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COH housing first

Groundbreaking signals foray into supportive apartment living

Center of Hope Business Developer Mark Carron, left, talks with Town Manager Christopher Clark before last week’s groundbreaking at 40 West St. Gus Steeves. (click for larger version)
October 04, 2009
SOUTHBRIDGE — Already known for its forays into a wide range of businesses, from signs to coffee, the Center of Hope hasn't traditionally delved into the residential real estate game.

That changed last week, when officials of the nonprofit social service provider and those of state and local government officially broke ground for the agency's first apartment building for handicapped citizens at 40 West St.

"This has been a while in coming, but it's been a wonderful collaborative effort," said CEO James Howard. He noted the work is "ahead of schedule" and should be done early next year.

Until the center bought it in 2006, the property had seen various commercial uses, including a small church, auto-body shop and boxing club. In recent years, it has been partly vacant most of the time with the center's day-hab downstairs.

See Tuesday's Southbridge Evening News for complete coverage of community news.

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