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Local developer plans to build apartments in former religious school building

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Albany/HV: Local developer plans to build apartments in former religious school building
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. -- "It's part of our overall goal for the downtown area," said CJ Hoss, Pittsfield city planner.

The city approves a plan to redevelop two buildings on Melville Street and turn them into market price apartments.

"Really to increase the diversity of housing types in the city," said Hoss.

This used to be the Notre Dame school and convent. They were closed down in the early 90s and transferred to private ownership. Scarafoni Realty bought the two buildings last fall. Now, the wheels are turning to build 11 one and two bedroom apartments where the school building stands.

Hoss says the convent has become so unsafe that there really is no better choice than to demolish it. Scarafoni Realty plans to put some landscaping in this property. Developers say these changes can bring some positive effects in the community.

"Hopefully, all of those bricks add up to something nice. When you have our organization doing development close to the downtown and you have other organizations also doing development in the downtown, downtown becomes denser, the shops become healthier and more activity goes on," said Craig Barnum of Scarafoni Realty.

"Brings more residents downtown, it's something our restaurants really need, you know, is to bring more residents downtown to have more business outside of office hours, and on the weekends," added Hoss.

Work is expected to begin in the spring, but Scarafoni did not specify when the apartments will be ready.

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