By Joan F. Simoneau, Community Reporter
Marlborough – The City Council modified two special permits at its Dec. 5 meeting that required developers of two landmark buildings on French Hill to allow units to be marketed as rentals. The previous permit mandated that, until 2016, units could be sold only as condominiums and not rentals.
Owners Stas Burdan and Alex Yarob, under the business name of St. Mary's of French Hill Redevelopment LLC, brought the 117 Broad St. church complex in 2007. Under a prior special permit granted by the city, St Mary's, the site of the former St. Mary's Catholic parish, which was closed by the Boston Diocese in 2004, was to have 32 owner-occupied units and four leased units.
Special permits were issued and amended in 2007 and again in 2008.
The amendments to the special permits were necessary, the developers said, because housing sales in today's market are “nearly impossible.” The change to allow rental units will help enable the owners to bridge the housing slump, they noted.
Arthur Bergeron, attorney for the owners, said the developers agreed to a clause that stipulates that only nine units may be rented until Sept. 1, 2016.
The city had taken the St. Mary's property by tax foreclosure in January 2008 because the previous owner had not paid the city more than $750,000 in back taxes, interest and water liens dating back to 1979. It was sold at auction in 2009. The current owners bought it at a second auction in September 2010.
The same developers, under the business name of 110 Pleasant LLC, brought the old Corbin Plaza at 110-118 Pleasant Street at a 2010 auction.