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Waterbury Yeshiva: Update on new building

The Orthodox Jewish school Yeshiva Gedolah could take ownership of the Carlton Tower building as soon as next week. An attorney for the yeshiva said in a letter to the Zoning Commission on Wednesday that students could move into about 20 empty apartments at the Carlton Towers at 117 Pine St., shortly after the Passover holiday, next week.“It is the yeshiva’s expectation to begin selling its residential homes in the Overlook neighborhood after the Passover break,” attorney Gary B. O’Connor of Waterbury said in his letter.

The school houses students in 10 single- and two-family homes in the Overlook and Hillside neighborhoods. City land-use codes do not allow for boarding houses in these areas. Residents in those neighborhoods asked the commission to issue a cease-and-desist order at a meeting last year.

The commission decided to work with the school instead, allowing it to propose a solution. The commission had asked the yeshiva for a progress update at its March meeting, on Wednesday.
No representatives from the yeshiva were at the meeting, but O’Connor had faxed a letter earlier in the day.

Commission Chairman Giuseppe Pisani said his board is satisfied with the progress. The commission asked for another update from the yeshiva at its June meeting.

“I think they are holding true to their word. As long as they’re operating in good faith, we feel that they’re fulfilling our request,” Pisani said.

O’Connor said in his letter that the complete move of students could take months. Students will gradually move into the Carlton Towers as more of the 83 units in the eight-story building are vacated by tenants whose leases expire.

Built in 1966, the Carlton last sold in 1999 for $2.4 million, according to city assessing records. The city has assessed the Carlton Towers at $1.9 million.

The yeshiva has said that about half of the units will be sufficient housing for the school and the rest will continue to be leased to tenants. The city stands to lose half of the $104,000 assessment of the property, but gain with the houses currently occupied by yeshiva being put back on the tax rolls after they are sold.


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