Pride being restored to historic Gately Building

Pride being restored to historic Gately Building

Here's what the Gately Building should look like once it is completed in June. This is one of 10 housing projects currently being completed by the Pawtucket Citizens Development Corp.
PCDC converting it into affordable apartments

PAWTUCKET - One of the downtown's most unique structures, the historic Gately Building at 335 Main St., is being remade into a hip new housing complex, according to those behind it.

The Pawtucket Citizens Development Corporation is responsible for yet another rehab of an old building. This one will bring 13 rental units, a community room and a culinary arts center for the Amos House to the triangular structure.

PCDC's Director of Construction Management Kim Pereira said significant planning has gone into making the modern version of this 1914 building one the city can be proud of. She said it will further transform the downtown area into a more desirable place to live.

Pereira said workers are doing a "tremendous job" restoring the building, paying attention to every detail as they make sure the historic character is maintained.

Ron Caniglia, president of Stand Corp., said his company is responsible for this project and nine other PCDC rehabs in the area. Each unit at 335 Main St. will be different, said Caniglia, with six units each on the second and third floors. Though six unique apartments will mirror each other on each floor, the windows in each will be different, he said.

Though it won't be done until June, the building has already had quite a transformation, said Caniglia, with framed new units taking the place of a rotting and moldy interior. The inside is already full of light, with huge windows, he said.

There are mostly residential units here, said Caniglia, but it will still have the feel it had when offices filled the space. The Old Colony Bank previously operated out of here and the building also housed a dentist office and offices for The Providence Journal at one point.

State and federal historic tax credits are helping to make this project a reality, said Pereira. She and Caniglia wouldn't put an exact cost on the project.

The Pawtucket Redevelopment Agency had long sought to find a tenant for the building, putting it out for proposals three separate times. The PCDC's plan works for a number of reasons, said Pereira. She said she expects young professionals to be the primary residents in the building. The organization is marketing the building to "urban entrepreneurs."

The Gately Building is a three-story, masonry and cast iron, flat-iron commercial block. For many years it housed storefronts on the first floor and office space above.

When first constructed in 1914, the ground floor contained four stores. By 1935, the entire first floor had been taken over by the Old Colony Cooperative Bank.

The exterior renovation of the building will essentially restore it to its earliest appearance, according to Pereira.

There is already a long list of applicants looking to live in the apartments, said Pereira. Tenants will be taken on a first-come basis based on income guidelines for affordable housing.

As with other PCDC projects, this one is designed with the idea of being an asset to the neighborhood, said Pereira. The area has seen a decline in crime as the organization has done its work over the years. PCDC officials are careful who they accept, said Pereira, because they want quality tenants who have a "sense of ownership."

"We're more than happy to help anyone who wants to help themselves," she said.

Rents here will be $600 a month, said Pereira.

Caniglia said Pereira has done well to incorporate "lively colors" into the building. Just because this is affordable housing doesn't mean it should be "static," he said.

This project is located right near the Bayley Lofts and other similar residential restoration projects. Materials were selected based on "how people live," said Ferreira, with functionality in mind.

The building features plenty of off-street parking, an open floor plan, high ceilings, ceramic tile bathrooms, energy-efficient appliances, and on-site laundry. The community room on the first floor will feature a caf?©.

City officials say the restoration of the Gately Building and other PCDC projects in the area fit with their goals for more residential units to support a growing business base in the area. Trendy places like Machines with Magnets and the Shri Yoga Studio will continue to attract young professionals to the area, they say.

The other nine ongoing PCDC projects in the area include housing units at 17 Cherry St., 169 Barton St., 6 Cherry St., 32 Barton St., 101 Barton St., 15 Jackson St., 262 High St., 123 Montgomery St., all in Pawtucket, and 127 Earle St. in Central Falls.

For more on the PCDC and what it does, visit www.pawtucketcdc.org .

The storefronts of the Gately Building as they appeared in 1923.
Ron Caniglia, left, and Kim Pereira give a tour of what they called "the most desirable" apartment unit at the Gately Building, a brightly-lit space at the end of the building. (Valley Breeze photo by Ethan Shorey)
The historic Gately Building, at 335 Main St., is being remade into a modern affordable housing complex.