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Another buyer may be interested in Maple Courts Apartments

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A possible new buyer has emerged for Maple Courts Apartments, but the project to renovate the 92-unit complex off Weldon Drive still might never get off the ground.

Evergreen Partners LLC, an Ipswich, Mass., real estate investment company that specializes in acquiring federally assisted multifamily rental properties, has expressed interest in the 40-year-old affordable-housing apartment complex.

Recently, Evergreen Partners partner Charles E. Allen, who could not be reached for comment, talked to Kenneth A. Mix, the city’s planning and community development coordinator, about the apartment complex.

Evergreen Partners came into the picture after the Related Cos. of New York City recently bowed out after the Watertown City Council decided not to give the firm a 30-year tax-break package.

“They’ve come in the eleventh hour,” Mr. Mix said, noting it probably would be too late for the Massachusetts real estate firm to take over low-income tax credits that Related Cos. had obtained through the state division of Homes & Community Renewal.

But Mr. Mix said council members most likely also will not change their minds about approving a payment-in-lieu-of-taxes package. They were against it because the project would involve only renovating the complex, not completing new construction.

Plans have called for extensive interior renovations, replacement of appliances, installation of new flooring, painting and parking lot improvements.

The owner of the property is listed as Maple Courts Apts., but city officials recently learned the property is owned by descendants of Henry Ford. No other information is available about the owners.

On Wednesday, Maple Courts Apartments was listed as a recipient of $5.4 million from $90.2 million in projects awarded by the state to the North Country Regional Economic Development Council. But Donald C. Alexander, CEO of the Jefferson County Industrial Development Agency, said Thursday that it was associated with allowing the JCIDA to bond for the project if Related Cos. went through with its plans. It did not include any actual funding for the project, he said.

He also said he was unaware that Evergreen Partners had expressed interest in the property.

In July, JCIDA agreed to support the Maple Courts project and issue about $4.8 million in tax-exempt bonds.

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