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February 9, 2022

‘Almost nonexistent’ vacancy rates tempt investor into $2M downtown Plainville apartments purchase

Photo | Contributed 22 Whiting St. in Plainville.

The head of an area real estate agency recently paid $2 million for a 22,700-square-foot brick building mixing retail and apartments in downtown Plainville.

Central Whiting Realty LLC, controlled by Lee T. Ferguson, of Plainville, sold to Central Place Apartments LLC in a sale recorded Dec. 23. The buyer is controlled by Ryan Smith, CEO of Tier I Real Estate, a real estate firm with offices in Bristol and Avon.

The property has 14 luxury apartments and about 4,000 square feet of first-floor retail space, currently occupied by Hop Haus Craft Beer & Restaurant, Smith said.

The Whiting Street property is one of five buildings in Plainville’s downtown core, Smith said. He bought another, at 2-16 East Main St., in 2017. That building has 12 apartments and six commercial spaces. It also opens to the same rear parking lot as 22 Whiting St., Smith said.

Downtown Plainville commands good rents and attracts reliable tenants, Smith said.

“The area is fantastic,” Smith said. “The vacancy rate is almost nonexistent.”

Smith said he sees the rental market continuing to rise at least over the coming year, as demand for housing – whipped up by COVID-19 – remains strong.

“I think it will take a few years for builders to catch up with the supply for rentals,” Smith said.

Developer, Newport Realty Group, has plans to build a 175-apartment mixed-use development in downtown Plainville. Construction on that project could break ground later this year.

There are 10 one-bedroom apartments at 22 Whiting St., each renting for $1,300 monthly, Smith said. There are four two-bedroom, two-bathroom apartments, renting for $1,500 monthly.

The building was rebuilt in 2007, Smith said. He doesn’t plan any major changes.

“It’s a long-term investment,” Smith said. “I will continue to maintain it and maximize the property as much as possible.”

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