MassHousing announced that it has closed $171.2 million in loans for the acquisition, renovation, and preservation of the 967-unit Georgetowne Homes in Boston’s Hyde Park neighborhood. It’s the largest transaction in the agency’s 47-year history for a single rental housing development and the largest preservation of affordable housing in state history.
The Georgetowne Homes development is being acquired and rehabilitated by an affiliate of Beacon Communities, one of the nation's top affordable housing developers and owners. As a condition of the financing, Beacon Communities will extend two federal Sec. 8 Housing Assistance Payment contracts covering 681 apartments, extending their affordability to low-income families. The remaining 286 units will continue to be affordable as a result of the use of low-income housing tax credits.
MassHousing provided $116.9 million in construction and permanent financing and $52.4 million in bridge financing. An additional $1.9 million in financing came from the Affordable Housing Trust Fund, which is managed by MassHousing on behalf of the state Department of Housing and Community Development, and $2 million was provided by the city of Boston.
“The support and assistance of MassHousing, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development, and the city of Boston have provided us the resources necessary to modernize Georgetowne so that it will continue to be an outstanding affordable housing community within the thriving Hyde Park neighborhood for decades to come,’’ said Howard Cohen, CEO of Beacon Communities.
Georgetowne Homes was developed in two phases in 1970 and 1972. It is comprised of 121 one-bedroom apartments, 800 two-bedroom apartments, and 46 three-bedroom apartments in 68 two and three-story townhouse and walk-up buildings. The property is located on a large, landscaped private site in Hyde Park and contains playgrounds and a community center.
Planned renovations include new energy-efficient windows and building siding, new air sealing and insulation to reduce the loss of heat and air conditioning, and the installation of high-performance and energy-efficient heating systems, which are expected to lower heating costs. There will also be an increase in the number of handicapped-accessible units and site accessibility improvements to comply with current law.
The contractor will be Suffolk Construction, the architect is Davis Square Architects, and the management agent is Beacon Residential Management.
Beacon Communities is also involved in the preservation of the Ames Shovel Works factory in Easton, Mass. The firm is No. 21 on Affordable Housing Finance’s list of Top 50 developers and No. 14 on the list of Top 50 owners this year.