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Construction to start on Woolworth Building

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Construction could start next week on turning the Woolworth Building into apartments, with commercial space on the ground floor.

Kenneth A. Mix, the city’s planning and community development coordinator, said Wednesday morning that the developers hope to close on the historic Public Square landmark next week.

Developers Erich H. Seber and David Gallo are purchasing the building for $450,000 from Long Island developer Michael A. Treanor, who bowed out of the project after he could not obtain all of the needed funding to complete it.

City code enforcement supervisor Shawn R. McWayne said his office has approved a building permit and the developers could pick it up on Friday, meaning they could start work on the project next week once the closing is complete.

The six-story building — which formerly was the F.W. Woolworth department store — will be transformed into 50 apartments on the upper floors and commercial space.

Purcell Construction Co., Watertown, is the general contractor for the $15 million project.

Some green space across the street on Public Square — between Cam’s Pizzeria and the Woodruff Professional Building — will be converted into a 28-space lot for tenant parking.

The developers could not be reached for comment Wednesday morning.

Starting Friday morning, crews will be installing temporary construction fencing around the building. As a result, the CitiBus transfer station driveway loop will be closed to vehicular and pedestrian traffic. The transfer station shelter will remain open for the public’s use and buses will line up on Arcade Street to load passengers for now.

A portion of the sidewalk along the Public Square side of the building also will be closed. More sidewalks along the Arsenal Street side are anticipated to be closed in the future.

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