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New Mission for Historic Chapel

MassDevelopment & Bay State Savings Bank Partner to Finance Renovation & Conversion of Historic Mission Chapel into Market-Rate Apartments in Downtown Worcester
March 01, 2023

Matthew Mogavero, 857-248-0868

Matt Kiefer, Mission on Summer, 617-816-6533

WORCESTER, Mass. – MassDevelopment has partnered with Bay State Savings Bank to provide over $3.1 million in loan financing to Mission on Summer to assist in the renovation and conversion of the historic and long-vacant Mission Chapel at 205 Summer St. in downtown Worcester into seven market-rate apartments. MassDevelopment is providing a $1.5 million tax credit bridge loan while Bay State is providing a $1,611,727 construction-to-permanent first mortgage loan. Once complete, the building will include four one-bedroom units, two two-bedroom units, and one three-bedroom unit. Mission on Summer, led by principal Nan Porter and Matt Kiefer, is working in partnership with The Traggorth Companies and the Worcester-based design-build firm Sustainable Comfort.

“Massachusetts faces a housing crisis, and repurposing treasured properties like this serves to increase our housing supply and add vibrancy in our communities,” said MassDevelopment President and CEO Dan Rivera. “Converting the historic and long-vacant Mission Chapel into seven market-rate apartments for downtown Worcester is how we manage this crisis.” 

“We are very excited to partner with MassDevelopment to fund the redevelopment of the historic Mission Chapel, which is less than one half mile from Bay State Savings Bank’s headquarters,” said Bay State Savings Bank Executive Vice President and Senior Lender Maria Heskes-Allard. “Not only will the project bring vital, missing housing to downtown, but it also supports the continued growth and development Worcester has seen over the past few years while preserving the character and charm of the city and its neighborhood which residents love.” 

The project is also being supported by $900,000 in Housing Development Incentive Program (HDIP) tax credits issued through the Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development, as well as both state and federal Historic Building Tax Credits (HTCs).

“The City of Worcester is pleased to work with Mission on Summer, LLC on the adaptive reuse and historic preservation of this important asset for Worcester,” said Worcester City Manager Eric D. Batista. “We thank MassDevelopment, Bay State Savings Bank and all the partners that are making this project a reality.”

The Mission Chapel was built in 1854 by Ichabod Washburn, a Worcester industrialist and one of the original founders and benefactors of Worcester Polytechnic Institute. Mr. Washburn, a congregational church deacon, founded the Worcester Area Mission Society in the early 1800s to provide food, clothing, and other forms of assistance to immigrants who settled in Worcester. He erected the non-denominational Mission Chapel so workers could worship free of cost. The building is one of the oldest churches in Worcester and is currently listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It has also been included on Preservation Worcester’s Top 10 list of most endangered buildings in Worcester. The property was previously owned by the Worcester Redevelopment Authority (as part of the Medical City Urban Redevelopment Plan) and has been vacant for more than 25 years.

“We are gratified to return this historic gem to active use as 7 distinctive apartments in a premier location near downtown Worcester, St. Vincent Hospital, Union Station and the Canal District,” said Mission on Summer Principal Nan Porter. “We’re enormously grateful for the support we’ve received at every turn from the City of Worcester, Preservation Worcester, and our lenders at Bay State Savings Bank and MassDevelopment.”

MassDevelopment, the state’s development finance agency and land bank, works with businesses, nonprofits, banks, and communities to stimulate economic growth across the Commonwealth. During FY2022, MassDevelopment financed or managed 356 projects generating investment of more than $1.69 billion in the Massachusetts economy. These projects are estimated to create or support 11,080 jobs and build or preserve 1,778 housing units.