Downtown Attleboro apartment project gets $11.2 million in funding

May 1, 2023 : The Sun Chronicle, George W. Rhodes

ATTLEBORO — A downtown apartment project first proposed four years ago has won more than $11 million in financing for its construction.

MassDevelopment has partnered with Harbor- One Bank to provide $11,279,760 to 54 Union Street, LLC, which will convert a former five-story factory at that address and a two-story factory at 12 Dunham St., which is attached into 43 market-rate apartments.

MassDevelopment and HarborOne are 50-50 participants in the financing, which includes a construction loan, Housing Development Incentive Program bridge loan, and a federal and state historic tax credits bridge loan.

Developer Jonathan Cozzens out of Haverhill heads up 54 Union Street LLC.

Cozzens bought the building from Peter Alexander Realty in July 2020 for $800,000.

He got permits for the work in January 2020.

“Adding 43 market-rate apartments helps us fight the housing crisis and diversifies the housing stock with a mix of market rate and affordable units across the community. We should applaud Attleboro for seeing the value in both,” MassDevelopment President and CEO Dan Rivera said.

“The revitalization of 54 Union St. honors Attleboro’s rich industrial history while creating 43 modern transit-oriented market-rate apartments in downtown,” HarborOne Institutional Lending Market Leader John McBride said.

The building is just across the street from the MBTA Commuter Rail Station.

54 Union St. is in an area of Attleboro currently served by MassDevelopment’s Transformative Development Initiative, a program designed to accelerate economic growth within focused districts in Gateway Cities.

Mayor Cathleen DeSimone described the deal as a “win-win.”

“We preserve the character of the city while adding more housing, which is vital to our ongoing downtown revitalization project because it means more foot traffic and more shops and restaurants,” she said.

Cozzens has developed several projects in Haverhill and Lowell, each of which was completed on time and within budget and all are fully occupied, a press release said.

“This project represents a major win for the City of Attleboro and its residents and would not have been possible without the HDIP tax credit which was created to assist Gateway Cities like Attleboro develop market-rate housing,” Cozzens said.

The structures at 54 Union and 12 Dunham once housed the Metal Tile Technology and Plastic Craft companies, respectively.

54 Union was built in 1908 and once housed the A.S. Ingraham Co., which produced chemicals, paints and varnishes. The building at 12 Dunham was built in 1931 and housed Plastic Crafts since that time.