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New apartments to open today in Watertown

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Everyone knew the deteriorated building at 196 Stone St. as the old music center. And now Gary C. Beasley, executive director of Neighbors of Watertown Inc., said that is where the renovated structure will get its name — Music Center Apartments.

The Watertown Music Center structure and the former Social Security Administration building next door at 190 Stone St. have been gutted and turned into 13 apartments.

Neighbors and city officials will celebrate with a noon ribbon-cutting ceremony today for the $2.1 million project at Stone and Sherman streets.

“I think it went well,” Mr. Beasley said. “I think they look good.”

The restoration project was funded by a grant from the state's Homeless Housing and Assistance Program.

The apartments will be used by people transitioning back into the community from area programs, Mr. Beasley said. Four of the units will be leased to Credo Community Center for the Treatment of Addictions.

The Children's Home of Jefferson County is another organization working with Neighbors.

It's the first time his organization has worked on transitional living space in such a formal way, Mr. Beasley said.

“We've only done it here and there,” he said.

The old 6,500-square-foot Social Security building will feature 10 studio apartments and such common areas as a community room and laundry services. The nearly 200-year-old music center building — a former farmhouse and one of the oldest houses in that area of the city — will include a pair of two-bedroom units and a one-bedroom apartment.

For decades, the smaller building housed a private music center where students learned to play a variety of instruments and then performed at recitals and holiday shows. It sat vacant for a number of years until Neighbors acquired the property in 2006.

Two dilapidated Sherman Street houses were demolished to make way for additional green space and a second entrance for the apartment buildings' parking lot.

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