Beaver Street Apartments get a new look

Monday, December 10, 2012
Danbury News Times
Danbury, CT

The Beaver Street Apartments, a longtime downtown eyesore and past hotbed of criminal activity, recently received a face lift.

Officials announced Monday the completion of the first phase of renovations at the low-income cooperative, including new fencing, siding, repaired sidewalks and more than 500 energy-efficient windows.

James Maloney, the executive director of Connecticut Institute for Communities, said more than $750,000 was invested in this phase, which also included individual heating controls for each apartment, five new boiler systems and other conservation measures, including energy-efficient lighting and water-flow-restricting faucets.

"When we took over the management of the cooperative, it was on the verge of bankruptcy and had massive maintenance issues," Maloney said.

"So we put together a plan to attack those issues. This works represents the first phase of that project."

He said a variety of funding sources was used for the project, including $55,000 from the city, stimulus funding from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, and the cooperative's own resident occupancy payments.

New Opportunities Inc., a community action agency in Waterbury, provided much of the weatherization service for the project, Maloney said.

U.S. Rep. and Sen.-elect Chris Murphy, who was on hand for Monday's announcement, praised the use of stimulus money to "enhance the quality of life at a very valuable community housing development."

"I congratulate all of the individuals and firms who were involved in this important initiative," Murphy said.

Mayor Mark Boughton said decades ago this apartment cooperative, which includes 70 low-income family housing units, was known as one of the most dangerous places in the city.

He added that while the cooperative has seen its share of management firms in years past, the institute's management of the property over the past five years has provided "more stability."

The improvements, he said, are a "positive step forward."

Maloney said the second phase of the project, which will involve mostly interior renovations, has already begun and will be active throughout the winter months.

The third and final phase, he said, will include new roofs on the complex's 12 buildings.

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