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April 10, 2024

Two downtown Waterbury mixed-use apartment buildings sell for $3.1M

CoStar 63 Bank St., Waterbury.

A New York couple that was an early investor in downtown Waterbury market-rate housing recently sold two mixed-use, apartment buildings with a combined 30 units for $3.1 million.

In a sale recorded April 2, Parag and Rupa Mehta sold a 12-unit apartment building at 63 Bank St., and an 18-unit building at 68-70 Bank St., both in Waterbury, to a limited liability company headed by Amilcar Perez.  Both buildings date back to around 1890, according to assessor records, but had seen the upper floors renovated into market-rate apartments over the past decade or so.  

The building at 63 Bank St. hosts the Green Deli & Convenience on its first floor. The space at 68-70 Bank St. is fitted out for restaurant use, but has struggled to find a permanent tenant for years and is currently vacant.

Perez, another New York-based investor, has been building a portfolio of Waterbury rental properties totaling about 100 units since 2017. These include a mix of smaller three-family and six-family units, up to an 18-unit building he purchased in the city’s Brooklyn neighborhood for $1.8 million in late 2023.

Perez said he bought the Mehta buildings to get into more upscale housing. He intends to continue the buildings’ focus on a tenant base of young professionals. He said he will update some units with new countertops, flooring and more.

68-70 Bank St., Waterbury.

Waterbury officials have long sought to encourage market-rate housing in the city’s downtown. And the Mehtas were among the first to answer that call.

They paid $346,640 for the four-story, 15,200-square-foot building at 68-70 Bank St. in 2007, and performed a complete gut rehab of the building.

In 2009, they paid $415,000 for the seven-story “Apothecary Hall” building at 63 Bank St. The iconic 13,860-square-foot-building, shaped like a wedge, is nestled between South Main and Bank streets.

The city has invested tens-of-millions of dollars over the past decade on economic development projects meant to revive its downtown, with a heavy focus around Bank Street. This includes securing a $7.7 million state grant to assist a $15 million renovation of the former Howland Hughes Department Store on Bank Street, renovation of the town green around the corner, and a rebuild of nearby East Main Street.

Waterbury Mayor Paul Pernerewski Jr., on Wednesday, said he was happy to see the sale go through and looked forward to engaging with the new owner.

"His interest in Waterbury, especially downtown, shows that Waterbury remains an active opportunity for investors, who can see its potential," Pernerewski said.

Alban Dedvukaj, Ilir Dedvukaj and Nick Selca, of Brookfield-based Lakeshore Realty, brokered the deal for both sides.

Alban Dedvukaj, Lakeshore’s senior vice president, said the property was brokered off-market to active investors in the Waterbury area. Mehta said the buildings are LEED certified and spacious. The Mehtas got the price they wanted and Perez “got a solid deal,” Dedvukaj said.

“I think it’s a tremendous location,” Dedvukaj said.

Dedvukaj said he advises investors to look at Waterbury, which he believes offers great potential for increasing values.

The downtown has seen a spree of interest from a couple of investment groups in the last few years, with multiple downtown buildings purchased for redevelopment as apartments, often involving a first-floor retail component.

“This is exciting because, obviously, he sees the worth of investing in downtown because of the growth of apartments coming in the near future,” Waterbury Economic Development Director Joseph McGrath said. 

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