Tenants line up as renovations complete at Arsenal Apartments

Brian Murray has converted the former Rodeway Inn at 652 Arsenal St. into mostly studio-sized apartments. Photo by Amanda Morrison, Watertown Daily Times.

Brian Murray has converted the former Rodeway Inn at 652 Arsenal St. into mostly studio-sized apartments. Photo by Amanda Morrison, Watertown Daily Times.

WATERTOWN — An open house Thursday afternoon at Arsenal Apartments, 652 Arsenal St., revealed that renovations to the building are complete and demand is high among local renters.

During a tour of the complex, which contains 44 studio, one-bedroom and two-bedroom apartments, owner Brian H. Murray said six people already have signed leases, and more than 150 interested renters are on a waiting list.

“We are very pleased with that,” he said. “Overall, I think it shows very well, and we think it’s a great deal for the tenants.”

Mr. Murray said rent for each unit will range from $495 to $695 a month, utilities included. He hoped to have a certificate of occupancy permit as early as today.

Tenants will not be required to sign long-term leases, a decision Mr. Murray made to suit the facility’s target demographic.

“We’re going to get a lot of military renters, and they can leave whenever they want or need to,” he said. “We don’t have to lock them in with a long-term contract.”

Renovations to the building, formerly the Rodeway Inn hotel, include new security systems, fire sprinklers and new bathrooms and kitchen units for each apartment.

Mr. Murray said neighbors and community members have been very appreciative of the improvements made to the building.

“We’ve gotten a lot of comments of gratitude,” he said. “I had people stop into the office just to thank us for what we are doing here.”

In recent years, the building had experienced economic distress because of added competition from hotels built along the busy Arsenal Street corridor. It also had developed a dubious reputation as a location where police frequently were called.

On Thursday, several officials from city and Jefferson County government took a tour through the building.

Mayor Jeffrey E . Graham was in attendance and called the renovation a “great idea.”

City Councilman Stephen A. Jennings agreed.

“I’m always impressed with what Brian is doing,” he said. “He has a keen sense of the rental market.”

Mr. Jennings said he thinks new ownership of the building will result in an improvement for the community.

“I would imagine neighbors are pleased with having Arsenal Apartments LLC as the owner of this property because they have a reputation for having good tenants,” he said. “Brian has a reputation for cleaning up properties and maintaining them.”

In the past couple of years, Mr. Murray purchased the Lincoln Building on Public Square, the Solar Building on Franklin Street, the former Hospice Foundation of Jefferson County Inc. building at 425 Washington St., the former Sanquist Apartments at 505 Washington St., the Top of the Square plaza and the Palmer Street and College Heights apartments.

 

By Eli Anderson, Times Staff Writer