Developer of 29-unit Downtown Gardner project receives $3M in financing

October 6, 2022 : Worcester Business Journal, by Timothy Doyle

Mass Ave Rentals LLC, led by developer Gary Lorden, received $2.9 million in financing from MassDevelopment and Fidelity Bank of Leominster, to convert two vacant commercial buildings in downtown Gardner into 29 market-rate apartments.

The buildings at 42-50 and 52 Parker St. will offer both one- and two-bedroom apartments, according to a Thursday press release by MassDevelopment.

The Gardner Redevelopment Authority acquired the properties in 2017 using a $400,000 grant from the Commonwealth’s Site Readiness Program as part of its Main Street Redevelopment Plan.

Mass Ave Rentals received a $900,000 grant from the Commonwealth’s Underutilized Properties Program in 2021 to support initial renovations and improvements.

“Housing is at the core of bringing back downtowns, and Gardner is leading the way with this project, showing other cities and towns how to transform downtowns,” MassDevelopment President and CEO Dan Rivera said in the press release.

Construction on the project began in July and is expected to be complete by July 2023. 

MassDevelopment and Fidelity Bank provided an $11.5 million to Lordon in 2017 for construction of the 120-unit Whalom Luxury Apartments in Lunenburg.

Lordon received assistance from MassDevelopment with his 2008 conversion of the former Goodnow Pearson Building in downtown Gardner into 27 market-rate housing units.

“This is the first time a project like this has been done in Gardner in well over a decade, and I look forward to seeing people call Gardner their new home through this project. I would like to thank MassDevelopment for their continued investment in our community and Mass Ave Rentals for investing in our city,” said Gardner Mayor Michael Nicholson.