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2008-11 Danvers State Hospital Chronicles

2008-11 | 07 | 06 | 05 | 04 | 03 | 90's | 80's| 70's | 60's| 50's
7/22/11 They're old but more pissed off Avalon Danvers tenants

Im Trying To Save People The "Mistake Of Renting Here"
From: -Anonymous-
Date posted: 12/15/2010

Years at this apartment: 2008 - 2010 I moved out of Avalon Danvers 2 months ago as I was in between buying houses. My girlfriend and I wish we never moved there! It was stressful. I was very excited to move in, use the gym, pool, and basketball court and meet my neighbors. First off the office staff is a VERY UNPROFESSIONAL, UNFRIENDLY, UNORGANIZED staff. I figured no big deal at first, until issues came up and I had to deal with them. I do have to mention that the only professional one was the Admin. I am really not sure why this small group of woman is able to act in the unprofessional manor they do and remain employed. Anywhere else a few of them would be fired for acting as they do. I thought Avalon itself was about customer service' The property manager who seems overwhelmed by her job pretended to be friendly at least. Unfortunately she is too young and has not enough of an idea what is going on there. She also appeared to often lack respect for the tenants from what I heard from neighbors. I only dealt with her once or twice but can tell you she should NOT be running a 400-apartment community. I thought I was going to get great customer service. I was wrong. Dealing with this community was like dealing with a slumlord. They have no respect for following tenants rights laws, or the rules put forth by their company for that matter. The apartments buildings are gaining wear and tear quickly, and not being repaired, as they should. However the Main building is kept up to par. I have had to call a million times to have the same things fixed. When ever I called the office my complaints would never be addressed. I had to start going through their 800* to receive any action. You can hear your neighbors in most of the buildings, walking, talking, and flushing toilets. Every time I would go to the trash the compactors where full the sanitizers at the trash and gym are empty. I also want to add that the rent goes up here yearly. Lastly I would like to add that if you use the pool during the summer you would not be able to always bring your kids, due to the alcoholics hanging out drinking at the pool. I m glad I don t have children I would have wanted to bring to the pool. I would be very upset if I did. The management does nothing about it!

Terrible customer service!!!
From: -Anonymous-
Date posted: 8/31/2010

Years at this apartment: 2010 - 2010

Don't even think about renting anything there. Customer service is terrible. If there is 0 star, I would have given them 0. I called to ask available units and their pricing, the staff member said he would send information to my email right away. 5 mins later, I got an application and checklist through email, nothing about the unit information that I requested. Why would I need to fill out the application before knowing what I am renting and how much I should pay' I emailed back asking for the information that I requested and then nobody ever bothered to reply me. btw, why don't they list the price on their website anyway' Walk away! Run away!

Not What You Think You're Getting
From: -Anonymous-
Date posted: 3/29/2010

Years at this apartment: 2008 - 2010 When we first moved in, things seems pretty good. The apartment looks nice, spacious, etc. Then, it started "settling" as they call it, in other words..falling apart. We came home one time from being gone for 2 wks and 4 of our doors we out of place and not closing. VERY strange. Then, woke up one day with the deck door open )IN WINTER!) and snow in the apartment and it was 64 degrees in there. You have to literally lift up the door for it to close. From the outside it looks very nice but it is very poorly build. The windows shake even if it's just a little bit windy out. People living here are dirty and leave garbage in the hallways. In the parking lots people are not very careful with their doors and slam their doors into your cars. This past winter they didn't do a good job cleaning the snow either. My latest problem, shingles fell from the roof on multiple ocassions and scratched and dented our cars! They are stating that they will only pay the $500 deductible per car but it's been over a month and still haven't heard from them. I reported it to our insurance and risk management is not calling them back either. It's very frustrating especially since I've been a great resident and always paid rent on time. If you were paying $1535 a month wouldn't you want something better


Terrible Place -Anonymous posted 12/5/2009

My boyfriend and I have been dealing with extremely noisy neighbors who live above us at avalon danvers. We are sleep deprived as the noise starts around 6am and carries on till almost midnight sometimes. My boyfriend and I work very hard in the healthcare field and cannot get a minutes rest in this place. When we complained to the management, their response was "the people are big above you." Can you imagine that response' It sounds as though this couple is going to break the ceiling above us. We also tried to negotiate rent as we have been so disturbed and so unhappy here and the answer was no.

After many months of frustration, one night I got mad and pounded on the ceiling to quiet the neighbors and I got scolded for that. Yet the management will do nothing about the disturbance that we have dealth with. I do not recommend this place...construction is ridiculous and management doesn't do anything for the tenant. they just don't care and collect their expensive rents.
Thank goodness we are moving out of state in a few weeks, otherwise we would have moved anyway.....I urge people not to move to avalon danvers!!!!!! pathetic place. Oh and 1 day my boyfriend was making alittle noise in our apartment, God forbid, and we live above rental office...they had the gaul to call him to see what was going on.

The management has such low tolerance for anything, but when it comes to OUR RIGHTS, they don't give a crap. They are lucky we don't get a lawyer and lucky we pay them another dime.
DON'T MOVE HERE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Abandon all hope, ye who enter here -Anonymous posted 11/30/2009

I know, you're looking at pictures of Avalon Danvers and thinking "Wow! What a great place." Well, that's about all they have going for them.

Main Issue:
The apartments are ridiculously noisy. When I first moved here, I thought it was going to be quieter then my previous apartment (which was in Salem, MA, in a house renovated into three apartments filled with college students like myself). Wrong. I hear every single footstep from the neighbors above me, including their creaking bed. 80% of the time I'm waking up in the middle of the night to my "wonderful" neighbors. You like road noise' Imagine hearing every truck from 95 and route 1 constantly, even if the windows are closed. Sure, it's nice to open your windows on a warm summer night but not unless you want to listen to constant traffic noise and your section 8 neighbors drinking away every night. Believe me I though the same thing, "The highway is too far away to hear anything." You'll understand after a month. And I bet it's nice to think that other people will shovel and plow the snow after a blizzard. Well, not unless you want to sleep at night. The cleaners would constantly slam their shovels directly into the metal railing, sending peaceful clatter straight into your apartment. (Remember, I'm a college student. I dealt with noise in dorms and decrepit apartments with other students. Those don't even compare to the noise at Avalon.)

Final note:

SAFETY: You want to feel safe' Then skip this place right away. Sketchy neighbors will stare at you as you walk your dog, dozens of car break-ins, and police constantly being called to the premises will make you feel safe. And if you do own a dog, good luck finding a lighted place at night to walk.

CONSTRUCTION: You will call maintenance constantly while living there. I had to call them on three separate occasions to fix the same toilet for the same problem.

HEATING: Let me put it this way, I had to by an electric blanket to keep warm at night. I'll have my thermostat set to 75 but my room will feel like 50. I like it to be a little chilly when I sleep, but this was like a ice box during the winter. Plus, if you're like me and want to take nice warm showers longer than 5 minutes forget this place. I can't wait to move just so I can take a decent shower without losing all the heat within a couple minutes. I've timed it, you're lucky to get 5.

Don't be deceived-Anonymous- posted -Anonymous 10/1/2009

This place looks good from the outside, and appears peaceful and tranquil at first glance, but don't be deceived, the peace and tranquility end once your lease is signed and you step across the threshold. The walls, ceilings and floors are paper-thin and you can hear people sneezing (and doing everything else people do--and I do mean EVERYTHING), as well as barking dogs, in surrounding apartments. I've lived in apartments and condos for the past 40 years, and never have I encountered anything so shoddily constructed. Everything in the apartment is cheap and hastily installed as if everything was done in a hurry, and it probably was. There is no pest control to speak of--roaches were in our apartment from Day One although no one else had ever lived there--and management is the least helpful I have ever encountered. It is as if all the owners want is your signature on the lease guaranteeing you will pay an exorbibant rent--considering what you get, almost any rent at all would be exorbitant. The outside, as long as you don't get close enough to the buildings to observe the substandard construction, is inviting, at first, but try taking a walk and you soon discover no one picks up after their dogs--not that it is safe to walk outside anyway with the criminal element that comes with the Section 8 tenants that Avalon doesn't bother to tell people about when they sign their lease. There is no size-limit on dogs, so some of what is left in the path of the unobservant walker is quite large, covered with flies in summer, stinks to high Heaven and will make you gag just looking at it. There is also way too much outside lighting and the lights are way too bright. When you drive in from the dark highway, the lights are blinding and it won't be long before someone is badly injured, or killed, because a driver, blinded by the light, ran them over! When will apartment owners learn that too much light is worse than no light at all! Another problem is snow removal--or lack thereof. The plows push the snow up behind the vehicles and you have to dig out! A lot of the local people say the patients in the old insane asylum were badly mistreated and the place is haunted by their restless spirits, and there does seem to be a sense of unease and foreboding about the place. I figure that a few years in the future, the spirits of disgruntled residents will probably join the ghosts of those patients as we wander the grounds protesting our mistreatment by Avalon and asking ourselves how we could have been foolish enough to be taken in by the slick advertising and empty promises.

$500 carpet replace scam by the "professionals" at Danvers Avalon by -Anonymous posted 9/2/09

What a surprise, after reading this before. You lose your deposit -- AND get charged $500 to replace the carpeting. What a scam -- but not unexpected from the charm-free, professional-free staff at Avalon Danvers. They just sent us pictures of the stains that required complete carpet replacement. In at least 5 of the pictures, stains were non-existent. In 2 of them, stains were so small as to be almost unseeable. The handwritten "legends" on the photos represent the degree of professionalism exhibited by the alleged staff.

Since the sales arm of the company can't sell the poorly constructed, overpriced Aria condos, all of the apartment tenants moving out are being forced to pay for normal wear and tear in the guise of damage.

Amazing -- how did they replace 3bedrooms, lv rm, hall way and diningroom all for $500'''

Scam artists.

Overpriced crap.

Subhuman staff.

Renters beware.

And Georgine -- I'm just waiting for your "pretend satisfied renter but actual staff member" rebuttal here. Whatever. If I were you, I'd align myself with a company who knows property management. Avalon clearly does not.


8-18-09 More angry Avalon Danvers tenants.

Classy From: -Anonymous- posted 8-12-08

Apartments with AC units hanging out of windows and bikes on decks... ultimate luxury living

Ridiculous Move out Charges!!!! Poorly constucted From: -Anonymous-
Date posted: 6/29/2009 Years at this apartment: 2008 - 2009

I leased at both Avalon Woburn and Avalon Danvers. Avalon lures you in with "specials", $500 security deposit. You will be charged when you move out!! No matter how clean you keep your apartment this organization will charge you. When I moved out of Avalon Woburn the place was spotless and they decided to charge me $300 for 8 hours of cleaning. Upon moving out of Avalon Danvers not only was I not refunded my $500 security deposit, I was charged an additional $500 dollars for the replacement of a carpet that was already damaged.

Their maintenance people are nice and attenative but the leasing department as well as Avalon's business practices are sub par to say the least. Also these places are as poorly constructed as they come. Our utility bills were outrageous. Also be prepared to hear your upstairs neighbors footsteps.

The place is a section-8 ghetto. You will have the pleasure of listening to every welfare state bastard child you support everyday.

Good luck.

Horrible place to live!!!!!! From: -Anonymous- posted 6/11/2009

Ive lived there a year now. the rent went up 145.00 yes you read that right, i have the paper work to prove it. Management sucks the leasing manager has NO clue what she is doing. young ditzy managment team only care about getting money.
No lighting outside at night, cops are always on site due to vandilism, domestic violence, They are more concerned on how to make more money than to help the community. No lighing but they can afford to put a coin operated vaccuum cleaner on site. go figure.

Not treated with respect From: -Anonymous- posted 5/21/2009

This community only cares about getting paid and not about their residents. Beware as the yearly renewal rent rate increases by incremental amounts ($50 in my case), even in these hard economic times.
I would not recommend Avalon Danvers to anyone, unless you want a BIG headache

7-1-08 Avalon Tenants Not Happy.

In a recent published story Avalon Bay stated that nearly all buildings on Hathorne Hill have been leased and they seem to have no issue filling the little vacancies they have left. However, not everyone is happy.

I recently came across a website that has some Avalon Danvers tenants complaining about their living situation at 1101 Kirkbride Drive. I have to admit I got great satisfaction when reading these. If you have a bad ( past or present ) living situation at Avalon Danvers and you want to share your story with the public, feel free to email me and I’ll post it. Please specify if you wish to remain anonymous in your email.

Here are some of the stories posted. Enjoy.

A Dream Turned Nightmare From: PatsFan25 posted 2/14/2008

When I first looked at Avalon Danvers I fell in love with the property. The old hospital's architecture is breathtaking and the surrounding area is beautiful. And at the time the management seemed so friendly and accommodating. Boy did things ever change once they knew they had my money on a monthly basis. It seemed that the lease not only guaranteed me a spot in this "dream complex" of mine, it also gave management the go a head to treat me like dirt.

The 10/15ish mile commute that is supposed to be so accommodating, actually means that you should be prepared to sit for more than an hour on Rte 1, 93 or 95/128 trying to make it into the city. And the "quiet complex" that the management so graciously sold me on, has turned out to be exactly the opposite. When the wind blows (which is pretty much all the time because of the hill the complex is on) the windows sound like they are going to fall right out of the seals they are sitting in. When the people above me are walking it sounds like they are running. You can hear every step. Not only that, but if people next to you are going about daily routines, my walls shake. Many times I have come home and found my pictures to be crooked from the vibrations.

When it snows... plan for an extra hour to dig your car out from the snow that gets plowed right toward the cars, and not the grass on the other side of the road. And don't plan on sleeping, because the complex feels it is necessary to clear the sidewalks next to the windows at 1:45AM.

Speaking of snow, one of the other features that sold me on the unit was the in building trash shoot and the convince of not having to leave the building if it is snowing out. Too bad management failed to mention it is OUT OF ORDER over 75% of the time I go to use it.

Still considering moving into this "gem"' Keep a keen eye on the properties website before you sit down and lock yourself into a lease. I've seen their free rent offer extended at least twice, and now it's up to 2 1/2 months. Maybe that's because they are STILL having trouble filling units. Understandable considering this was an old state insane asylum. Google "Danvers State Hospital" for more info.

I guess what I want to say, is don't let the exterior fool you. Just because it looks nice from the outside doesn't mean that you'll necessarily will like what you find. I myself am counting down the days until I can move out.

So sick of this place...safety is an issue here! From: -Anonymous posted 3/2/2008

Upon moving in I was well aware of the sights history and felt that made it more interesting. However, one must do their homework by contacting the local police department first asking for the local potentially harmful neighbors that surround the grounds of this place before making a decision to rent here. The winter clean up crew are totally not respectful to the tenants. They are out doing a great job of cleaning but also waking everyone up at the wee hours of the morning. Try calling the leasing office and complaining, nothing gets done. The noise in this place is awful...I am in a townhouse type apartment and you'd think it would be a bit peaceful, NOT! Neighbors banging on walls, screaming at all hours of the night and again the leasing office is good for nothing when it comes to complaints. There were a rash of car breakins and the leasing office was called a few times about the glass all over the parking lot. The kids were due to arrive home and were getting let off near the glass. It was finally done after quite a few calls. The pool...what a joke that was last summer. I can only imagine with more people how it will be. Its so small and will in no way service all the people here comfortably. So like the previous persons article said once they have you sign that dotted line your a prisoner to the Danvers State hospital at Avalon! The leasing office could careless about us! Kid friendly they are not...if your child is under 5 there is a cute tot lot and if over 16 they are allowed to do things alone but other then that be prepaired to have your kid be bored. I rate this place a -10 and would NEVER ever consider renting here again.

Nice apartment, TERRIBLE MANAGEMENT From: -Anonymous- posted 2/7/2008

Pros: Nice, clean apartment with great location.
Cons: Avalon management!!

I have only lived in one other apartment complex in my life (managed by another company). Wouldn't commonsense tell you that management should be customer oriented and not worried about filling their over priced apartments right'

Since day one there has been nothing but issues with the management here... work orders not being filled, corners cut in construction, and of course the circus that is the management. I could write a novel.

Instead of ranting on and on, I'll leave you with this. If you want to take a chance with this property go for it. We love our apartment when this are the way they SHOULD be. But, if you do take the chance and something goes wrong -- best of luck to you!

Disgusted..... From: -Anonymous posted 1/18/2008

We have been here since it opened and have since left the property, thankfully. The leasing office is helpful when it comes to getting things fixed however not very friendly or helpful with any other issues. This place states its child friendly I have to say its more tot friendly. There are about 80 kids here and only a place for kids that are under 4 to play in or over 16. I have also heard that there are some former state homes that are right down the street that still exist and are very dangerous if they get out. One may want to check with the local police department and obtain a list of dangerous people that reside in the area. Again if I were to do this again I would NOT live here especially if you have children. Not to metion the noise factor is awful the night time snow clean up crew is loud, you can hear the toilets flush upstairs when your in your place not to metion you can hear every step the people about you take!!! We have two children and it was a total nightmare for all!!!!

4-11-08 After fire, Danvers State complex almost finished By Ethan Forman Salem News

Almost one year after a fire swept through the former Danvers State property, the 433-unit Avalon Danvers apartment complex atop Hathorne Hill is nearly complete.The fire, which burned down three buildings and whose cause was never determined, set construction back six to eight months. All the buildings in the apartment complex are now scheduled to open June 1, with some ready for occupancy May 1. By the time an open house is held in June, the developer expects it to be 80 percent to 90 percent occupied, said Scott Dale, vice president of AvalonBay Communities.

Today, the complex, which cost $80 million to build, sports apartments with lofty ceilings, large windows and sweeping views of the North Shore. Another 64 senior condominiums should take shape over the next 18 months.In a way, this is the second time Danvers State Hospital has risen from the ground. The push to redevelop 77 acres of the former Danvers State Hospital has meant the demolition of most of the buildings of the former insane asylum, with just one-third of the 1878 Kirkbride building remaining.

A turret on the adjacent Kirkbride building, which caught fire last year, has been replaced using a spare turret preserved from a portion of the old building that had been torn down. Developers had not been deterred by the history of the site, an overcrowded mental hospital that became a mini city before the state closed it in 1992. Today, it has drawn empty nesters and families alike. Decades ago, some said you would have been crazy to live there, now some say you would be crazy not to.

The centerpiece of the community is the 100,000-square-foot portion of the red-brick Kirkbride building. It has an outdoor swimming pool, a recreation room, a basketball court, a fitness club and a Wi-Fi café. Inside, only one of its 61 apartments is still available for rent. The building, with its Gothic spires and cupolas, takes its name from 19th-century physician Thomas Story Kirkbride. While developers tore down two-thirds of the Kirkbride, they reconstructed the main tower over the front entrance that had been missing for years.

Rents in the Kirkbride building range from $1,300 to $1,700 for a one-bedroom apartment to $1,575 to $2,400 for a two-bedroom apartment. Some high-end units have cherry wood kitchen cabinets and granite countertops.Dale said the Kirkbride building, once the hospital's administration building, now also serves as the administration building for the complex. It's a place to gather and play basketball or a game of pool.

Even the modern buildings surrounding the Kirkbride building take their visual cues from its Gothic architecture with red brick trim and sharp gabled dormers. Building heights on the perimeter of the development were kept low to preserve a view of the remains of the Kirkbride building. "I think the Kirkbride building is much more visible today than it was 10 years ago," Dale said.

The apartment complex is not the only project ongoing on the hill. There are 64 condominiums, to be called Aria, being developed by OHC Development, in which AvalonBay has a financial stake. Susan Piracini, Aria's sales director, said it will be another 18 months before the condominiums are built out. Ten are already under contract. "It's definitely a different product than a lot of the active adult communities out on the market now," Piracini said. Those who buy condominiums, which all sport two-car garages, also have access to amenities in the Avalon Danvers apartment complex like the swimming pool. The condos cost $395,000 to $640,000.

Despite efforts to preserve a portion of the Kirkbride building, some say the demolition at the old hospital went too far. Most of the buildings on the site were torn down. Demolition on the south side of the hospital opened up a view of Boston, Dale said.Town Archivist Dick Trask said Danvers State Hospital used to be one of the finest examples of Gothic Revival architecture "on he Eastern Seaboard."

He last toured the Kirkbride building three years ago, and while he found it in rough shape, he said more of it and other buildingsshould have been preserved, such as an 1870s garage with a mansard roof that was also torn down."They never conceded one item of preservation," Trask said. "They stuck to their original plan."He likens the preservation of the remaining portion of the Kirkbride building to "a mounted deer head."Dale said it was not easy to satisfy everyone with a stake in the hospital's future while making the project economically viable. "We had to search for that common ground from everyone who was involved," Dale said, "and I think we have done a good job in satisfying the different stakeholders."

1-20-2008 Website update

I separated the more recent chronicle pages into individual pages so it's easier to read and more organized. I also added old news articles I purchased online. I find these past stories very interesting to read in regards to the state of our Mental Health system years ago. I'll continue to post any current news about the former hospital property, but it's safe to say it won't be as interesting as we're used to. I'll also be updating the website with stories from 1980's - 50's periodically.










2008-11 | 07 | 06 | 05 | 04 | 03 | 90's | 80's| 70's | 60's| 50's