Sunday July 29, 2012

GREAT BARRINGTON -- A Southbridge company has paid $4.7 million for the Beech Tree Commons apartment complex at 24 Silver St.

It is one of the highest prices paid for an apartment complex in the towns that are covered by the Southern Berkshire Registry of Deeds, according to Wanda M. Beckwith, the register of deeds.

Beech Tree Apartments LLC bought the 66-unit complex from Beech Tree Commons LLC of Wilbraham, according to documents on file at the registry.

New owner Phil Gajewski, who owns the Laurel Ridge Apartments in Southbridge and property in the state of Texas, plans to leave the 40-year-old complex located within walking distance of the Great Barrington Fairgrounds in its present state. This is the first property that Gajewski has owned in the Berkshires.

"We like the property," Gajewski said. "It’s only an hour’s ride for me."

Constructed in 1972, Beech Tree Commons contains eight detached one-story buildings that contain multi-family apartments. Seven of the structures contain eight units, while the eighth includes 10. The property, located on 41Ž2 acres, has been renovated and remodeled extensively over the years.

The complex is home to a large senior citizen population, according to former owner John Van Amsterdam of Wilbraham, a manager of Beech Tree Commons LLC. Van Amsterdam had owned the property under various ownership configurations since 1985. The ownership model switched from a partnership to an LLC in 1996.


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He put the complex on the market because of his age.

"I’m going to be 82 pretty soon," he said. "It’s time for me to move on."

Van Amsterdam said the Beech Tree Commons originally put the apartment complex on the market a few years ago, but didn’t find any takers. They decided to try again in January. The original asking price was $4.9 million, he said. The taxable value of the entire parcel is $3.48 million, according to town documents that are on file at the registry.

"Favorable interest rates made it a good time to buy," Gajewski said. "It was a good deal."