Beaver Meadows Apartments to open at Towne Center Plaza on Memorial Day weekend

Construction workers wrap up for the day Friday at one of the Beaver Meadows apartment units behind Target. Photo by Justin Sorensen/Watertown Daily Times.

Memorial Day weekend will mark the grand opening of the first of seven four-story apartment buildings at Beaver Meadows Apartments behind the Target store off outer Arsenal Street in the Towne Center Plaza.

That 40-unit building — almost fully spoken for with tenants who already have signed leases — is part of the 296-unit project being completed by COR Development Co., Fayetteville. Three more apartment buildings will open in June, July and August, while the final three should be done by November.

Thom M. DiFant, COR residential leasing and property manager, said he expects all the buildings to be filled with tenants before they open because of their high demand among military families. Amenities include a community clubhouse, a fitness center, a walking trail, playgrounds and 24-hour security. The leasing office on site will begin hosting apartment tours for prospective tenants in the next three weeks.

“There’s been really high demand,” Mr. DiFant said of the upscale units. “The city was in serious need of beautiful apartments. It’s a secure place for mothers with children, has two playgrounds and is pet-friendly.”

Market rates for the apartments range from $760 per month for a 760-square-foot, one-bedroom apartment up to $1,327 for a 1,327-square-foot, three-bedroom apartment. Those rates don’t include the cost of gas and electric utilities.

Sixty affordable units — 20 percent of the total number — are available to low- to moderate-income families, ranging from $710 per month for one bedroom to $970 for three bedrooms. Those affordable units were made possible by $2.4 million in tax credits acquired by COR through the state Division of Housing and Community Renewal.

Workers continued construction through the winter, Mr. DiFant said, but the timetable for completion has been extended because of unexpected delays in electrical work by National Grid. Completion has been pushed back about three weeks as a result.

“They had to move their crew because of Hurricane Sandy,” he said.

Ground was broken in December 2011 for the project, which regional leaders touted as a step toward providing much-needed housing for military families at Fort Drum.

It was made possible by a 10-year payment-in-lieu-of-taxes agreement approved by taxing jurisdictions in 2012. COR will make $1.5 million in PILOT payments to Jefferson County and the Watertown City School District; that is half what the project would have paid in property taxes over the PILOT’s 10-year term. To make those payments, COR garnered a $3 million loan from the Community Rental Housing Committee, composed of the Jefferson County Industrial Development Agency, Jefferson County and the Development Authority of the North Country. JCIDA also approved sales and mortgage-recording tax breaks totaling about $1.5 million.

-Ted Booker, Watertown Daily Times staff writer