Assisted Living at Belchertown's Carriage Grove Moves Forward Thanks to State Support

August 16, 2016


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

The Baker-Polito Administration has announced that the Department of Housing and Community Development has provided $2.45 million in conditional low-income housing federal tax credits and DHCD subsidies for the Grantham Group LLC, a Massachusetts-based assisted living developer, to move forward with the developer’s project at Carriage Grove, the redevelopment of the former Belchertown State School. MassDevelopment is overseeing this redevelopment as agent for the Belchertown Economic Development Industrial Corporation (BEDIC), and previous asbestos abatement and demolition has opened Pad 1 on the site for the Grantham Group’s planned assisted living facility. The 83-unit complex, which will have more than 40 affordable units, will support 65 construction jobs and create 40 permanent positions.

“Affordable housing production serves as a catalyst for broad-based neighborhood revitalization efforts,” said Secretary of Housing and Economic Development Jay Ash. “By connecting working families and at-risk populations to stable, affordable housing, we will ensure that Massachusetts remains a place where people succeed, and businesses flourish.

The low-income housing tax credit allocation is crucial for the project to progress. Local, tangible support was needed as part of a competitive application, and the Belchertown Community Preservation Committee recommended an appropriation of $250,000 from the Belchertown CPA Affordable Housing Reserve toward the project. Voters approved that appropriation at the 2015 and 2016 annual town meetings. Voters also approved a bond authorization in 2012 for $1.25 million to complete critical infrastructure improvements including expansion of the public roadway into the campus and utilities.

“This is great news for the Town of Belchertown as we take another significant step forward in remediating the former State School site while increasing the business tax base for the Town,” said Belchertown Selectman Ronald Aponte. “The Board of Selectmen would like to thank our valued partners at MassDevelopment and the Belchertown EDIC for their continued hard work and advocacy for the development of the former State School site. Additionally, we look forward to working with the Grantham Group as they begin construction on this much-anticipated project.”

“Now the Grantham’s assisted living development can start construction on its state-of-the-art facility,” said BEDIC Chairman William Terry. “The Town will benefit as well as the region and the Commonwealth. With the assistance of MassDevelopment, the Town officials and our legislative team, we have a start to redevelop the former Belchertown State School.”

“MassDevelopment is grateful to the Commonwealth for providing the low-income housing tax credit allocation to this project, which is critical to ensuring the assisted living facility at the site moves forward,” said MassDevelopment President and CEO Marty Jones. “We look forward to working with our partners at the state and local levels to drive Carriage Grove’s progress.”  

In 2014, then-Governor Patrick ordered the release of $4 million in bond funds toward cleanup at the former State School campus, and the Baker-Polito Administration has continued to support the cleanup funding.  MassDevelopment executed a contract with the Executive Office of Administration and Finance and has programmed funds for demolition of additional buildings in the southern portion of the campus. In addition to supporting the development on Pad 1, the planned second phase of demolition will open up more development parcels for senior independent living, office space, and other businesses.  The Business Neighborhood Zoning District, approved by voters in December 2014, is intended to result in a vibrant, mixed-use neighborhood that encourages opportunities for businesses and residences in Belchertown.

MassDevelopment, the state’s finance and development agency, works with businesses, nonprofits, financial institutions, and communities to stimulate economic growth across the Commonwealth. During FY2015, MassDevelopment financed or managed 294 projects generating investment of more than $2.5 billion in the Massachusetts economy. These projects are projected to create about 6,100 jobs and build or rehabilitate about 2,000 residential units.