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Worcester Business Journal, Timothy Doyle

Leominster apartment conversion loaned $2.75M from MassDevelopment

May 03, 2023

MassDevelopment has loaned $2.75 million to Boston developer Cougar Capital Management to convert an abandoned mill building in Leominster into 17 market-rate apartments.

The building at 34 Tremaine St. was built in 1890 and has been vacant since 2008. It was previously home to Earl Company Factory, the Howe Comb Co., and the Cornelius E. Buckley Co., according to a Wednesday press release from MassDevelopment.

"We are excited for our third historic adaptive reuse project in Leominster, MA with help from MassDevelopment,” Cougar Capital Management Owner Dan Botwinik said in the press release. “34 Tremaine has sat vacant for over 15 years and this project will bring much-needed market-rate housing to a downtown location while revitalizing a historic mill building in desperate need of rehabilitation. Without the support from MassDevelopment and the City of Leominster, this piece of American history would have been lost."

Once renovated, the building will offer three studio units and 14 one-bedroom units. Construction will begin this spring and is expected to be complete in spring 2024.

MassDevelopment’s loan financing included a $2.25 million construction-to-permanent commercial real estate loan and a $500,000 tax credit bridge loan. MassDevelopment previously supported the project in 2022 by awarding a $725,000 grant from the Commonwealth’s Underutilized Properties Program to fund renovations and improvements to the building. The project is also supported by state and federal historic building tax credits.

The developer purchased the property in through its affiliate 34 Tremaine Street LLC in 2021 for $300,000 according to the Worcester North District Registry of Deeds.

MassDevelopment has previously supported projects by Cougar Capital Management. In 2021, MassDevelopment partnered with Clinton Savings Bank to provide the company with a $2.52-million loan to convert a historic vacant former rooming house at 41 Summer St. in downtown Leominster into 21 market-rate apartments.

In 2019, MassDevelopment provided $6 million in loan financing to help Cougar Capital Management redevelop the former W.S. Reed Toy Co. factory at 45 Summer St. in Leominster into the Toy Factory Apartments. The formerly vacant mill building now features 36 market-rate one- and two-bedroom apartments.

Cougar Capital Management has residential developments in Boston, the North Shore, Bristol County, as we all as in New Hampshire and Rhode Island.