Tammy Brook Dwellers in Weymouth Have New Owner

December 8, 2009

GateHouse News Service, by Ed Baker

Weymouth – MassDevelopment approved last week $10.17 million in tax-exempt bonds for Beacon Communities LLC to buy the 90-unit Tammy Brook apartment complex on King Avenue.

The bonds will permit Beacon Communities to retain 65 units for tenants who earn less than the state’s median income and complete some maintenance upgrades to the property.

“The sale closed on Dec. 3,” said Mark Epker, senior vice-president of Beacon Communities, on Dec. 7. “These transactions are complex and time consuming. It required the commitment of a lot of people. We are happy to have closed the sale, and it is a good thing for the residents and the town.”

Tammy Brook has 90 apartments that include family size units with two and three bedrooms.

The complex, built in 1968, is one of the first locations to accommodate tenants who have incomes that are below the state’s average median wage.

“It is an apartment community that has been home for many people for decades,” Epker said. “Our goal is to be a long-term owner and invest in capital work up front and manage the property for a long time.”

Beacon Communities had been attempting to close a purchase of the complex during the past nine months.

Mayor Susan Kay and the town council gave Beacon an assist by approving in late June a $150,000 loan to the firm to upgrade the aging amenities under the state Community Preservation Act. 

The council voted 10-1 to approve the funding on the condition that Beacon secured financing to purchase the site.

Beacon must repay the loan over a 40-year period with a five percent interest rate that was set by the state Department of Community and Housing Development.

Beacon plans to combine the funds with $100,000 it obtained under the federal home fund to finance repairs to the complex.

“It is a 40-year-old property that has been very well maintained over time, but certain components have exceeded their useful life,” Epker said. “We will be doing some investing into the property during the next 40 years. We will be replacing the heating systems and the roofs, and we will do some general maintenance upgrades across the site.”

Many of the units have aging carpets and heating systems, but the complex exterior appears to be in good condition.

Some of the apartments need to be painted and, the site needs improved access for disabled people under the 1993 Americans With Disabilities Act.

Beacon plans to improve water conservation at the site with low flow faucets in the kitchens and bathrooms.

The renovations will additionally include converting a maintenance shed into a management office and community room. 

Beacon plans to construct a multi-storage shed for storing tools, paint new lanes in the parking lot, upgrade electrical systems, and replace outdated smoke and carbon monoxide alarms.

Epker said that Beacon plans to start the overhauls soon.

“We are in the holiday season, so we don’t want to disrupt the tenants,” he said. “A lot of the work won’t be able to get started until spring arrives. We are looking to get started with the work in late winter and early spring.”

Epker said that a combined effort by several state and municipal agencies helped Beacon purchase Tammy Brook.

“This is an example of Gov. (Deval) Patrick’s commitment to the preservation of affordable housing,” he said. “This would not have happened without the cooperation and support of MassDevelopment, the Department of Housing and Community Development, MassHousing, the town of Weymouth, the Quincy Home Consortium, CW Capital LLC, and Freddie Mac.”

MassDevelopment President and CEO Robert L. Culver said that the bonds would ensure that the Tammy Brook units are rented at affordable rents under the state’s housing laws.

“We’re pleased that MassDevelopment can help BC Tammy Brook (an affiliate of Beacon Communities) move ahead with the purchase of Tammy Brook apartments and continue to provide affordable housing in Weymouth,” he said.

State Sen. Robert Hedlund, R- Weymouth said the town would have lost 65 affordable units if MassDevelopment did not approve the bonds.

“Without this money, the town of Weymouth would have lost 65 much-needed affordable housing,” Hedlund said. “According to the CEDAC, (Community Economic Development Assistance Corp.) we are in danger of losing 23,000 affordable units across the Commonwealth over the next few years.”

© Copyright 2009 GateHouse News Service.