Canal Galleries to be Developed into Market-Rate Housing

At a presentation with Mayor Alex Morse and Marcos Marrero, the Director of Planning and Economic Development for the City of Holyoke, AACO Realty announced today the commencement of their redevelopment plan for 380 Dwight Street Complex, the first phase of which will see the creation of 26 energy-efficient live/work condominiums.

David Scher, long-time owner of the Canal Gallery building, introduced his two new partners in the newly-restructured AACO Realty.

Terrence Bernard, one of the new partners and the general contractor behind the transformation of the STEAM Building, had this to say:

“The Canal Gallery building is the jewel in the crown of the Arts and Innovation District. Its redevelopment will complement the hard work of other dedicated private investors who, working in close collaboration with City Hall, the state delegation, and others, hope to create an economic seed bed from which opportunities for further growth may develop. We’ve enjoyed a great of support from Mayor Morse and Marcos Marrero. Their presence here clearly demonstrates their support for our project. I believe they share our hopes that the cloud of uncertainty hanging over the fate of these buildings has parted to reveal a bright, purposeful future.”

Mark Jarvis, consulting business manager at Gateway City Arts and the other new partner at AACO Realty said: “We are encouraged in our endeavor by the positive attitude demonstrated by the various City departments we have met with in our quest to resolve the myriad questions surrounding the redevelopment of this property. We’re currently speaking with MassDevelopment regarding a number of low interest loan programs and tax incentives that may be applicable to our project.”

When phase one has been completed, it is anticipated that the Canal Gallery building will offer a unique, high quality live/work environment for artists, artisans, small businesses, and residents alike. The redevelopment team plans to totally refurbish the building with attention to energy efficiency and renewable energy sources—including a state of the art, water-sourced heat pump system for heating and cooling the facility. An open house event presenting the plans and objectives of the upcoming renovation is scheduled for Thursday, November 12th from 5-7 PM. Construct work is expected to start in early 2016.

“Under existing and new management, AACO has the capacity to pull off this impressive project. which is part of a pipeline of private investment that right now totals more than $150 million in the City,” Marrero said. “I look forward to working with them in the coming months to get the project to its construction phase.”

“This project is yet another example of what progress looks like for the city of Holyoke,” Mayor Morse said. “It is amazing to think that just a few years ago some folks wondered whether our existing buildings would be put to good use, and whether our downtown would make a comeback. This project, like so many of the other projects happening downtown, answers those doubts. This city has become a place where folks want to invest, and live, and raise their families. I couldn’t be more excited about what this new development at 380 Dwight Street will do to bolster our already strong efforts to build a prosperous and densely populated downtown. I want to thank David, Terrence, and Mark for their efforts.”