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First of five deteriorated homes city sold to developers is fully renovated, goes on market

in Real Estate 82 views

Michael A. Lumbis remembered last April when he stepped on an old bottle of sunscreen and other trash that covered much of a floor in a deteriorated house at 244 N. Rutland St.

The city’s planning director also recalled the house had old drafty windows, outdated paneling, a newspaper from 1997 on the floor and a concern that an animal might come scurrying out from the garbage. One did — a cat, which startled him.

That century-old house looks totally different now.

On Tuesday, Lumbis and senior planner Jennifer Voss took their first tour of the single-family house since it underwent a total renovation.

“It looks fabulous,” he said.

It was one of five homes that the city sold to developers and contractors to fix up. Before buying them, they had to explain their plans for the properties.

The 4-bedroom, 2 1/2-bath Rutland Street house is the first of five that has been completed.

During the tour, Dave Heinisch — a landlord who has bought, renovated and resold 20 houses in and around Watertown over the past 20 years — showed off the many amenities that he incorporated into the renovation to get exactly what he wanted.

“I want to get that ‘wow,'” he said.

That’s why Heinisch, who owns H20Town24/7properties LLC, installed custom molding in each of the rooms, a quartz kitchen counter, top quality appliances and other features, he said.

Starting in June, his team of contractors put in a lot of work — from top to bottom — into the house.

He’s got it listed at $187,400. Now comes the wait — to see when it will be sold. It’s tough putting a house on the market during the holidays, he said.

“You’d never know how much I put into this house,” he said.

About 20 years ago, Heinisch, a packaging specialist from Long Island, discovered Watertown quite by chance following a fishing trip to Pulaski. He never thought he’d end up owning and redoing so much property from what he said is just “a side job.”

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Seven Watertown houses renovated under city program

in Housing 303 views

The city set out to get eight rundown houses fixed up and back on the tax rolls.

Seven of them are moving along, with hope for the eighth.

The eight houses are under a city program to attract developers for rehabilitation and bring them back to life. The city Planning Department used a request for proposals process, or RFPs, to seek interest from developers.

On Monday night, the City Council agreed to sell the two most recent houses — 219/221 W. Lynde St. and 256 N. Pleasant St. — to developers under the second phase of the program.

Five others were sold to developers previously.

“I think, so far, it’s gone well,” city planning and community director Michael A. Lumbis said.

This time, a duplex at 219/221 W. Lynde St. was sold to Matteson Property Management for $6,724, while Rios Renovations LLC purchased 256 N. Pleasant St. for $4,714.

Matteson Property Management plans to invest $92,400 into the duplex on West Lynde Street. Rios plans to put in $56,700 for the North Pleasant Street property.

Both houses are going through complete renovations that includes new exterior siding, kitchens and bathrooms, HVAC systems, plumbing and interior improvements. The duplex also will get a new roof and front porch.

Both developers have six months to get the work done, Lumbis said.

The city received three other proposals for the duplex; Rios submitted the only one for the North Pleasant Street house.

Matteson was involved renovating two other houses in the program as a contractor hired by the developer who purchased them from the city, Lumbis said.

There were no takers for a house at 531 Bradley St. But Lumbis said that another city program might still be used to get that Bradley Street house rehabbed.

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Watertown apartment building being renovated after extensive fire damage

in Local News 1,597 views

WATERTOWN — The owner of an apartment building that sustained serious damage from a fire last year said she hopes the units will be available in the coming weeks and months.

The eight-unit apartment building at 121 William St. was all but destroyed internally after the fire in late November. It displaced several tenants, and city police said this week that the cause is still being investigated. State investigators were brought in to help with the investigation, and authorities are still waiting for results to determine a cause, city police said.

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