BERLIN – With construction well underway at the site of Cannery Village, Berlin’s new rent-to-own community, officials have opened a temporary office to provide applications and answer questions from potential residents.
On Tuesday, representatives from Habitat America, who are working with the Cannery Village developer, set up an office in the Berlin Visitor Center. They will be there to distribute applications and respond to inquiries from people interested in living in Cannery Village up until construction of their on-site office is complete this fall.
“In the first two hours they were there, they had 25 people come in,” said Andrew Hanson, vice president of Osprey Property Company, the project’s developer.
Hanson’s company is in the process of building 44 homes on Cannery Way just off Flower Street. When complete, the homes will be rented to individuals interested in buying them in the future. After 15 years of renting, during which residents will have the opportunity to repair their credit and build equity, they will be able to purchase the homes.
“Our goal is for folks to go in and rent and build up equity and eventually be able to buy,” Hanson said. “We think it’s going to be a great project.”
He said interest in the unique community has been high from the start.
“Before we ever put a sign up, we had every bit of 200 people put their name on our inquiry list,” he said.
Those interested in leasing the homes will have the opportunity to submit their applications on Aug. 15. From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Berlin’s town hall, officials from Habitat America will be accepting the applications, which are expected to include everything from recent bank statements to life insurance information.
That, Hanson says, is why applications have been made available early. With credit and criminal checks, applying is a multi-step process. How soon individuals find out if they’ve been selected for a home will depend on how complete their application is.
“If they provide all the information required it could be a quick turnaround,” Hanson said. “Some folks have more challenging packets than others.”
While rain has slowed construction during the past two months, Hanson said Cannery Village is still expected to be complete by the end of the year or early 2016. Passersby will see six houses up on the right side of the 15-acre property and several others being framed further down the entranceway. Though the houses are going up quickly, Hanson said the site work has been slower to progress.
“We’re trying to do everything at once,” he said, “because to deliver houses this fall we’ve have to do everything concurrently.”
So as crews are building the houses, other workers are installing water and sewer infrastructure and stormwater systems.
“It’s a lot going on at once,” he said. “We appreciate the patience of the neighbors. We’re trying to keep the site as clean as possible.”
For more information on the project or to download an application, go to www.canneryvillagemd.com.