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Poll: Welch project moves ahead

SCITUATE - According to Hamilton Company president Carl Valeri, the company has signed agreements to lease space in the Welch Company building to real estate agents, artists, law firms, small coffee shops, a clothing store and a wealth management company.

The building, at one end of Scituate’s Harbor district, has a sign on it announcing that it has been 30 percent rented. Valeri would not release the names of the tenants, but said that they would be relocating from other properties in surrounding towns.

Since it acquired the building last summer, Hamilton Company representatives have estimated that renovations would be completed by April. Valeri said Monday that the process was still on track for an opening this spring.

“The exterior renovations are on target, and we are pleased with the finished product,” he said. “Now that we have definitive contracts with tenants, we can now proceed with the interior renovation and still feel May of this year will be the outside date of completion.”

The Welch Company building was once a commercial anchor to the town’s central business district. It sat vacant for years while the property was the center of a battle between developers who had received town approval in 2006 to build a 26-unit condominium project and residents who didn’t want the building razed and turned into housing.

However, the downturn in the housing market forced the building’s owners to sell it to Hamilton Company for $2.5 million last August.

Upon purchasing the property, Hamilton CEO Harold Brown announced, to the delight of the selectmen and residents who had been fighting the planned condo building, that he planned to renovate the building to its original commercial use, with storefronts on the first floor and offices on the second.

In nods to the building’s historical importance, he decided to keep its original name, the Welch Building, and to restore the original red paint instead of choosing another color.

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