By Jessica Bartlett, Town Correspondent
Although the construction timeline took longer than anticipated, Hingham Shipyard developer Samuels & Associates has started moving residents into the new building at the shipyard, and within the next few weeks, should have 50 percent occupancy.
The 26-unit condominium complex is one of three residential buildings Samuels is looking to build in the coming years at the shipyard. In total, 94 units will be constructed within at the site.
The project was launched in 2008; however, a doubtful economy soon put things on hold.
In 2011, construction on the expansion started up again, breaking ground in August. Officials hoped to be ready for occupancy this past summer, yet move-ins only started in mid-October.
“It just took longer than expected. We were thinking we could move people in by the end of August and getting the finishing touches took longer than we expected,” said Leslie Cohen, senior vice president for development at Samuels & Associates.
Regardless of the slight delay, Cohen said already that by mid-November, half of the building will be moved in.
In the next couple of weeks, a retailer will be moved in to the 2,300-square-foot space of the first floor.
As more units are sold in the “North Building” complex, plans will start for the middle building, which will have 20 units above a retail first floor. Most likely, construction on that portion will start next year.
“We are in the process now of tweaking our deadlines, and doing interior designs based on feedback. We need to do building permit plans, so I would expect it’s a 2013 start, but the plan is to roll through these,” Cohen said. “As we fill out the North Building, we’ll break ground on the middle building.”
The final building will have 48 units. The units, located at 18 Shipyard Drive, range from 900 to 2,000 square feet, with options for single-floor living. Home prices were anticipated to start at $475,000.
The residential development isn’t the only new construction the Shipyard will see.
Though plans for a large-scale box retailer, located in what's now the MBTA parking lot, have been put on hold, Samuels & Associates has been making progress on the development of a store beside the CVS.
“We did go in and permit a new store, which we can’t announce yet, between the Vitamin Shop and CVS. It will be a new retailer, a high-volume generator, great for the mixed uses we have out here and will be an added value to the merchandising,” Cohen said.
The store will go into a new, 12,000-square-foot building.