HARWICH — The Royal of Harwich Village property in Harwich Center has been sold to a Brookline-based company, The Royal Apartments, LLC, for $1.5 million. The company also purchased the adjacent property, a 20,038-square-foot lot containing an 1850 Greek Revival house for $500,000.
Matthew Newman is trustee of The Royal Apartments, LLC and a part-time resident of Harwich. He said Monday the goal for the property is to create market-rate apartments. Newman said he wants to build nice units that are affordable for teachers, members of the fire department and young families starting out who cannot afford to buy a home.
“I know there is a severe housing shortage on the Cape and I thought I could help,” Newman said. “The goal is residential apartments affordable to Harwich residents.”
It's too early to talk specifics about the project, he said, adding he has just hired an architect, engineer and a lawyer who will work to see what can be done on the property. He said the goal is to have 25 one-bedroom market rate apartments, if possible.
Newman is the principal of Newman Properties of Brookline. The company does a lot small rental projects, he said. According to its website, Newman Properties owns and manages of more than 500 residential units as well as numerous office and retail properties in and around Boston and the South Shore.
“Currently, Newman Properties has several projects in the pipeline, including condo-conversions projects, renovation and add-value projects and buy and hold projects. In addition the company oversees multiple ground-up construction projects, and is seeking new acquisitions,” the website reads.
The Royal of Harwich Village operated as an assisted living facility at the corner of Bank and Parallel streets in Harwich Center for approximately 15 years. After an abrupt announcement this spring, the facility closed its doors in May. The property was owned by James S. Mamary, Sr., trustee of the Royal Assisted Living I Realty Trust. It was purchased for $2 million in 2004 by the trust. The assessed value of the property is $1,846,800. The assessed value of the abutting property, which also sold on Aug. 30, is $512,100.
The front of the Royal of Harwich Village building is said to date back to 1825 and was moved there by the owner of the Winslow Hotel after that structure, which was located on the west side of town hall, burned down in 1912. It was known as the New Winslow Hotel and Ellis Tavern.
Town Planner Charleen Greenhalgh said on Friday that she has had an informal discussion with Newman about the proposed use of the facilities and he indicated plans to create apartments. Greenhalgh said the property is zoned for multi-family use, but she added apartments require a lot of land and zoning relief would likely be required. The property is also in the Harwich Center Historic District.
Newman said he has sat down with town officials twice and is interested in feedback because he wants to make as many people as possible happy with the plans. He said he will have a better idea of plans for development of the property in a couple of months.