|Neighbors Of Watertown, Inc - News & Articles||
By: Nancy Madsen, Times Staff Writer | October 24, 2010
SOCIAL SECURITY BUILDING: Transitional living facility planned
Neighbors of Watertown is trying to start work on the former Social Security Administration building before the end of the year.
The organization will convert the two-story building at 190 Stone St. into 10 transitional living apartments. It also will turn a house at 196 Stone St. into a three-apartment building.
Neighbors has demolished a former office building at 131 Sherman St., while the city is set to tear down a house at 129 Sherman St., for both a small park for tenants and a driveway.
"We're ready to get rolling seriously on it," Neighbors Executive Director Gary C. Beasley said.
All four of the buildings required asbestos removal before the renovation or demolition work could begin.
The Watertown Local Development Corp. extended a $115,000 loan to Neighbors for the project during its meeting Thursday morning. It was first approved in 2008, but was extended for a third time Thursday through April 1.
"I know we continue to renew this, but we expected that," CEO Donald W. Rutherford said.
In November 2007, Neighbors was awarded a nearly $2.2 million grant from the state's Homeless Housing and Assistance Program to complete the project. The project has waited through holdups from the Federal Aviation Administration, which determined the renovations wouldn't be a hazard to airspace, and project approvals from the state Dormitory Authority and the state Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance.
Neighbors will use ConTech Building Systems, Gouverneur, as the general contractor, which is the same role ConTech is filling on the nearly completed Franklin Building renovations on Public Square.
"We've prepared bid packets for some of the sub teams," Mr. Beasley said. "We've sent the packets to the funding source for review."
Neighbors is targeting a Thanksgiving end to the Franklin Building project. The buildings on Stone and Sherman streets should take about nine months of work, Mr. Beasley said.
"We hope to move right from the Franklin Building to that project," he said.
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