BOSTON – November 8, 2022 – MassHousing has closed on $25.8 million in affordable housing financing to WinnCompanies for the redevelopment of the historic Stone Mill in Lawrence into 86 units of new, highly efficient rental housing.
The 177-year-old Stone Mill property will become the state's first all-electric housing development and is being built with energy efficiency measures that will lower the building's carbon footprint. The property, which is located steps from the city's transit center, will serve residents across a range of incomes.
"MassHousing is pleased to partner with WinnCompanies on this innovative project, transforming one of Lawrence's oldest and most historic industrial mills into 86 new state-of-the-art apartment homes," said MassHousing Executive Director Chrystal Kornegay. "We congratulate the project sponsor and funders on their commitment to housing affordability, economic opportunity, and environmental leadership."
"We greatly appreciate MassHousing's support for our efforts to transform Stone Mill into stunning, mixed-income housing within walking distance of downtown Lawrence in a building that will use 40 percent less energy and emit approximately 30 percent less greenhouse gases than a new gas-heated building," said WinnDevelopment Executive Vice President Adam Stein. "This significant investment underscores MassHousing's pioneering advocacy for projects that advance a sustainable, clean energy environment."
MassHousing is providing WinnCompanies with a $4.6 million tax-exempt permanent mortgage, $20.4 million in bridge loan financing, and $900,000 in Capital Magnet Fund Financing.
The project received a $2.9 million Merrimack Valley Renewal Fund grant from the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources and the Office of the Attorney General as part of the state's settlement with Columbia Gas. The Merrimack Valley Renewal Fund was established following the 2018 natural gas explosions in Lawrence and other Merrimack Valley communities. The Fund seeks to maximize energy efficiency and electrification for projects that provide long-term affordable housing, while creating job opportunities for the local workforce.
Other financing sources included $35.1 million in financing from an allocation of federal and state Low-Income Housing Tax Credits by the Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD), $2.1 million in direct support from DHCD, $1 million from the Affordable Housing Trust Fund, which MassHousing manages on behalf of DHCD, and $500,000 in HOME funds from the City of Lawrence.
Of the 86 new apartments, eight will be supported with a federal Section 8 Housing Assistance Program contract for households earning up to 30 percent of the Area Median Income (AMI), an additional three apartments will be restricted to housings earning up to 30 percent of AMI, 58 units will be restricted for households earning up to 60 percent of AMI, and 17 apartments will be rented at unrestricted rents. The AMI for Lawrence is $114,000 for a household of four.
There will be 50 one-bedroom apartments, 28 two-bedroom apartments, and eight three-bedroom apartments.
MassHousing has financed 18 rental housing communities in Lawrence totaling 2,245 housing units with an original loan amount of $210.4 million. The Agency has also provided $157.5 million in financing to 1,562 Lawrence homebuyers or homeowners.
WinnCompanies is an award-winning, national owner, developer and manager of high-impact affordable, middle income, mixed-income, market rate and military housing communities. Founded in Boston in 1971 and supported by 3,600 team members in 23 states and the District of Columbia, WinnCompanies is one of the nation’s leading multi-family housing managers with 103,000 residential and military apartment homes under management. It is a leading manager of affordable housing and privatized U.S. military housing in the United States. The company owns 120 apartment communities in 11 states and the District of Columbia.
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.