fire alarm system, and replace the malfunctioning parts.”

While the system is back online and there were no more ‘false alarms’ over the weekend Savikas said she is, “terribly underwhelmed” by how long it took and how poor the building manager’s communications were to the tenants.

“But fingers crossed that it’s finally resolved,” she said.

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