BOSTON – October 13, 2021 – MassHousing has closed on $4.4 million in affordable and workforce housing financing for the redevelopment of a vacant, historic jewelry factory in downtown Attleboro into the 59-unit 37 Union Street for residents with a range of incomes.
The project was spearheaded by a long-time business owner in downtown Attleboro, Bob Jones. The development team of GAM Realty, LLC, E3 Development, LLC, and Affirmative Investments, Inc., will redevelop three existing brick structures that formerly housed jewelry manufacturers into a 59-unit rental housing community, including 17 workforce housing apartments. A portion of one structure's fifth floor, which was severely damaged during a 2018 wind storm, will be reconstructed. The project is expected to be completed in the fall of 2022.
"MassHousing is excited to be part of this project that is going to take a vacant property in the heart of Attleboro and create 59 new affordable apartment homes for individuals and working households," said MassHousing Executive Director Chrystal Kornegay. "This housing community will breathe new life into the downtown and create economic opportunities for the residents with rail service to Boston and Providence and regional bus service just steps from their homes."
"The development team is thrilled to begin construction on this transformative project, which will preserve an important part of Attleboro's manufacturing history while creating new housing opportunities for residents with a wide range of incomes. It was truly a collaborative effort to reach this milestone, and we are grateful to MassHousing, DHCD, and the City of Attleboro for their partnership," said Eliza Datta, President of E3 Development, and Tara Mizrahi, Executive Vice President of Affirmative Investments.
"The 37 Union Street project is critical to the redevelopment of the Union Street district and an important part of Attleboro's downtown revitalization. I have been thoroughly impressed with the commitment of the development team, and I am thankful for the support from MassHousing for investing in Attleboro. This project could not have been done if it were not for all of the partners involved, and the people of Attleboro are going to benefit from this project for decades to come," said City of Attleboro Mayor Paul Heroux.
MassHousing will provide the development team with a $2.7 million permanent loan and $1.7 million in financing from the Agency's Workforce Housing Initiative. The project will additionally receive $1.1 million from the Affordable Housing Trust Fund, which MassHousing manages of behalf of the Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD).
Other financing sources include $12.4 million in federal and state Low Income Housing Tax Credit equity allocated by DHCD, $2.6 million in direct support from DHCD, a total of $5.2 million in state and federal Historic Tax Credit equity, $295,000 in Attleboro CDBG funding, and additional developer financing. Boston Financial Investment Management is the tax credit investor.
37 Union Street advances the Baker-Polito Administration's goal of creating up to 1,000 new workforce housing units affordable to middle-income households through MassHousing's Workforce Housing Initiative. Since the inception of the initiative in 2016, MassHousing has committed or closed workforce housing financing totaling $127 million, to 61 projects, located in 24 cities and towns, and advanced the development of 5,049 housing units across a range of incomes, including 1,428 middle-income workforce units.
37 Union Street is located across the street from Attleboro City Hall and Police Department headquarters and two blocks from the city's commuter rail station and several regional bus lines.
Of the 59 new apartment homes, eight will be supported for lower-income residents earning up to 30 percent of the Area Median Income (AMI) through the Massachusetts Rental Voucher Program, 34 apartments will be restricted to households earning at or below 60 percent of the Area Median Income (AMI), and there will be 17 workforce apartments restricted to households earning up to 100 percent of AMI. The Area Median Income for Attleboro is $86,500 for a household of four.
There will be four studio apartments, 36 one-bedroom apartments and 14 two-bedroom apartments and five three-bedroom apartments. The general contractor will be Timberline Construction Corporation. The architect is Davis Square Architects, and the management agent will be Wingate Residential.
MassHousing has financed three rental housing communities in Attleboro totaling 387 units and $35.8 million in overall financing. The Agency has also provided home mortgage loans to 839 homebuyers and homeowners in Attleboro with an original purchase principal balance of $110.8 million.
MassHousing (The Massachusetts Housing Finance Agency) is an independent, quasi-public agency created in 1966 and charged with providing financing for affordable housing in Massachusetts. The Agency raises capital by selling bonds and lends the proceeds to low- and moderate-income homebuyers and homeowners, and to developers who build or preserve affordable and/or mixed-income rental housing. MassHousing does not use taxpayer dollars to sustain its operations, although it administers some publicly funded programs on behalf of the Commonwealth. Since its inception, MassHousing has provided more than $27.5 billion for affordable housing. For more information, follow us on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.