New Affordable Apartments Open in Union Square

PRESS RELEASE

CONTACT:  Daniel Leblanc, 617.776.5931 x 230, dleblanc@somervillecdc.org

January 5, 2017             

See photos at end of release

Union Square Apartments Open Near Future Home of
Green Line with Ribbon Cutting Ceremony

Offer 35 affordable, transit-oriented, energy-efficient apartments
at
181 Washington St., Somerville, Mass.

SOMERVILLE, MA, January 5, 2017 – Somerville Community Corporation CEO Daniel LeBlanc and SCC’s real estate team were joined by Somerville Mayor Joe Curtatone; Susan Terrey, the Commonwealth’s assistant undersecretary of the Department of Housing and Community Development;  local elected officials; the development team and project lenders; and Union Square residents today for a ribbon cutting ceremony at 181 Washington Street, Somerville, where construction was recently completed on 35 new affordable, energy efficient apartments. Also part of the project are 2,400 sq. ft. of ground floor commercial space.  

The 181 Washington Street development is just a few blocks from the anticipated new Green Line stops at Washington Street and Union Square. All 35 residential units are now leased and occupied.

The property was originally the Pope Elementary School and then became the Boys and Girls Club in 1980. Somerville Community Corporation purchased the property in 2012 after the Boys and Girls Club had closed its Somerville center and began marketing the property in 2010. The Community Economic Development Assistance Corporation (CEDAC) provided an acquisition and predevelopment loan to SCC to purchase the property and develop plans for redeveloping it into affordable housing.

While there has always been general support for SCC’s proposed redevelopment of the property for affordable housing, SCC’s original plans for a five story, 40 unit project were ultimately scaled down to four stories and 35 units and a lesser amount of commercial space.

“SCC acquired this property to develop precisely because we and our fellow affordable housing advocates believe that it is critical to the fabric of Somerville that we have affordable housing options close to the coming Green Line transit,” stated SCC CEO Daniel LeBlanc. “And as anyone involved in development in a dense urban community knows, a project like this takes place in a living, breathing neighborhood and requires the support and cooperation of neighbors.  Many worked with us, raising issues and concerns, to help develop a building that we can all be proud of.”

Added Somerville Mayor Joe Curtatone, “What a transformation of this block. Our collective goal with SCC, with communities is to build healthy, happy, vibrant, robust neighborhoods that everyone wants to part of. We are faced with an incredible challenge and crisis in this region, which needs 435,000 new housing units by 2040. In that process, we don’t want to lose our identity, our creativity, our originality, our soul, our values.  We want this to be an inclusive community. And this project is an important part of that.”

There was significant demand for the affordable units. SCC received 3,400 applications for the 35 affordable apartments.  The property provides nine one-bedroom, 22 two-bedroom, and four three-bedroom apartments – all for families earning at or below 60% of the area median income, which for a family of four is $58,860. Eight of the apartments are set aside for families earning at or below 30% of area median income, three of which are for families with physical disabilities or impairments, and two are for homeless families.

New Ecology, Inc.  assisted in designing the building to meet LEED for Homes Mid-rise Certification (Platinum Level) and ENERGY STAR Multi-Family High Rise Certification. The project architect is Dimella Shaffer. Dellbrook/JKS Construction provided construction management for the project. Sources of funding include federal and state Low-Income Housing Tax Credit equity allocated by the Commonwealth’s Department of Housing and Community Development and purchased by First Sterling; State Affordable Housing Trust Funds through MassHousing; Housing Stabilization Funds through Department of Housing and Community Development; Federal HOME and Somerville Affordable Housing Trust funds through the City of Somerville;  HUD McKinney funds; Community-Based Housing funds administered by CEDAC; project-based Section 8 subsidies administered by Metropolitan Boston Housing Partnership; construction funds from Eastern Bank.  The permanent lender for the project is the Massachusetts Housing Partnership.

List of Event Speakers:

  • Daniel LeBlanc, Somerville Community Corporation CEO
  • Somerville Mayor Joseph Curtatone
  • Susan Terrey, the Commonwealth’s assistant undersecretary of Department of Housing and Community Development
  • Roger Herzog, executive director, Community Economic Development Assistance Corporation
  • Senator Patricia Jehlen
  • Jon Lenicheck, district director for Congressman Capuano
  • Alderman Bob McWatters
  • Susan Nohl, deputy director, Metropolitan Boston Housing Partnership
  • Chris Scoville, senior vice president of commercial lending, Eastern Bank
  • Victor Sostar, senior vice president and chief acquisitions officer, First Sterling
  • Tim Sullivan, executive director, MassHousing
  • Clark Ziegler, executive director, Massachusetts Housing Partnership

Somerville Community Corporation has completed more than 21 affordable housing projects, resulting in over 300 ownership and rental units in Somerville. SCC also does community organizing and planning, and runs an array of household asset building programs, all to meet its core mission of sustaining a diverse and affordable community.

PHOTOS BELOW

Union Square Apartments – 181 Washington Street

Ribbon cutting:

Ribbon cutting ceremony for SCC's Union Square Apts 1.5.17

L to R: Alderman Bill White; Alderman Jack Connelly; Mayor Joe Curtatone; Roger Herzog, executive director, Community Economic Development Assistance Corporation; SCC CEO Daniel LeBlanc; Mulugeta Zegey, SCC board member; Tim Sullivan, executive director, MassHousing; Clark Ziegler, executive director, Massachusetts Housing Partnership; Susan Terrey, the Commonwealth’s assistant undersecretary of the Department of Housing and Community Development; Jon Lenicheck, district director for Congressman Capuano; Susan Nohl, deputy director, Metropolitan Boston Housing Partnership; Chris Scoville, senior vice president of commercial lending, Eastern Bank

 181 Washington Street Completed

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