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100+ Housing Units Coming to Northeast Massachusetts Thanks to $5.5 Million in MassDevelopment Loans

January 23, 2014



Kelsey Abbruzzese, MassDevelopment, 617-330-2086 & 617-448-9077 (cell)

MassDevelopment has provided three loans totaling $5,477,500 to three projects in Amesbury, Lynn, and Lowell, which will use loan proceeds to build market-rate and affordable apartments. The projects will add 114 units to the Massachusetts housing supply and exemplify sustainable, transit-oriented redevelopment. They also make use of new MassDevelopment products for market-rate housing and downtown development.

“MassDevelopment is employing innovative financing approaches that respond to market needs to increase a diverse supply of housing in the Commonwealth,” said MassDevelopment President and CEO Marty Jones. “We’re thrilled to work with local banks and provide loans to these three neighborhood redevelopment projects.”

In Amesbury, MassDevelopment worked with Georgetown Bank to provide $2.5 million in a participation loan to 20 Cedar Street LLC, a Chinburg Properties project. The developer will use the funds to buy and rehabilitate a largely vacant mill building on Cedar Street in Amesbury, converting the property into 48 apartments, several of which will be affordable. The property is adjacent to another MassDevelopment project, 14 Cedar Street Studios, where the borrower has restored a vacant mill that helped transform the neighborhood. Georgetown Bank was the lead lender for the 20 Cedar Street project, and the financing was enhanced by a MassDevelopment guarantee.

“We are pleased that MassDevelopment came to the table with Georgetown Bank to make this project feasible,” said Chinburg Properties President Eric Chinburg. “This is a solid, pre-existing mill structure that was largely vacant and underutilized. We will transform the space into modern loft style apartments that will provide the type of desirable, high quality housing that is a hallmark of our company.”

In partnership with Saugusbank, MassDevelopment provided $2.1 million as part of a participation loan to 133 Eastern Realty Trust, which will use loan proceeds to build a five-story, 45-unit apartment building on Lynn's Eastern Avenue. The market-rate apartments will be 300 yards from the Swampscott train station and are on a bus line. The building will also have a roof deck with views of the Lynn waterfront. This financing was also enhanced by a MassDevelopment guarantee.

“Thanks to MassDevelopment and Saugusbank, this project, which was approved by the Lynn City Council, is now under construction,” said Paul Gallo of P.F. Gallo & Sons, the project's developer. “The council’s unanimous vote confirms its awareness of the pressing need for moderately-priced senior housing. Special thanks to Ward 3 councilor Darren Cyr for his ideas and input from the inception of this project. Darren saw the benefits of this type of housing for the city and his guidance and advice was invaluable. We believe this City has a bright future and Shore Village Senior Apartments is proud to be a part of that future.”

MassDevelopment also provided $877,500 through a participation loan with Washington Savings Bank to Underwood Property, Management, and Development, LLC in Lowell. Underwood bought the former Varnum School on Lowell’s Sixth Street and will use loan proceeds to rehabilitate the building, which will become 20 units of market-rate housing with one affordable housing unit. This financing was also enhanced by a MassDevelopment guarantee.

“We’re thrilled with MassDevelopment and Washington Savings Bank’s contribution to this project, which will make our plans for housing at the former Varnum School a reality,” said developer Rick Underwood. “We look forward to creating a vibrant and tight-knit community for individuals, families, and veterans here in Lowell.”

MassDevelopment, the state’s finance and development agency, works with businesses, nonprofits, financial institutions, and communities to stimulate economic growth across the Commonwealth. During FY2013, MassDevelopment financed or managed 350 projects generating investment of more than $2.4 billion in the Massachusetts economy. These projects are projected to create more than 7,000 jobs and build or rehabilitate 800 residential units.