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Leyden Woods to be rebuilt

23 apartments will be lost in the process

Some of the units in Leyden Woods are seen here off of Leyden Road in Greenfield. A $40 to $50 million project at Leyden Woods will see all of the buildings rebuilt. Twenty-three apartments will be lost in the process, as some buildings will give way for wetlands.
Recorder/Paul Franz

Some of the units in Leyden Woods are seen here off of Leyden Road in Greenfield. A $40 to $50 million project at Leyden Woods will see all of the buildings rebuilt. Twenty-three apartments will be lost in the process, as some buildings will give way for wetlands. Recorder/Paul Franz

GREENFIELD — One of the town’s larger low-income housing developments is about to get a complete makeover.

When finished, Leyden Woods will have all new buildings with updated, energy-efficient apartments — albeit fewer of them.

The existing 56 residential buildings will be replaced with 47 new ones and the number of apartments will be reduced from 204 to 181.

Each building’s footprint will remain the same, but according to Stephanie Anderson Garrett, director of communications for Community Builders Inc. of Boston, which is owner of Leyden Woods, the number of buildings will be reduced by nine because some are currently sitting in wetlands and conditions around them have worsened over the years.

Garrett said the $40 million to $50 million project will displace the residents of the 23 apartments it will not rebuild, but she said Community Builders will develop a relocation plan, which must eventually be approved by the state Department of Housing and Community Development, for those individuals and families.

She said a relocation plan has not yet been developed and it is not yet clear how many people will be displaced.

Garrett said funding will come from a number of sources, including low-income housing tax credits, state tax credits, other state funding and the Mass Save Energy program.

She said the project will happen in phases, with the first one likely to begin in 2015. She said that phase will take about a year to complete.

Garrett does not yet have information about what the first phase will consist of and how many phases there will be, or how long the entire project will take to complete. She said there is no target date for the entire project’s completion.

Parking lots and driveways will be reconfigured and new sidewalks and landscaping will be installed, according to a letter filed with the town’s Conservation Commission.

The new buildings will be built on existing foundations.

The proposed project will increase the separation between wetlands and buildings, most notably in Bayberry Court, where four buildings adjacent to an intermittent, unnamed stream abutting the court will be removed and not replaced.

Two other buildings located close to wetlands in Heather and Aster courts will be demolished and replaced with playgrounds.

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