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Marlborough's Corbin Plaza Primed for Condo Project

October 7, 2010 – A $3 million conversion of a former industrial mill in Marlborough into 17 residential units is poised to begin thanks in part to some quick work by the Marlborough City Council.

Newton developer Stas Burdan plans to turn the former Corbin Plaza building on Pleasant Street in Marlborough into a new residential complex called Howe Shoe Factory Condominiums. However, the property has conditions on its deed that construction must begin by early next year, or else it can be reclaimed by the city. Marlborough took over the 6,000-square-foot building in 2008 in lieu of hundreds of thousands of dollars in back taxes.

Yarmouthport auction company JJ Manning held a sale of the property on Sept. 2 and Burdan placed the high bid on the building of $361,000. The sale is expected to close on Oct. 18.

Burdan, however, wanted to make sure that he received approval from the city to develop the property before closing on the real estate deal.

The Timing
Approval required a number of steps. The city council’s urban affairs committee first had to OK the project after a public hearing, then the full council had to approve it.

After the auction, Burdan and his lawyer, Arthur Bergeron of Mirick O’Connell, got to work immediately.

The urban affairs committee held a special meeting to consider a special permit for the project. The city notified abutting neighborhoods of the plans and Burdan even went door-to-door alerting neighbors of the public hearing. The special permit was needed because the development is considered high density.

After making some slight changes to the plans at the public hearing, the committee approved the project. The full city council then approved the special permit on Sept. 27, and documentation was filed in the clerk’s office on Sept. 28.

There is a 20-day window for appeals, which will expire Oct. 18, the same day the real estate transaction is set to close.

If any step in the process had been even a day later, the project may have fallen through, Bergeron said.

“I think it really points to these developers being that good and this property needing to be developed that bad,” Bergeron said.

Burdan, and his business partner Alex Yarov, are no strangers to Marlborough. The Russian-born team are currently developing St. Mary’s Condominiums, a 36-unit development of a former church on Broad Street. The project already has 25 units that are built and sold and another 11 units are under construction.

Bergeron, who is also chairman of the Marlborough Economic Development Corp., said the St. Mary’s redevelopment, plus the proposed Pleasant Street development are helping to turn around the entire neighborhood. There is also the Renaissance Lofts on Lincoln Street, another mill converted into residential units, which has been completed in the past few years.

“The city really has the ability to look at this entire neighborhood in a new light,” Bergeron said. “These three developments are totally changing the area.”

Burdan, meanwhile, is hoping there are no appeals to his special permit approval for the Howe Shoe Factory project. If all goes according to plan, Burdan said he hopes to secure financing for the project in the coming weeks and he will begin the two-year construction process soon after that. He hopes to sell the 1,200- to 1,500-squre-foot units for between $220,000 and $230,000 each and move his office into the building as well.

 This story originally appeared here