The plan is known as a tax increment exemption, a tool used for residential projects under the state’s Housing Development Incentive Program.
Wells said the tax increment exception plan allows projects to be more manageable in the years before they can start taking in tenants.
“The tax incentive programs are helpful because a building like this is insanely expensive to renovate. When you get it completely empty and in disrepair, its millions of dollars and several years of time during which we’re collecting no rent, making no money,” Wells said.
A large challenge in renovating the property was that the property is made up of two separate buildings with slightly misaligned floor levels, leading to some stairwells that are more difficult to work through. The old parking garage was in worse shape than the developers were initially aware of and required additional reinforcement, Wells said.
One pleasant surprise of renovating the building was discovering additional ceiling height on the sixth floor penthouse suite after ripping back a dropped ceiling.
Courtney Truex, director of commercial real estate for the Menkiti Group, said that a good amount of the interest in the apartments come from graduate or medical students. However, interested parties also include working professionals in the area, people from other states and even potential tenants from foreign countries including the United Arab Emirates.
After the first YWCA building in Worcester proved popular in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the agency added several more properties on Chatham Street. The 6 Chatham St. property was a part of that expansion of YWCA buildings.
One reminder of the building’s history as a YWCA administrative building is the pool tile that lines the lobby and studio apartment walls on the first floor, where there once was a pool.
The development team found that the mother of the construction manager of the site, Bruce Ellis of RP Masiello Inc. in Boylston, lived at the building when it was a YWCA for a year in the 1940s. Truex said that she provided a tour of the building to the YWCA Central Massachusetts team and they were thrilled to see the renovations on the building.
The new website for the 6 Chatham St. building includes a section where residents can submit testimonials or stories about a memory they have of the building back when the YWCA or the Performing Arts School of Worcester operated it.
Apartment prices range from $1,450 a month for an alcove studio on the first floor with one bathroom to $3,600 a month for a sixth-floor penthouse suite with two beds and two bathrooms. The fifth floor has a “sub-penthouse” suite with two beds and two bathrooms for $3,450 a month.
Chatham Lofts also offers nine alcove studios, four one-bedroom regular apartments, five one-bed duplexes, three two-bedroom regular apartments and a two-bedroom with an alcove. One deposit has been submitted and 15 applications for suites have been sent with four additional applications likely by the end of Thursday. The Menkiti Group expects all units to be filled by the end of the year.
Writen and Published by Telegram & Gazette.