MassHousing Provides $41M for Adaptive-Reuse Boston-Area Project

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Reed Community Partners has converted a section of a former wool mill in Lawrence, Mass., into a 180-unit affordable housing property.

Image by ErikaWittlieb via Pixabay.com

Reed Community Partners has secured $40.8 million in financing from MassHousing for Pac10 Lofts in Lawrence, Mass. The new, 180-unit affordable and workforce housing community is already completed and is slated to be fully leased by the end of the year. The six-story community is part of a two-phase redevelopment of the former Pacific Mills textile complex in the city’s North Canal Historic District.

LaRosa Construction Co. was the general contractor for the project, while Rogue Architecture provided architectural services for the transformation of the 1910-built wool mill into housing. WinnCompanies is providing property management services.

The MassHousing financing package includes $17.8 million in tax-exempt permanent financing, an $18 million tax-exempt bridge loan as well as $5 million from the agency’s Workforce Housing Initiative. Additional financing for the project included $28.8 million in tax credit equity from an allocation of federal low-income housing tax credits by the Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development, $2.5 million in State Historic Tax credit equity, $43.3 million in construction financing from Sterling Bank & Trust, a $3.6 million acquisition note, $3.2 million in developer financing, $210,000 in CDBG financing from the City of Lawrence, and $175,000 from the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center. An affiliate of Berkshire Hathaway, Affordable Housing Partners Inc., was the tax credit investor.

An affordable, mixed-income option north of Boston

Located at 300 Methuen St., Pac10 Lofts is 1 mile west of Canal Street Antique Mall and the Lawrence General Hospital. Boston is some 30 miles away. Several dining and entertainment options are also available within a 1-mile radius of the property.

Of the 180 units of the project’s first phase, 18 are set aside for households earning up to 30 percent of the area’s median income—which is $114,000 for a family of four—112 units for households earning up to 60 percent of AMI, while 40 units will be workforce housing for households earning up to 80 percent of AMI. The remaining 10 units will be unrestricted market-rate apartments. Pac10Lofts encompasses 82 one-bedroom units, 10 two-bedroom units and 88 three-bedroom units, ranging between 670 square feet and 1,350 square feet, according to Yardi Matrix data. Community amenities include a fitness center, event space and conference room.

Due to a combination of multiple factors—the pandemic, the September 2018 gas explosions in Merrimack Valley and water leaks—the redevelopment project was delayed several times. Pac10 Lofts is part of the Baker-Polito Administration’s goal of creating up to 1,000 new workforce housing units for middle-income households through MassHousing’s Workforce Housing Initiative, which started in 2016.

In May, MassHousing provided $206 million for the refinancing and preservation of affordability of 10 communities in Massachusetts. The agency provided the financing package for all 931 units.

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