April 12th, 2006

Puddle Graphic

Horrors!!! Why would you want to live there!?!?


DANVERS, Massachusetts (AP) -- In real estate, location even trumps spooky.

Across the nation, former state hospitals for the mentally ill -- with dated names like "lunatic asylum" -- are being converted into homes.

Even the ominous Danvers State Hospital, once described as "the scariest building in the world" and a favorite destination of ghost-hunting thrill-seekers, soon will be home to laptop-toting latte drinkers.

"There's obviously a lot of notoriety associated with the site," said Scott Dale, a vice president at AvalonBay Communities Inc., which is constructing 497 luxury apartments and condominiums. "We think, at the end of the day, that will be helpful."

No units are on the market yet. But Dale expressed confidence that occupancy won't be hurt by the property's jaded past, including a cemetery with some unmarked graves -- one reminder of the sad history of treatment of the mentally ill.

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