Was it just a few years ago when small scale Townhouse Style condominium projects provided an alternative to single family houses?
What happened to this branch of the housing industry?
Let me first tell you the story of the Cushing Mithcell Condominium, which is located on Central Street in East Bridgewater, MA.
The rambling, 6 bedroom dwelling at 90 Central Street was destroyed by fire and was too far gone to rebuild. Thankfully no one was hurt in the fire. The owner was not interested in replacing the building. A local developer, during his negotiations to purchase the property had P.M.P. Associates, LLC perform an initial due-diligence study to establish the various constraints to re-developing this property (Zoning set-back requirements, local groundwater protection requirements, need for new sanitary wastewater disposal “septic” system, an existing driveway access easement and the location within an historic area).
Since the property had a six bedroom dwelling, six bedrooms could be reconstructed on the property. However, only a single structure could be built and it needed to fit within the general footprint of the destroyed building.
After several concepts and alternatives that were developed by the project’s architect and civil engineer, three, two-bedroom townhouse units with a connecting two-car open front garage/carport were selected. To maintain the historical nature of the property, the front unit was rotated 90 degrees to face the street and the stone wall feature on the abutting property was extended along the front of this property.
Here is the final engineering site plan that was approved for the project.
This is a narrow lot that did not leave much room for the septic system. The right side of the property has a driveway easement for the abutting property, which had to be maintained. The site design took advantage of this requirement and combined it into the driveway access for the three units and guest parking.
Here is the engineering plan for the septic system.
The Town of East Bridgewater has a requirement to provide for groundwater recharge. To meet this requirement, the roof drainage was collected and directed to a recharge system that was designed specifically for the soil conditions at this property. The recharge system had to be located away from the septic system as well as the building foundation.
Here is what the completed complex looks like from the street.
The other two units face the driveway and each unit is separated with an open garage / carport.
Before the first unit could be sold, P.M.P. Associates, LLC prepared, the condominium unit plans and condominium site plan for the Developer in conjunction with his attorney.
At the present time, one unit has been sold and is occupied.
These units are well built and located in a desirable location. The asking price appears to have been adjusted to the current real estate market conditions. So why are there two units still available?
Has the sub-prime mortgage fiasco and today’s banking institutions totally destroyed condominium sales?
Maybe I am an optimist, you know, the glass is have full kind of guy. I firmly believe that the smaller condominium projects are going to play a vital part in the recovery of the housing industry. These projects provide an affordable alternative to a single family home. As local agencies continue to increase the cost of land development through increased regulations and fees, developers need to have a more cost effective housing alternative.
The Cushing Mitchell Condominium is being marketed by:
Heritage Home Real Estate
36 North Bedford Street, East Bridgewater, MA02333