Properties to change hands

Riverview Apartments are shown at 497 Newell St. in Watertown. Sydney Schaefer/Watertown Daily Times

WATERTOWN — A Newell Street apartment building and the building that houses the Flashback Brewing Company soon will be changing hands, thanks to loans from the Watertown Local Development Corp.

The local development corporation, also known as the Watertown Trust, on Thursday approved a $225,000 loan to Jacob S. “Jake” Johnson and three other local businessmen so they can purchase the Riverview Apartments, 497 Newell St.

In a separate transaction, Vishal Sudera, an owner of a nearby convenience store, is in the process of purchasing the building that houses the Flashback Brewing Company and an adjacent structure on State Street that includes four apartments and two storefronts.

The Watertown Trust is providing a $117,000 loan to Mr. Sudera so he can complete his deal.

Mr. Johnson, Tyler Bartlett and Mark and Jordan Loftus are purchasing the 30-unit apartment building on Newell Street from local developer Brian H. Murray for $2.25 million.

“I think it’s a good deal,” said Watertown Trust CEO Donald W. Rutherford, adding he has confidence in the way Mr. Johnson handles his properties.

The apartment building, once a vacant warehouse, was renovated by a Long Island developer in 2009 before being sold to Mr. Murray, one of the city’s most well-known developers, three years ago.

“Brian wants to divest some of his properties, and Jake wants to be the next Brian,” Mr. Rutherford said.

In recent years, Mr. Johnson has become one of the city’s biggest real estate players, accumulating about 40 properties in his portfolio.

The four men have arranged $1,687,000 in bank financing and will put in $337,000 of their own to go toward the purchase.

All but one of the 30 apartments are currently occupied. Commercial space on the ground floor will undergo renovations.

Mr. Johnson, who could not be reached for comment Thursday, has told the Watertown Trust that he has three prospects interested in leasing the building’s four commercial units.

The apartment building is assessed at $1.322 million.

Mr. Johnson’s holdings include several downtown buildings, the Rouse complex at 513 Washington St., the former Club Rio on Franklin Street and an apartment building at 505 Washington St.

In the other deal, the Watertown Trust approved the loan to Mr. Sudera, who plans to purchase the building that has a brewery/restaurant at 1309 State St. and the other structure at 1303 State St., from Gary Gerkin for $335,000. The buyer is putting in $50,000 equity in the project.

Mr. Sudera wants to acquire the two properties so he can control the parking situation for his State Street Market business that’s adjacent to them, he said.

The Flashback Brewing Company will remain open.

Mr. Sudera has owned the market for about 18 months. He also owns the Sunoco station down the street.

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