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$7.6M to Preserve Lowell Affordable Housing

MassDevelopment Bond Helps The Caleb Group Buy, Renovate Chestnut Square and The Sirk Building

February 25, 2021


Matthew Mogavero, MassDevelopment, 857-248-0868 (cell)

Marianne McDermott, The Caleb Group, 781-962-6768 (cell)

The Sirk Building
The Sirk Building
Chestnut Square Apartments
Chestnut Square Apartments

MassDevelopment has issued a $7,695,000 tax-exempt bond on behalf of Sirk Chestnut Apartments Limited Partnership, an affiliate of The Caleb Group, Inc., which will use bond proceeds to refinance and renovate Chestnut Square Apartments and The Sirk Building, two affordable multifamily rental housing facilities in Lowell. At Chestnut Square, featuring 46 units, and The Sirk Building, featuring 42 units, The Caleb Group will replace the roofs, windows, and plumbing and heating systems and repair or replace all of the siding. Both affordable housing facilities have long been staples in the Lowell community. Most buildings at Chestnut Square were built between the 1830s and 1870s, with the most recent rehab completed in 2000; The Sirk Building was built in 1840, renovated in 1904, and renovated again by The Caleb Group in 2001. All 88 units will continue to be rented to households earning no more than 60% of the area median income. The Rockland Trust Company purchased the bond.

“As we face the housing crisis within the COVID-19 pandemic, preserving every unit of affordable housing is crucial, and that is why MassDevelopment is proud to help The Caleb Group renovate and preserve 88 affordable housing units in Lowell,” said MassDevelopment President and CEO Dan Rivera. “Because property values and rents are going up, ensuring the long-term accessibility of these apartments is vital to providing housing security for many families who call this Gateway City home.”  

In addition to the tax-exempt bonds, MassDevelopment assisted the Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development with the approval of low-income housing tax credits that will provide approximately $3 million in equity for the project.

The Caleb Group, Inc. was founded in 1992 as a nonprofit 501(c)(3) corporation to acquire, preserve, develop, and manage affordable housing communities. The first Caleb property, Valley View, opened in Bangor, Maine in 1994. Since that time, The Caleb Group has steadily grown to include 29 properties across New England that are home to approximately 4,784 residents. As part of the organization’s mission to provide additional assistance beyond housing, each property has a “community opportunity center” – featuring a community room and a computer center with computers for use by residents – and an on-site service coordinator that provides supportive, educational, and enriching programs and works to connect residents with supportive services in the community.

“The Caleb Group appreciates the help and support of MassDevelopment in creating financing for the refinancing and renovation of the affordable housing communities Chestnut Square Apartments and The Sirk Building in Lowell,” said Debbie Nutter, President, CEO, and Co-Founder of The Caleb Group. “We are pleased to partner with MassDevelopment to continue to provide affordable housing to 88 households for decades to come.”

MassDevelopment, the state’s finance and development agency, works with businesses, nonprofits, banks, and communities to stimulate economic growth across the Commonwealth. During FY2020, MassDevelopment financed or managed 341 projects generating investment of more than $2.69 billion in the Massachusetts economy. These projects are estimated to create or support 10,871 jobs and build or preserve 1,787 housing units.