WATERTOWN — For about a year, work progressed on rehabbing a two-unit house at 825 Academy St.

It will be the first house renovated since the city brought back the so-called NDC housing program in 2018.

The program got its NDC moniker because the city, Neighbors of Watertown Inc. and the Development Authority of the North Country are all involved .

The duplex with a fresh coat of yellow paint might also be chosen for a housing program funded by the city’s $1 million Empire State Poverty Reduction Initiative grant.

The 119-year-old house was gutted and has gone through a total rehabilitation — both on the interior and exterior — during the past year.

After some interior finish work, the house will be ready to go on the market, said Michael A. Lumbis, the city’s planning and community development director.

“It’s a really nice improvement to the neighborhood,” he said.

The project included new siding, roof, doors, windows, mechanical systems and interior.

The project comes at a time when three property owners are investing private money to renovate three nearby homes on Academy Street, Mr. Lumbis said.

“It’s spurred other development on the street,” said Reginald J. Schweitzer, Neighbors’ executive director.

In 2015, Wells Fargo Bank donated the long-vacant house at 825 Academy St. to the city after acquiring it through foreclosure.

The city then decided it could still be saved from demolition and agreed to take control of the property.

The city sold the house to Neighbors of Watertown, which will use about $150,000 in loans and grants from DANC to renovate it. Neighbors will repay the loan portion of the financing to DANC once it resells the duplex.

Once the work is done, the Academy Street duplex will become a nice home for two families.

The NDC committee is evaluating other city-owned properties for possible inclusion. They are 1101 Bronson St. and 214 E. Hoard St.

Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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