Real estate sales a plus for downtown Westfield

Columbus Apartment building leases 10,000 square feet of first floor commercial space occupied by Clemenza’s Cafe and Brick Oven Pizzeria (Photo credit: The Westfield News)

WESTFIELD, Mass. (The Westfield News) – The recent sales of several city apartment complexes to a regional property management company may prove to be a boon for the city, according to Westfield officials.

Earlier this month, Chestnut Realty Management of Springfield purchased the Columbus Apartments of 91-99 Elm St., the Pilgrim Village Apartments of 8-16 & 11-21 Monroe St., and the Van Deusen Apartments of 42 Arnold St.

The Columbus Apartments are home to 42 one-bedroom apartments, while Pilgrim Village houses 36 one-bedroom units and Van Deusen is home to 22 one-bedrooms, three two-bedrooms and 13 loft apartments.

In total, the purchase of the three complexes cost Chestnut $6.5 million, a shrewd move that could pay big dividends if the apartments begin going for the market rate, something City Advancement Officer Joe Mitchell is hoping for.

“It’s a very positive indicator that business real estate in Westfield – specifically in the downtown area – is picking up,” said Mitchell. “People want to invest in those properties and improve them, which will be profitable for them and also a benefit for the city and the downtown.”

Mitchell stated that market rate housing policies – which place little to no restriction on rental amounts and gives landlords the freedom to rent the space at whatever price they feel their local market can accommodate – is a concept the city has been trying to implement for over a year and one that would attract more young, urban professionals to the downtown area.

“The more people who live down there (downtown), the more people who will want to live down there,” he said. “It spirals in a positive direction.”

In addition to 42 apartments, the Columbus Apartment building also leases 10,000 square feet of first floor commercial space occupied by Clemenza’s Cafe and Brick Oven Pizzeria, and owner Anthony Martone is excited about the building’s sale.
“This has been in the works since before I got here,” said Martone yesterday. “I’m really looking forward to working with the new owners. They seem like nice people.”

Westfield Mayor Daniel M. Knapik said yesterday that city officials had known that the owner of the properties, William Vogel, had wished to sell the three buildings in a package deal for some time.

“(The sale) is good news in the fact that investment is going to happen with the new buyer,” said Knapik. “Those were three big properties and I’m hopeful that part of the reason for that (company) making that investment is because they believe like we do that downtown Westfield is on the upswing.”

Media Credit: The Westfield News

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