Long vacant downtown building to get nearly $9M overhaul

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    Long vacant downtown building to get nearly $9M overhaul

    The $8,750,000 project at 6 Chatham St. will turn the long-vacant buildings into the Chatham Street Lofts, 18 one-bedroom and six two-bedroom apartments.

    The property at 6 Chatham St., which has been vacant for nearly two decades, will get an $8.75 million renovation that could begin as early as Aug. 1.

    In documents presented to the City Council for tomorrow night's meeting, the Menkiti Group detailed its plans to turn the six-story stone building and adjacent four-story brick building into 24 units of housing, 18 one-bedroom and six two-bedroom apartments. Included in the documents are the proposed floors plans.

    The plan estimates the year-long construction will begin in August.

    In its description of the project, the group writes: "The project will include 15 new studio/one-bedroom units in the four-story portion of the property, including 5 two-story townhouse style units on the 3rd and 4th floors of the building. Plans include the restoration of the large arched windows on the 3rd and 4th floors that have been boarding up for decades. The six-story portion of the property will include 4 additional new one-bedroom units and 5 new two-bedroom units.

    "The new units are expected to house students, young professionals, artists, and empty-nesters that want to live in the Theatre District," the description continues.


    "The property at 6 Chatham Street was constructed between the period of 1915 to 1924 and consists of approximately 40,000 square feet of gross building area," the narrative states. "The building formally housed the Young Women’s Christian Association (YWCA) and the Worcester Center for the Performing Arts, but it has been vacant for approximately 20 years. ... The vacant, blighted building has been underutilized for decades and is in need of significant rehabilitation."

    The plan is being presented to the City Council because the Menkiti Group is seeking a partial tax break on the increased value of the property once the renovation is complete. Under the plan, the group would pay $190,908.38 in real estate taxes on the increased value of the property over a 12-year period, but would save $114,545.03 over that same period.

    The buildings are currently assessed at $1,207,200. The city estimates the value of the building after the renovation to be $1,976,000.

    The city will ask the Council tomorrow night to refer the plan "to the Economic Development Committee for its review, consideration, and approval for referral back to the City Council for a final vote," according to a letter from Chief Development Officer Michael Traynor.

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