Warren planning board to table discussion of Water Street development

By Ethan Hartley
Posted 1/23/23

The hearing scheduled for tonight on the 119 Water St. development will be pushed to the end of February, pending new information received by the Warren Planning Board.

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Warren planning board to table discussion of Water Street development


The meeting of the Warren Planning Board taking place at 7:00 p.m. at Warren Town Hall will not include discussion or any action regarding the controversial housing development at 119 Water St., and will again be postponed until the board’s next regularly-scheduled meeting on Monday, Feb. 27.

Planning Board Chairman Frederick Massie confirmed in a phone call on Friday evening that the board would not be discussing the matter on Monday night as scheduled due to new facts becoming known that impact the approval process, and that the planning board and development team alike need more time before the next presentation is made.

The Times-Gazette has learned from sources outside the planning board that there was apparently an issue at the time of the development’s first announcement regarding the required notification of abutters of the proposed new building. This necessitated a delay of the meeting in order for those abutters to be notified ahead of the February meeting, which will include a public hearing where they will reportedly get a chance to comment on the development.

Developer’s presentation appears similar
Through a review of the updated documents submitted to the planning board ahead of the meeting that was supposed to occur tonight, it can be gathered that not much has changed between the time of the last meeting and now.

The updated financial pro forma submitted still shows that the developer only plans for 3 of the 12 total units to be listed at 80% of the area median income (all three would be one-bedroom units), while 7 would be market-rate, one-bedroom units, and 2 would be market-rate, two-bedroom units.

The pro forma purports income expectations based on the notion that market-rate, one-bedroom units would go for $1,700 per month, and market-rate, two-bedroom units would go for $2,400 per month. The affordable units are listed at a cost of $1,400 per month. The pro forma reports an annual, net income from rent at $250,800 if all units are occupied. It reports an additional estimated $60,000 annual net income from the proposed commercial space on the ground floor.

After accounting for expenses and debt payments (the pro forma reports that 40% of the estimated $4.3 million in total cost for the development would be funded through debt financing), the pro forma reports that the development would make a total, net income of just $28,508 in the first year of its life, climbing to a projected income of $84,020 by Year 10.

The Times-Gazette will continue to follow this story as it develops.

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