The Herald News, Saturday, December 31, 2016 – Page A1

By Kevin P. O’Connor

Fall River – Boston money is looking south and letting its gaze linger on the eastern shore of the Taunton River.

They see profit to be made in Spindle City.

The most recent evidence of that came earlier this month, when Taurus Investment Holdings of Boston spent $39.5 million to purchase the 404-unit South Winds Apartments at 4594 North Main Street, just north of the Airport Road rotary.

“We go in with the idea of looking to spend some money to improve the property and then hold on to them,” said Nick Clark, vice president of acquisitions for Taurus.

“We look for assets that are in a good location and in areas that we feel have good rental demand.” Fall River is especially attractive because of the high concentration of renters and a relatively small number of modern rental units, he said.

“We look at properties where we can make improvements in the look and function of the property, both the grounds and in the apartments,” he said.

There is a small boom in new market-rate apartment units underway in the city.

At Commonwealth Landing, carpenters are building 103 apartments in the former Quaker Fabric Corp. headquarters at 1082 Davol Street.

“The third floor of the building will come online on August 1,” said Anthony Cordeiro, one of the developers. “The fourth and fifth floors will be ready on September 1.”

Alan Macomber and Larry Couto are partners with Cordeiro in the development.

A model apartment and the leasing office will open on January 11, Cordeiro said. They expect to be busy.

Before work began, the partners sponsored a market analysis which convinced them that 103 upscale apartments would fill quickly.

So far, there is no reason to doubt, Cordeiro said.

“I have a long list, 30 to 40 names, of people who have asked me to let them know when they can move into the space,” he said. “We believe, by the end of 2017, we’ll have 85 to 90 units leased.” Across town, the Starr Development Co. of Bridgewater is at work in the granite mill at 649 Alden Street.

There are piles of earth and broken granite behind the building and roads for bulldozers and earth movers that have been carved through the brush and granite ledge.

At the front, dumpsters and dump trucks ring a cobblestone driveway, with the names on the trucks offering junk removal and demolition. At noon, workers were in the trucks, eating lunch. Plastic sheeting that covered the windows on the first and second floors have been taken down. The sign on the exterior, for the Elbe-Cesco bookbinding company, is gone. Starr Development said it will build 101 marketrate apartment units, which should be ready by the end of the summer of 2017. Rents will run from $1,000 to $1,500 a month, according to Chris Starr, the developer.

Besides those, there are reports of other developments in the works, including market rate apartments for the area around downtown and on the waterfront.

City officials say more announcements will be forthcoming.