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Commercial site to become 74 apartments

March 19, 2015

by Jessica LePore

Plans to turn an 85,000-square-foot commercial space downtown  – which now serves as a receiving dock for the state’s Vehicle Compensation Board – into 74 apartment units was approved Thursday by the city Planning Board.

The proposal for 44 to 50 Eagle St. was first reviewed in January and is not expected to have a negative impact on the environment.

Current standing office units/Jessica LePore

Current standing office units/Jessica LePore

The brick building facade will be preserved, according to Rebecca Caldon, an associate engineer at Nolan Engineering.

“The main changes are going to come on the site, mainly the Eagle Street area,” said Caldon.

Better lighting, security, an added canopy, and the reconfiguration of parking at the site, as well as an additional fence and curb stop will all be included on the Eagle Street side of the property.

Up to 74 new apartment unit will be developed, including 12 studio apartments for a $900 a monthly rate, 32  three-bedroom apartments for $1100, 27 two-bedroom apartments for $1,450 and three three-bedroom apartments for $1,750. A total of 13 off-street parking spaces will be available as well as four spots for disabled parking.

Planning board member, Sandra Fox, suggested some adjustments to the building’s roof because of its flat surface. The roof currently has some storm water storage.

View of the current parking lot/Jessica LePore

View of the current parking lot/Jessica LePore

Putting apartment buildings of this type in an office and business district is a change for the area and seems to be the future of apartment living.

Plans for apartments will now be reviewed by the city’s Building Department.

The project will be a positive one for the neighborhood which has numerous commercial and office vacancies, according to Albert DeSalvo, planning board chair. The unique location and the neighborhood walkability should be attractive for renters, he said.

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