$9.2 million tax-exempt bond boosts Springfield YMCA housing renovation project
January 14, 2019 : The Republican, by Peter Goonan
SPRINGFIELD — A local development group has launched a $15 million housing renovation project at the YMCA building on Chestnut Street, aided by a newly announced $9.2 million tax exempt bond issued by MassDevelopment.
MassDevelopment is the state’s finance and development agency that works with businesses, nonprofits, financial institutions and communities to stimulate economic growth statewide.
Thomas Kegelman, executive director of Home City Development, Inc., of Springfield, said Monday that the renovations of the 101-unit, mixed-income apartment project at 275 Chestnut St. should be completed by the winter or spring of 2020.
"It's wonderful when we're able to pull all the pieces together and the funders are able to provide the necessary funding," Kegelman said. "And we're happy we're finally able to get to construction."
The project provides "affordable quality housing to the most vulnerable among us," Kegelman said.
BH Chestnut Crossing LLC, an affiliate of Home City Development, had applied for state funds and equity in 2016, for what at that time was estimated to be a $12 million project.
The YMCA is on the first floor of the building, and the single-room occupancy apartments are on next five floors of the six-story building.
The housing project includes renovating and enlarging the units, all of which will have bathrooms and kitchenettes, and will have energy efficiency upgrades, according to a project summary. In addition, renovations include a a new community space and private office space where residents can access services and support, the summary stated.
More than three-quarters of the apartments will be affordable housing rented to households earning between 30 to 60 percent of the area median income, MassDevelopment said. The remaining units will have no income restriction.
In addition to the bonds of $9,190,000, MassDevelopment assisted the state Department of Housing and Community Development with the approval of federal low-income housing credits, which will provide $5.2 million in equity for the project, the agency said.
“As Massachusetts’ Gateway Cities evolve and progress, it’s more important than ever to ensure an adequate supply of housing for individuals of all income levels,” said MassDevelopment President and CEO Lauren Liss. “MassDevelopment is proud to support Home City Development, Inc. as it preserves more than 100 homes near the heart of downtown Springfield.”
Home City Development was founded as Better Homes Inc. in 1968 by the Springfield Regional Chamber of Commerce. It owns and develops affordable housing with various federal and state housing assistance programs.
TD Bank purchased the bond.