Increasing access to market-rate and affordable housing for residents
CHELSEA – May 15, 2014 – (RealEstateRama) — Governor Deval Patrick today joined local officials at the ribbon cutting ceremony of Flats at 44, the first Housing Development Incentive Program (HDIP) project to be completed.
“Growth requires investment, and investments like these to support increased access to housing will help catalyze growth in Chelsea and beyond,” said Governor Patrick. “If we want to expand opportunity in our Commonwealth, this is what government must do and do well.”
Flats at 44 offers 41 market-rate and five affordable new rental housing units for residents. The project included the rehabilitation of an older industrial building and the development of new modular construction. The complex offers studios, one-bedrooms and two-bedroom homes and is over 80 percent leased.
The HDIP provides a state income tax credit of up to 10 percent of the qualified cost of rehabilitations that create market-rate housing in Gateway Cities. As an HDIP project, Flats at 44 will receive approximately $830,000 in state income tax credits and will receive a local real estate tax break.
In addition to the ribbon cutting, Governor Patrick attended the groundbreaking ceremony for Flats at 22, another mixed-income project using affordable housing resources. This complex will include 50 rental apartments, 21 of which will be affordable.
Flats at 44 and Flats at 22 are the latest additions to Chelsea’s Box District, an award-winning revitalization project of a vacant and underutilized industrial area. In the last seven years, seven new residential projects have been built, creating a mixed-income neighborhood close to Chelsea’s downtown. Before the redevelopment, the Box District was impacted by a multitude of contamination issues that resulted from polychlorinated biphenyl, lead, various oil products, underground storage tanks and a variety of urban fill problems in the soils. Since 2007, MassDevelopment has awarded over $1.6 million in Brownfields Redevelopment funds to clean up the site so that the development could move forward.
In addition to the two Flats projects, the state has invested in the revitalization of a local park in the Box District through a $500,000 Parkland Acquisitions and Renovations for Communities Grant from the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs and a $350,000 Community Development Block Grant through the Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD).
“This housing initiative not only adds to the availability of affordable housing stock in Chelsea, it is also helping to transform an old industrial section of the city,” said Congressman Mike Capuano. “The Flats at 44 and 22 have added to the continued revitalization of Chelsea’s Box District, and I commend state and local officials for their vision.”
”The Flats are a great example of how the Patrick Administration’s initial investments in affordable housing in the Box district have paid off,” said DHCD Undersecretary Aaron Gornstein. “They have unlocked private investments in market-rate housing and have transformed this Gateway City neighborhood. Our new program, the HDIP, has been critical to enabling this private investment.”
In October 2013, Governor Patrick announced the Silver Line Gateway Expansion, which will create a new branch of the MBTA Silver Line Service that will connect South Station and the Seaport District with East Boston and Chelsea. This service is projected to carry 9,000 riders per day with an estimated travel time of just 15 to 19 minutes from the Seaport to Chelsea, connecting thousands of residents north of downtown Boston with work and play opportunities in the rapidly growing Seaport District. The Silver Line Gateway Expansion will also include the modernization of the Chelsea Commuter Rail Station, which will be relocated to Everett Avenue as part of a new multimodal Silver Line/Commuter Rail Station that will be fully accessible and ADA compliant. In addition, the Massachusetts Department of Transportation will begin reconstruction on the Washington Avenue Bridge.
“This is an exciting time for the City of Chelsea, and the Box District, in particular,” said Representative RoseLee Vincent. “Chelsea is a city on the rise, and has so much to offer folks looking to move to an urban community in the Greater Boston area. With the Chelsea Flats project, Mitchell Properties and The Neighborhood Developers, in coordination with the City, have created and continue to create beautiful developments that will house families, and revitalize neighborhoods.”
“The Box District and the Flats at 22 and 44 are a perfect example of collaboration between city, state, developers and non-profits,” Chelsea City Council President Matt Frank. “Chelsea is both lucky and proud to have such innovative development in our community. We thank Governor Patrick for his support in these endeavors and for his leadership in expanding the Silverline into Chelsea.”
Last month, Governor Patrick filed An Act to Promote Growth and Opportunity, which expands the HDIP to provide residents of Gateway Cities with increased access to housing, including affordable housing. The expansion of the HDIP eliminates the 50-unit per development cap on the number of units per development and increases the state income tax credits available from $5 million to $10 million for the next four years.
The bill provides $15 million for the creation of a Gateway Cities Transformative Development Fund. The fund, overseen by MassDevelopment, will bring growth and opportunity to Gateway Cities, including Chelsea, by enabling equity investments and technical assistance to support transformative development in these communities. Additionally, the fund will support the creation of collaborative workspaces to assist startups and entrepreneurs in Gateway Cities. It also provides an additional $10 million in funding for the Brownfields Redevelopment Fund to support environmental site assessments and cleanup.
The legislation creates tools and training so our workforce is prepared to meet the needs of employers, invests in our communities to promote economic development across the entire state and provides incentives to create jobs and stimulate the economy. The bill furthers the Administration’s proven growth strategy of investing in education, innovation and infrastructure that has led to record job creation in Massachusetts and has made the Commonwealth a global leader in key innovation economy sectors.
For more on the bill, visit www.mass.gov/compete.
Emily Fitzmaurice (HED)