After a plan to create a park at the site didn’t pan out, a downtown auto parts store is looking to add an apartment to its second floor.
Norwood Auto Parts, at the corner of Monroe and Essex streets, aims to renovate its second and third floors to create a residential component to the structure while also including some flood protection measures.
Pat McElduff of Norwood Auto Parts came before the Redevelopment Agency Wednesday night with an application to add a 1,400-square-foot, loft-style apartment on the second floor of the building, which isn’t currently used for anything. The plan is to essentially create high ceilings by combining the existing the third floor, which only encompasses part of building, McElduff said. The garages might be used by contractors, such as plumbers or electricians, he said.
Given the topography of the site, Norwood Auto Parts has flooded regularly during big storms, McElduff said, and seems to be getting worse. Though the water comes and goes quickly at the site, there was still three feet of water after this past summer’s storm, he said. As part of renovations, the floor would be raised about two feet and some flood protections would be added to the building’s foundation, including a rubber membrane.
The building has been an auto parts store since 1955 but started as a temple. In 2010, the city had explored using some state Green Acres dollars to acquire the site and create a park but it was not economically feasible.
The Redevelopment Agency was receptive to the concept presented by McElduff at a December meeting and asked for a formal application to be presented. The agency is expected to pass a resolution at its February meeting to allow the renovations within the redevelopment plan, which then also would need to be amended by City Council to include the plans.
The two properties that make up 125 Monroe St. (Block 321, Lots 3 and 4) were acquired in 1991 and have a property tax bill in excess of $15,000, on an assessment of about $265,000, according to property records.