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Homes for America will overhaul its properties

Nonprofit says cost of rehab, redevelopment will be $12 million

A rendering showcases a redevelopment project on Flower Street in Berlin. Homes for America owns several homes on Flower and Bay streets. Berlin officials from the Annapolis-based nonprofit discussed plans for the projects earlier this month.

By Rachel Ravina, Staff Writer

(Nov. 21, 2019) Several residential properties in Berlin will soon receive a facelift.

“I think they’re getting tired,” said Diane Clyde, Homes for America’s vice president of development.

Clyde was referring to the dated look of the 113 Flower St. apartments’ kitchens and bathrooms.

Homes for America, a non- profit organization, has owned the property since 2002, according to Development Director Diana Talios.

Talios said the interior and exterior of the 28 existing apartments will be completely redone.

There is a mixture of one, two and three-bedroom apartments, according to Talios. The one-bedroom ranges from approximately 570-735 square feet, the two-bedroom ranges from roughly 775-985 square feet and the three- bedroom apartments range from about 900-1,050 square feet.

Homes for America also owns 14 townhomes on 545 Bay St. in Berlin. Talios said the buildings would also undergo interior and exterior renovations.

In addition, 11 apartments on the nearby parcel on 115 Flower St. also are in line for a big change. Talios said the company acquired “site control” of the property, and plans to demolish them and rebuild 12 new units.

Between the two existing properties on Flower and Bay streets, Homes for America owns 42 residential spaces. The additional acquisition of the parcel on 115 Flower St. would bring the total to 54 units.

Talios and Clyde agreed that holding meetings for the current residents and the residents of the new Flower Street property is crucial.

“The residents of our own properties, I mean everyone’s excited about having their homes rehabbed, and new windows, and appliances, and roofs, and kitchens, and baths and so on, so everybody’s … positive,” Talios said.

Talios and Clyde said they hope the tenants are receptive to the redevelopment projects.

“I think that anytime, as a good owner and a good neighbor, we want to have properties really be an asset to the larger community,” Talios said.

The budget for the projects, Talios said, is roughly $12 million, which comes from “a combination of private interest and state loans.”

Clyde said construction should being late next summer. Once construction starts, the projects should take between 12 and 14 months to complete, Talios said.

Planning Director Dave Engelhart said “we had a productive meeting” on Oct. 24 with several representatives from Homes for America, town department heads, as well as consultants from EA Engineering, Science, and Technology Inc., as well as Davis, Bowen and Friedel Inc.

“So I think that’s good progress for some of our apartment complexes,” Engelhart said during an Oct. 28 Town Council meeting.

Other officials, including Councilman Elroy Brittingham, also seemed pleased with this development.

“It’s good,” Brittingham said during the same meeting. “It’s good to know that those other two apartments are going to be refurbished.”