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Saugus property sells for $7M

SAUGUS — A Saugus apartment complex might see some upgrades in the near future. 
On February 28, Southern Essex Register of Deeds John O’Brian announced Pennybrook Gardens – located at 75 Vine Street – sold for $7,000,000.  Built in 1968, the 43-unit, multi-building complex was purchased by Malden-based firm, United Properties, which currently owns real estate in a number of communities throughout the Greater Boston area, including Malden, Everett, and Chelsea. 
Last month’s sale marks the firm’s first foray into Saugus’ housing market, however.   
At its price, United Properties founder Andreas Tsitos said the purchase was a good investment that will allow the company to make a few long-overdue upgrades.
“It doesn’t really need a lot of renovations, they just haven’t put any money into the buildings,” he said. “(The apartments still have) their original kitchen cabinets, so things like that. They’re still functional, but they’re from the late ’60s.”
According to its website, United Properties seeks out properties in need of improvements with the intent to renovate them into “higher quality” buildings. 
The firm also plans to update the units’ kitchens and laundry facilities, and upgrade the buildings’ roofs and windows. 
Tsitos stressed that renovations to individual apartments would be done between tenants. 
“It’s a very attractive property,” he said. “It has a stream running through the middle of it and it’s quiet and tucked away.”
The news comes at an interesting time for Saugus real estate. 
Saugus Deputy Assessor Michelle Branciforte said apartment rentals are becoming increasingly popular in response to an expensive local housing market. 
“In general, apartment supply is low, (and) demand is high, as evidenced by much new construction in Saugus and regionally,” said Branciforte. “Houses are expensive so people look to rent. Apartments continue to record high sale prices, and investors continue strong speculation buying.”
Despite planned renovations, Tsitos said residents shouldn’t see a big uptick in rent. 
“It would still stay affordable,” he said, adding that rent will remain within Housing and Urban Development guidelines for affordable rent classifications. 
“On HUD’s website, they classify one bedroom (apartments) at $1,800 and two bedrooms at $2,200 as affordable,” he said. “Our rent would be below that.”