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Javier Rodriguez, of Bowling Lane, smiles as he rides down the street in a pickup loaded with trash collected on a cleanup day. On back are, from left, Jerry Hunter, of Rehoboth, Mass., Gary Sherman, of Westerly, and Pastor Mark Benson, of Joy Fellowship Church on Bowling Lane. |  (Grace White / The Westerly Sun)
Bowling Lane resident Joshua Decelles takes a truck load of scrap metal to the dump on a recent Saturday. A cleanup day on Bowling Lane was organized by Mike and Jordan Fallman of Origen Property in Boston. Origen is the new owner of 18 homes in the Bradford neighborhood. In coordination with Michael Serra, the minimum housing director for the Town of Westerly, and volunteers from Bowling Lane and beyond, trash that was piled on sidewalks by residents was hauled away. It is the beginning of a restoration process for the homes in that area.  (Grace White / The Westerly Sun) From left, Michael Serra, Westerly's minimum housing director, Mike and Jordan Fallman, of Origen Property in Boston, and Javier Rodriguez, of Bowling Lane, plot out the rest of the cleanup plan for Bowling Lane on a recent Saturday morning. Origen Property is the new owner of 18 homes in the Bradford neighborhood. In coordination with the new management and the Town of Westerly, volunteers from Bowling Lane and beyond,  loaded trash that was piled on sidewalks by residents and helped to haul it away. It is the beginning of a restoration process for the homes in that area.  (Grace White / The Westerly Sun) Bowling Lane resident David Strong adds a piece of wood to the pile in the back of a pickup truck on Saturday. A cleanup day on Bowling Lane was organized by Mike and Jordan Fallman of Origen Property in Boston. Origen is the new owner of 18 homes in the Bradford neighborhood. In coordination with Michael Serra, the minimum housing director for the Town of Westerly, and volunteers from Bowling Lane and beyond, trash that was piled on sidewalks by residents was hauled away. It is the beginning of a restoration process for the homes in that area.  (Grace White / The Westerly Sun) Jim Robertson, of Boston, carries a plastic red wagon to the back of a pickup truck as fellow volunteers (l-r) Jerry Hunter, of Rehoboth, MA, Larry Harris, of Westerly, Pastor Mark Benson of Joy Fellowship Church on Bowling Lane and Linda Harris, of Westerly help load the pile of trash on Saturday. A cleanup day on Bowling Lane was organized by Mike and Jordan Fallman of Origen Property in Boston. Origen is the new owner of 18 homes in the Bradford neighborhood. In coordination with Michael Serra, the minimum housing director for the Town of Westerly, and volunteers from Bowling Lane and beyond, trash that was piled on sidewalks by residents was hauled away. It is the beginning of a restoration process for the homes in that area.  (Grace White / The Westerly Sun) Sam Maggs, of Bowling Lane, throws a bag of trash into a dumpster as he helps out on Saturday morning. A cleanup day on Bowling Lane was organized by Mike and Jordan Fallman of Origen Property in Boston. Origen is the new owner of 18 homes in the Bradford neighborhood. In coordination with Michael Serra, the minimum housing director for the Town of Westerly, and volunteers from Bowling Lane and beyond, trash that was piled on sidewalks by residens was hauled away. It is the beginning of a restoration process for the homes in that area.  (Grace White / The Westerly Sun) A cleanup day on Bowling Lane was organized by Mike and Jordan Fallman of Origen Property in Boston. Origen Property is the new owner of 18 homes in the Bradford neighborhood. In coordination with Michael Serra, the minimum housing director for the Town of Westerly, and volunteers from Bowling Lane and beyond, trash that was piled on sidewalks by homeowners was hauled away. It is the beginning of a restoration process for the homes in that area.  (Grace White / The Westerly Sun) Volunteers load another pile of trash into a pickup truck on Saturday morning. A cleanup day on Bowling Lane was organized by Mike and Jordan Fallman of Origen Property in Boston. Origen is the new owner of 18 homes in the Bradford neighborhood. In coordination with Michael Serra, the minimum housing director for the Town of Westerly, and volunteers from Bowling Lane and beyond, trash that was piled on sidewalks by homeowners was hauled away. It is the beginning of a restoration process for the homes in that area.  (Grace White / The Westerly Sun)

Company plans a makeover for Bradford mill housing


WESTERLY — The new owners of 18 duplexes on Bowling Lane hope that their plans to renovate the units will help bring the street on par with other neighborhoods in town.

“This is a beautiful town, there’s no reason why this street shouldn’t meet the standards of the rest of the town,” said Jordan Fallman, asset manager for Origen Property Investments, the company that purchased the units in August.

Boston-based Origen bought the units from Gilbane Real Estate LLC, which acquired the properties when they went into receivership in September 2012 under the ownership of Westlake Housing of Austin, Texas.

Rhode Island Housing, the quasi-public state agency that provides funding for affordable housing projects, has provided deferred payment loan funds and other assistance for the properties since about 1998. The agency, which no longer maintains a financial interest in the property, sought successfully during the receivership to preserve the affordability of the development for at least three years as a condition of acquisition, said Mary Kate Harrington, Rhode Island Housing public information manager.

There are currently 10 vacancies in the 36-unit development. Fallman said his company plans to renovate the units four at a time. The units will receive a new coat of paint, new wood floors, new carpeting, new cabinets, granite countertops and new stainless steel appliances. “We have a specific look that we’ve found brings a tenant who truly cares about where they are living,” he said.

The red front doors that are currently on all of the units will be replaced. To distinguish the company’s houses from others on the street, Fallman said ornamental brass numbers will be affixed to the units. The company will strive to maintain the historic look of the buildings, which were originally mill housing for the nearby Bradford Dye Association.

Origen plans to maintain a neighborhood center for after-school programs and other activities. Fallman said his company is also pleased to see the important role that the Joy Fellowship church, which is located on the same street, plays in uniting the community.

The company owns similar developments in the Boston area and in Hartford. Bowling Lane is the company’s first move into Rhode Island. Fallman said his initial months in Westerly have been devoted to learning about the local housing market and the particular characteristics of Bowling Lane. Moisture, given the high water table in the area and the development’s proximity to the Pawcatuck River, is a challenge that the company will be mindful of as renovations take place, he said.

The renovation work will be done by a team of local contractors and suppliers, Fallman said.

Origen conducted a neighborhood cleanup in early November. Residents enthusiastically participated and then joined together for a lunch of pizza provided by the company, Fallman said. Four dumpsters were filled during the cleanup, Fallman said.

“It was great to get the community together face to face. The turnout was very strong and you could see that these people really do care for each another,” Fallman said. “We were hoping to create a community-like vibe, but it was here already.”

Assistant Town Planner Blanche Higgins said town officials are optimistic that Origen will be successful in its efforts to improve the neighborhood. The town helped build a playground in the neighborhood about 10 years ago and views the area as an important one given its history and the affordability of the housing, Higgins said.

dfaulkner@thewesterlysun.com



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