BERLIN – The aging apartments at the south end of Flower Street will be renovated in 2020.
Homes for America, the company that owns the property commonly referred to as the Isaiah Fassett apartments, met with town officials last week to discuss plans for the complex located between Uncle Willie’s convenience store and Henry Park. Dave Engelhart, the town’s planning director, said staff had been pleased with the company’s proposal.
“They brought their whole team,” Engelhart told the town council Monday. “They impressed us with what they had.”
According to Engelhart, Homes for America initially presented plans to renovate the apartment complex last year but then failed to get the funding package that would have allowed the project to move forward. Funding has now been received, however, and the company remains interested in proceeding with a major renovation. Engelhart and the town’s other department directors met with company representatives last Thursday to go over concept plans.
“We had good feedback,” he said. “Those apartments will be redone completely in and out.”
The oldest section of the apartment complex, the red and white building next to Henry Park, will be torn down.
“That 11-unit building’s going to be demolished and they’re going to build a new building there … It’ll be a much better streetscape.”
Engelhart said the demolition of that building and the renovation of the other structures would likely begin in July 2020.
“The residents who are there, they do the existing apartments six at a time so they those that want to be relocated, they have other properties in the region,” he said. “They’ll relocate them there. It’s a good time of year if they have to do that with some of them the kids are out of school they could move elsewhere if they have to.”
He added that Homes for America also owned another property in town, the apartments at 545 Bay St., and that the company would be doing an exterior renovation there. That is expected to include new rooflines, new siding, a new playground and a new picnic area.
Engelhart said the various apartment improvements were good for the town.
“After these get redone we’ve got one more that needs a facelift,” he said. “The rest have all got it. I think that’s important that we have a good housing stock and good places for people to live.”
Homes for America is expected to do some community outreach during the renovation process to ensure area residents are aware of the coming changes.
Councilman Elroy Brittingham, who lives on Flower Street, praised the proposed renovations.
“It’s good to know those other two apartments are going to be refurbished because Bay Terrace has just been completed and it looks nice,” he said.