By G. Michael Dobbs
CHICOPEE – A $12 million investment in the downtown was celebrated on May 6 during an open house of the new wing at the Apartments at Ames Privilege.
The improvements have obviously been welcomed as Property Manager Margaret Monzelewski said about half of the new apartment units have been rented
Monzelewski explained the 40 new units are in a wing of the former Ames Manufacturing complex. The company was established in 1829 and was known for bronze casting – the doors of the east and west wings of the Capitol building were made there – as well as the production of swords and cannons during the Civil War.
In 1984, when the complex was developed, there were apartments in the wing, however Project Manager Rio Sacchetti explained, that part of the building was closed 1987, when wood rot in the beams was discovered.
The renovation project had been in the planning stages since 2000 and Andrew Burnes, president of HallKeen Management, the owner of the complex, explained at the announcement last August the hurdle to overcome was to put together the financing for the renovation.
Now after months of construction, the new apartments are being completed. Monzelewski said the units include both one and two bedroom formats with six units she described as “universally accessible.”
There are both market rates and affordable apartments in the new wing as well, she added.
Inside the two-bedroom model unit, both Monzelewski and Sacchetti pointed out the high ceilings and exposed wooden columns. The apartment has two bathrooms as well. This unit faces canal and City Hall providing a unique urban view.
Besides building the new apartments, the management updated its existing units new kitchens and bathrooms and installed a new roof on the building.
Monzelewski said the rental rates for a one bedroom apartment range from $775 to $950 a month; between $1,030 and $1,210 for two bedrooms; and $1,250 for three bedrooms. She added that some units include heat and hot water.