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Jun. 25, 2013

Mixed-Income Apartments Open in Boston

By Dees Stribling, Contributing Editor

Boston—The first phase of Charlesview Residences, a 340-unit development in Boston’s Allston-Brighton neighborhood, has opened. The mixed-income property is being developed by the nonprofit Community Builders Inc. (TCB) and Charlesview Inc., an interdenominational organization. The first phase includes 27 new apartments for moderate-income and market-rate residents, while the second and third phases will feature 100 affordable and market-rate units for sale.

Charlesview Residences replaces Charlesview Apartments, a 213-unit housing development for low- and moderate-income residents that had, at more than 40 years old, become obsolete. After a land swap with Harvard University, Charlesview Inc. and TCB worked together to preserve the property as affordable housing on a site about a half-mile from the original structure.

Construction on the $141 million development began in 2011 and, through a financing technique known as “Housing Assistance Payments (HAP) Contract porting,” all residents of the original Charlesview Apartments will be moved into the brand-new buildings. The HAP Contract porting financing model crafted by TCB and Charlesview allowed the project-based rent subsidies to be transferred from the old site to the new complex. It’s unusual in this case because the technique is typically used for smaller projects and with existing buildings.

Funding was also provided by MassHousing, HUD, AEGON USA Realty Advisors, Harvard University, the Life Initiative, Massachusetts Department of Housing & Community Development, the AFL-CIO Housing Investment Trust, and the Community Economic Development Assistance Corp. Also, Google Inc. bought $27.6 million in low-income housing tax credits.

Designed by CBT Architects, Charlesview Residences’ units range in from one-bedroom flats to four-bedroom townhouses. The property includes about 25,000 square feet of space for commercial and community uses, including a community center, computer center outfitted by Google, and new streets and parks. The site also includes underground parking for 243 vehicles. The building was designed to be LEED Silver, with a particular focus on energy efficiency and water management.

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