SilverBrick Lofts livens downtown complex

Date: 9/30/2015

SPRINGFIELD – Mayor Domenic Sarno liked what he saw during a tour of the former Morgan Square apartments on Sept. 24. Now known as SilverBrick Lofts, the company that now owns the four-building downtown complex has poured $15 million into the renovations, which are still on going.

Sarno commented throughout the tour on the renovations in the apartments from new kitchens, to lighting to the restored boiler room for the complex.

Erik Dowling, a partner in the SilverBrick Group, said the company is “very happy with the reception” from the public to the new complex.

“We’re leasing them as fast as we can,” he said and added he believes the location of the complex will be enhanced by the completion of the Union Station.

The company operates apartment complexes in Hartford, CT, Cliffside Park, NJ, and Hawthorne, NJ.

In Springfield, they are offering one to two bedroom apartments ranging in price from $899 to $1,750 a month. They have created a large fitness room, offered free WiFi and covered parking and have a common green area. They are also pet friendly and come with air conditioning, ceiling fans and a dishwasher.

Dowling said the rents represent “affordable rates for working people in Springfield.”

Sarno commented that many of the new teachers for the city through the Teaching For America program live at SilverBrick and love it.

The complex has 266 units and so far the company has renovated 160 of them, Dowling noted.

Dowling said there have been improvements to security added such as more cameras and lighting and there will be fencing added that cab only be opened with an electronic key.

Dowling led Sarno into a one-bedroom loft apartment. It has a door to an interior hallway as well as a door facing ground level on Taylor Street. He explained that any of the apartments with that access to the street is zoned for a live/work situation. A professional could operate a business out of the place in which he or she lived.

Dowling commented that if such an apartment was in the trendy sections of Brooklyn, NY, it could fetch a rent of $10,000 a month.

While contemporary lighting and other renovations can be seen in the apartments and lobbies, Dowling pointed out the original wood beams and pipes that are part of the high ceilings.

“We didn’t want to remove any historical feel,” he explained.

In the courtyard between two of the two buildings, Theodore’s restaurant was setting up for an out-door meal for the tenants. Dowling said the green space had debris and was flooded. Landscaping effort shave begun and he said the area would be fully landscaped next spring. At that time a dog run will be installed nearly.

He led Sarno into the former boiler room for the complex. Inside a newly painted and carpeted room, Dowling showed off the two huge industrial boilers hanging from the ceiling that once heated the former factory buildings.  He sais the plan for the area would be a community room with a pool table, seating and WiFi that residents could use for private gatherings.

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