Plans emerge for homeless, low-income housing project on Watertown’s Main Avenue

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For the second time in as many months, the city’s Planning Commission will consider a large affordable housing facility in the city, this time a 61-unit building on the city’s north side.

The city’s Planning Commission will see plans for the first time on Tuesday for a four-story housing facility for the homeless and seriously low-income people that would be built on the north side of Main Avenue.

Three local nonprofit organizations are teaming up to work on the project.

Neighbors of Watertown, along with Transitional Living Services of Northern New York and Credo Community Center for the Treatment of Addictions, is purchasing the 3.4-acre site near Mill Street to construct the affordable housing project.

The city’s Planning Department confirmed late Thursday afternoon that the project was on Tuesday’s Planning Commission agenda.

The three nonprofit organizations are seeking site plan approval.

“We look forward to presenting this project to the Planning Commission…,” Shelby Vakiener, a civil engineer with LaBella Associates, wrote in the site plan application.

LaBella is the engineer working on the project and submitted the site plan application on behalf of Neighbors.

The engineering firm will make a presentation about the project at 6 p.m. Tuesday in the third-floor council chambers at City Hall, 245 Washington St.

The Main Avenue project comes at a time when a Rochester developer is moving ahead with a 120-unit affordable housing project on Commerce Drive.

However, the Main Avenue project would include 30 units for homeless people with substance-use disorders or mental illnesses and the remaining for low-income people.

Businessman P.J. Simao now owns the six separate vacant parcels at VL Main Ave., 144, 160, 164 and 200 Main Ave. and 160 Rear Main Ave.

The developers still need to finalize their acquisition.

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