While some face the possibility of moving out, others will be moving into Fall River. A new 55-unit apartment complex is nearing completion, bringing new life to the city’s long-vacant Durfee Tech building.
Not far away, however, city businesses could face displacement if a Plymouth Avenue mill building is sold.
Well-wishers breathed a sigh of relief this week when Judi St. Hilaire, the wife of Mayor Paul Coogan, was released from the hospital just eight days after a serious bicycling accident.
And just a few weeks after a terrible shooting that left a Fall River shop owner and family man dead, a suspect was arraigned on charges of murder, attempted armed robbery while masked and illegal possession of a firearm.
In other news, there has been movement in the Jasiel Correia case, as prosecutors appeal the judge’s decision to acquit the ex-mayor of several counts of wire and tax fraud, and a suspect is arraigned in last month’s fatal shooting in Fall River.
In case you missed it, here are the top stories on heraldnews.com from last week according to our readers:
Bringing the history back
As developer Alan Macomber said, “there’s a renaissance coming” to Fall River with the completion of new apartments at a three-building complex at 64 Durfee St. The project brings new purpose to the well-known Durfee Tech building that’s been involved with more than 100 years of the city’s history. Built in 1895, the building first opened as the Bradford Durfee Textile School — name sound familiar? — and has transformed many times since into various educational settings over the years. The property sat unoccupied for 23 years before Macomber, who also developed the city’s Commonwealth Landing, bought it in 2017. In a nod to the buildings’ educational past the apartments have been dubbed The Creative Class, highlighting the fact that some of the 55 apartments are intended to house local artists. The first renters are expected to move in by February. Take a peek inside the new apartments, learn more about the property’s history and plans for the building here.
Sneak peek: The new apartments at Durfee Tech are nearing completion — take a look inside
City businesses face displacement
The fate of as many as a dozen Fall River businesses is currently uncertain following news that the building is being sold. Tenants of the four-story mill building at 288 Plymouth Ave., which include Lazer Gate, Straight Shooters and Amp Academy, could face eviction if a deal goes through to sell the property and convert it into a self-storage facility. Although the building has not yet been sold, and tenants have not received an official notice of eviction, an Illinois limited liability company called Bravo Development LLC went before the Fall River Zoning Board of Appeals last month and a variance was approved to convert the entire 190,000-sqaure-foot building into an indoor storage facility. The interior of the 130-year-old structure is expected to undergo “a complete rehab” and two loading ramps will be added to the exterior. It’s a wait-and-see situation for business owners, many of whom are long-time occupants of the building. Read more on this story here.
‘I just hope we survive it’: This Fall River mill may become a storage facility. But what about the businesses inside?
SouthCoast pot industry growing
Looking for a job? One local cannabis cultivator is on a hiring spree as it expands its cultivating capacity and as the industry as a whole continues to grow. Cresco Labs, a national cannabis cultivator with a facility in Fall River, recently held a job fair at White’s of Westport, where there were no shortage of applicants. The company recently expanded to occupy the third and fourth floor of the historic mill building that it shares with cannabis retailer Sunnyside, a move that tripled their cultivation capacity. So they are looking for more people who are enthusiastic about the plant and want to help grow the industry. Missed this past fair? No worries. A Cresco official expects another round of hiring soon. Read more on their expansion and find out what you need to get your foot in the door here.
Now hiring: Fall River cannabis cultivator expanding its workforce
Correia acquittals appealed
While former mayor Jasiel F. Correia II appeals his conviction on fraud and extortion charges, his prosecutors have filed an appeal of their own: they want the jury’s 21 convictions to stand. Last week, the U.S. government filed notice with the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit that it is appealing a decision by Judge Douglas Woodlock to acquit Correia of 10 other counts of wire fraud and tax fraud. On May 14, after a monthlong trial, a jury found the former mayor guilty of 21 counts of wire fraud, tax fraud, extortion and extortion conspiracy. The jury convicted him of misusing hundreds of thousands of dollars in investors’ money for a smartphone app he developed called SnoOwl, filing false tax returns, and orchestrating a pay-to-play scheme that extorted marijuana business owners for the paperwork necessary to open in Fall River. Read here to find out why the judge acquitted Correia of 10 counts in the first place and why the government’s appeal may be unusual.
Jasiel Correia: Prosecutors file an appeal in ex-mayor’s case, seeking 10 more fraud convictions
Fall River fatal shooting
He shot him in the chest and ran away empty handed. That’s what police say happened the night of Oct. 18, when murder suspect Nelson Coelho allegedly shot and killed Lal Kishor Mahaseth as he was about to close his Rock Street convenience store. Mahaseth later that night was declared dead at Charlton Memorial Hospital after police say a single .38-caliber bullet tore through his chest and exited his back. Coelho was arraigned last week in Fall River District Court for murder, attempted armed robbery while masked and illegal possession of a firearm. At the court appearance, more details emerged about the night of the deadly attack. Read more about it here.
City homicide: Fall River man arraigned on murder charge in shooting death of convenience store owner