Murray acquires three more downtown properties

Brian Murray purchased 505 Washington St. in 2014 through a bank foreclosure. He has now purchased adjacent buildings at 513 and 531 Washington St. Photo by Amanda Morrison, Watertown Daily Times.

Brian Murray purchased 505 Washington St. in 2014 through a bank foreclosure. He has now purchased adjacent buildings at 513 and 531 Washington St. Photo by Amanda Morrison, Watertown Daily Times.

Local real estate developer Brian H. Murray has completed another property acquisition with the purchase of the four-story Rouse Building at 531 Washington St.

He plans to give the downtown professional office building a makeover now that he has bought the property from a Massachusetts real estate firm, Tanglewood Properties LLC of Kingston, Mass.

Purchased under the Watertown Holdings LLC, the building and two adjacent properties at 513 Washington St., and 127 Rear Winslow St. changed hands for $1,775,000.

“It’s a great building. It’s a great location.” he said. “We’re excited about the 500 block of Washington Street.”

Mr. Murray had previously purchased an apartment building next door at 505 Washington St., formerly known as Sanquist Apartments.

Built in 1961, the nearly 20,000-square-foot Rouse Building consists of a mix of medical and professional tenants who occupy 10 offices. It is about 85 percent full, he said. It will undergo major improvements, including to the mechanical systems and its exterior. The parking lot will be repaved within the next few weeks.

The one-story, 9,480- square-foot building at 513 Washington St. “is in great shape,” and is at full occupancy, Mr. Murray said.

The Rouse Building has an assessed property value of $951,800, according to city records. It was constructed in 1966 by Henry W. Rouse of Rouse Construction International.

It then was bought in 1985 by Watertown real estate developer David W. Shearer, who sold it to Tanglewood in 2007 along with the adjacent building at 513 Washington St.; Mr. Shearer built that structure in two phases, starting in 1999 and ending in 2003.

The 513 Washington St. building has a current assessment of $895,600, while 127 Rear Winslow is assessed at $2,700.

In 2015, West Carthage developer Michael E. Lundy planned to purchase the Rouse Building and renovate it. It’s not clear why that deal fell through; Mr. Murray said he was unaware of Mr. Lundy’s involvement.

In recent years, Mr. Murray has added a number of properties to his portfolio. They include the Lincoln Building on Public Square; the former Rodeway Inn, 652 Arsenal St.; the Solar Building on Franklin Street; the former Hospice Foundation of Jefferson County Inc., 425 Washington St.; and a series of apartment complexes in and around the city.

He’s working on marketing the ground-floor commercial space in the Lincoln Building, with proposals out to three potential tenants, Mr. Murray said.

Work on the 505 Washington St. apartment building should be completed in three weeks, he said.

By Craig Fox, Watertown Daily Times