Wednesday, November 4, 2020

29 Units, 31 Months Later

On Monday, when I reported that 356 Union Street was for sale, I wondered if the apartments in that building were among the affordable units the Galvan Foundation had, in the past, committed to creating. It turns out they were. In March 2018, as reported by the Register-Star, Galvan factotum Jason O'Toole announced that Galvan was developing 29 affordable dwelling units in ten of its properties. Here's the list of buildings and the number of units in each that appears in the Strategic Housing Action Plan:

On March 21, 2018, Gossips did a post about those properties. A year later, on July 2, 2019, Gossips did a progress report on the same ten buildings. Yesterday, unable to stay focused on much of anything, I decided to revisit the ten properties again to see how things were coming along. We'll start with 356 Union Street, which is now for sale.

356 Union Street

In March 2018, work was being done on the roof. In the list that appears in Hudson's SHAP, this building was to have seven two-bedroom apartments. Today, the building, with a total of five apartments--four one-bedroom apartments and one two-bedroom apartment--is on the market for $1.25 million.

29-31 Fairview Avenue

In March 2018, this building was still under construction. The building was completed in the summer of 2019, and today, the four units in the building are occupied.

260 Warren Street

In March 2018, the building was still boarded up, as it had been for almost two decades. Today, the restoration is complete, and the three apartments in the building and the commercial space are all occupied.

22-24 Warren Street

In March 2018, the house was vacant. In July 2018, the Historic Preservation Commission granted a certificate of appropriateness for the exterior re-imagining of the house, which historically was actually two houses.

In July 2019, Dan Kent, vice president of initiatives for the Galvan Foundation, said work would begin on the house "in the fall." It was announced that the building would have one two-bedroom apartment and three one-bedroom apartments. 

Today, there is no evidence that any work has been done on the building.

340 State Street

In March 2018, it wasn't clear if this building was occupied or not. Today, it appears that the two three-bedroom apartments in this building are occupied, but no work has been done on the exterior of the building.

105 Union Street

In March 2018, the house appeared not to be occupied. Today, it seems to be. There are no visible changes to the house, although the panes of colored glass in the front door, which were a distinctive feature of the doors once found on all the houses in this row, are now missing.

357 Union Street

The building seemed to be occupied in 2017, and it still appears to be occupied. No exterior improvements appear to have been made on the building, except for the removal of the aluminum storm door and the disappearance of a satellite dish on the roof. 

229 Union Street

Nothing has changed with this house since March 2018. The two apartments in the house--one two-bedroom and one three-bedroom--were reportedly occupied then and are apparently occupied now.

69 North Seventh Street

In March 2018, this house was vacant. In July 2019, Dan Kent reported that work on the house would soon be completed. Today, the house is occupied, but it was one of the three houses Galvan intended to demolish in order to build the 77-unit building proposed for 75 North Seventh Street.

335-337 Allen Street

The work on the house was completed, without review or a certificate of appropriateness from the Historic Preservation Commission, in the summer of 2018. Since then, the four apartments in house--one studio, two one-bedroom, and one two-bedroom--have been occupied.

Of the 29 dwelling units Galvan said were "being developed" in 2018, twelve have actually been developed, six continue to be rented in the same state they were in then, four still await development, two were never created, and five are on the market, likely to be sold to someone with no commitment to offering them at anything other than market rate.


  1. Thank you Carole for this update. I posted, and deleted, a comment about the property for sale on Union. My memory was that this was touted as one of the Galvan affordable housing initiatives -- under their not for profit umbrella. I deleted it because I did not have the information you posted here.
    Interestingly, this 8000 sq ft property (which is listed for 1.25 million as an investment opportunity) was valued at 500k last year. Very out of step with the valuation on my 2000 sq ft single family house (with no income potential) on the same street.

  2. I think it's a rosy view to expect all the for-sale buildings to be offered as flats by their eventual and respective owner(s). It would be just as easy for a buyer to empty them, gut them and renovate as a one-family either to keep or sell.

    1. There may be some misunderstanding here. Only one of these ten buildings is for sale: 356 Union Street, where the renovation of the building as a five-unit apartment building was recently completed and it is being marketed for $1.25 million as an "investment opportunity." To my knowledge, the only other Galvan properties on the market at the moment are 211 Union Street and Eric Galloway's own mansion at 345 Allen Street.

  3. Thank you for your good work, Carole.

  4. Good sleuthing, Carole.Same story, different day, with Galvan.