What once was a school is now taking shape as homes. 

The Dolben Company Inc. of Massachusetts and Maryland is now leasing 200 apartment units at Halyard, the newest property on the site of the former Milton L. Fuller Elementary School at 2 School House Road. Thirty units will be rented at 80% of area median income. 

"We are very pleased to be developing in Gloucester," Dolben Executive Vice President Andrew K Dolben said in a prepared statement. "There is nothing quite like Halyard in the marketplace, and we are excited to be creating a new housing opportunity for residents of the city."

When the elementary school closed permanently in 2008, the ground was leveled to become a 13.65-acre planned development at Gloucester Crossing off Blackburn Circle. This included Halyard, the new Cape Ann YMCA, and 26,000 square feet of retail space. 

Since Dolben got the green light to build, construction at Gloucester Crossing has been steady as the company readies to introduce new homes to the community. 

Halyard, named after the rope that hoists and lowers sails of boats, is made up of three four-story buildings with surface parking and a single-story clubhouse with a great room and fitness center. Outdoor amenities include a fire pit and barbecue area. 

The current rate for an apartment at the smoke-free, pet friendly community is budgeted between $1,695 and $2,395 per month. 

“We are really proud of the property that has developed there and we can’t wait to get our first residents in the door,” said Marie Furnari, Dolben’s regional property manager. “We are excited to be right there in Gloucester.”

For the three weeks that the Halyard office has been open, the company has leased 15 units with most interested parties opting for an in-person tour rather than the virtual walk-through that can be found at halyardapts.com/gloucester/halyard/photos/.  

“People are very enthused,” Halyard property manager Drexel Costello said Tuesday. 

Furnari confirmed that, as of Tuesday, Halyard is scheduled to open its doors to new tenants on April 1. 

With easy access to exercise, food and entertainment, Halyard has plans to collaborate with its soon-to-be neighbors. 

“We are in the early stages of working with the Y to create a partnership,” Furnari said Tuesday. She said that the details cannot be made public quite yet, the collaboration is primarily to do with membership opportunities. 

The apartment complex off of Blackburn Circle is one of multiple new housing developments across the city. 

As the Cape Ann Y is set to move next door to Halyard, its old building on Middle Street is to be transformed into 44 affordable apartments for seniors 62 and older. 

And just down the road from Middle Street, the soon-to-be Harbor Village apartment community on Main Street will have 30 residential rental units made available for households.  

Taylor Ann Bradford can be reached at 978-675-2705 or tbradford@gloucestertimes.com.

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