Former Children’s Home in Massachusetts to Become Affordable Housing

Cruz Development Corp. plans to convert the New Bedford building into 28 mixed-income units.

St. Mary’s Home for Children at 593 Kempton Street

St. Mary’s Home for Children. Image courtesy of Cruz Development Corp.

The state has closed on the sale of St. Mary’s Home for Children, a 19th century building in New Bedford, Mass. Cruz Development Corp. acquired the 1.4-acre site and plans to convert the historic property into an affordable housing community.

The developer plans to transform the previously state-owned building into 28 mixed-income units, of which 70 percent will be affordable and 30 percent market rate. Plans also call for the addition of an outdoor playground and a parking lot.

Located at 593 Kempton St. just off Route 6, a major gateway corridor, the property is situated in the West End neighborhood of New Bedford, near an abundance of dining, retail centers and entertainment options. St. Luke’s Hospital and Buttonwood Park are within a 1.6-mile radius of the site.

In 2021, the Commonwealth’s Division of Capital Asset Management and Maintenance identified the property as a redevelopment opportunity to address the city’s housing needs. After a request for proposals process, Cruz Development Corp. was selected as the developer.

The project is part of the company’s plan to create 87 new units of mixed-income housing across different properties in New Bedford. According to SouthCoastToday, the former George H. Dunbar School at 338 Dartmouth St. and the former St. Joseph School on Kearsarge Street will also be transformed into housing. Additionally, Cruz intends to build a new community on a vacant lot at Jenney and North streets.

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