Potsdam apartment complex gets new owner, fresh start

Potsdam apartment complex gets new owner, fresh start

POTSDAM, N.Y. (WWNY) - A Potsdam apartment complex struck by fire will get a new owner – and a new lease on life.

Back in January, Lawrence Avenue Apartments was struck by fire. 20 families were displaced by a fire at building F.

Now, a developer wants to rehab that building - and more.

“We’re doing a pretty expansive scope of work. So in the units, when you first walk in, it’s really going to be night and day," said John Fraser, Community Preservation Partners senior project manager.

All 137 apartments at the complex will get a complete makeover. Eight destroyed by the fire will be rebuilt.

Nancy Barley and her son were two of those displaced that frigid January night. She’s thinking about returning.

“We’re used to it and it’s close to the school. We can go walking and do the stuff we use to do,” Barley told 7 News Friday.

She may get her chance soon.

Construction materials should arrive Monday. Community Preservation Partners will close on its purchase of the complex by mid-month. It plans to spend 24-million dollars on the project.

Building F was condemned after the fire. Building F was condemned after the fire. Community Preservation Partners credits the codes department and village officials for their work in moving the rebuilding project forward.

“To have a developer come in and renovate those units, including the fire damaged units ... is a great development for Potsdam," said Fred Hanss, Potsdam village planning and development director.

The St. Lawrence County Industrial Development Agency Friday approved tax-exempt bonds for the project. All work at the complex could be completed within a year.

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