By Keith Loria
A joint venture of LIHC Investment Group and Weston Associates Inc. has enacted a plan to keep the Shore Plaza Apartments, a 380-unit affordable housing community in East Boston, Mass., affordable for the next two decades.
Under the plan, LIHC Investment Group will start a $14 million-plus improvement program on the four-building property, which includes apartment renovations, the addition of new roofs and boilers, and necessary masonry and façade repairs.
“East Boston is going through a transformation, with its easy access across the Tobin Bridge into the North End and the Financial District of Boston the neighborhood is seeing building after building getting renovated or replaced with new housing,” Andrew Gendron, LIHC Investment Group’s principal, told MHN. “Amidst this gentrification, Shore Plaza is a unique place to have affordable housing directly on the waterfront with views across the Mystic River to the skyline of Boston.”
Additionally, LIHC and Weston renewed the property’s Section 8 Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) contract, which was set to expire in a few years, ensuring the homes will stay affordable for another 20 years.
“We are excited for this next chapter in the history of Shore Plaza,” Mark J. Donahue, Weston Associates Inc.’s owner, said. “For decades, the property has served as a stable source of quality, affordable housing in East Boston and this transaction will allow for building and common area upgrades as well as improvements to individual apartments for our residents.”
A look inside
Located on a 10-acre campus alongside the Boston Harbor waterfront, Shore Plaza Apartments includes one-, two-, three- and four-bedroom units and serves primarily low and very-low income families.
The unit renovations will include bringing in new appliances, light fixtures, sinks, cabinets and countertops in the kitchens, and upgrading tiling, vanities, shower bodies and lavatories in the bathrooms. Upgrades will also be made on the community’s common areas and lobbies.
The work at Shore Plaza will also include a full renovation to the court yard, plus new lighting and seating, plus a brand-new playground will be installed for younger kids (including swings and a water feature), all on soft surface. The old basketball court will also be removed and a new multi-purpose sports area for basketball, soccer and other games will be installed.
The improvements were funded in part thanks to a $75 million loan from HUD pursuant to the Section 223(f) Insured Loan Program. The owners worked with Rockport Mortgage to obtain the financing.