Orleans Looks into Converting Local Bank for Affordable Housing

ORLEANS – As towns across the Cape grapple with the need for more affordable housing, Orleans officials are turning to a local bank for help.

Selectmen in the town have voted unanimously to conduct an initial assessment to determine whether converting the Cape Cod Five Cents Savings Bank Operation Center in Orleans into affordable housing is a feasible idea.

The town will spend nearly $23,000 to hire CBI Consulting and Bennett Environmental Associates to look into the property and determine whether they should peruse the purchase.

“This is an opportunity to have outside people come and look at the building’s structure, look at all the code issues, and any environmental issues,” explained Board chairman Alan McClennen, “so that if we decide we want to have a discussion about possible discussions Cape Cod Five we know what we’re talking.”

Orleans officials were clear in pointing out that the process is in its very early stages and the review is intended only to let them know if they should continue down this path.

While the 23,000 square foot facility is still currently being utilized by the bank, Cape Cod Five will be moving their administrative offices to a new headquarters building Hyannis which is currently under construction, potentially making the Orleans site available.

Should the town opt to acquire the property, it is currently assessed at just shy of $5 million, they would likely need to spend considerably more on updates and construction to make it suitable for housing.

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