Massachusetts Housing Investment Corp. (MHIC) has closed a $3.6 million low-income housing tax credit (LIHTC) investment to help build a new affordable housing development in Cambridge, Mass.

Port Landing may be small at 20 units, but it's an important project for the area.

Capstone Communities and Hope Real Estate Enterprises, both Cambridge-based, are co-developing the project on a vacant 10,000-square-foot lot. In 1998, the Bulfinch Cos., a Needham, Mass.–based real estate firm deeded the property to a local neighborhood group. The deed required that it could only be used for specific community-serving uses, but the land remained undeveloped and vacant for nearly 17 years.

Port Landing broke ground in early August and will
be completed in the summer of 2016. (Rendering courtesy of Prellwitz Chilinski
Port Landing broke ground in early August and will be completed in the summer of 2016. (Rendering courtesy of Prellwitz Chilinski Associates.)

The $9 million development is located at a key intersection of residential and business neighborhoods. It is adjacent to Biomed, across the street from a city-owned park, and within walking distance to Inman Square and Central Square, neighborhoods with a variety of local restaurants, grocery stores, banks, and retail stores. The area is well served by public transit and within walking distance to major job centers and schools. 

Port Landing will be a three-story wood-frame building with an elevator. The ground floor will feature six residential units and a small management office, and the second and third floors each will have seven residences. One unit will be handicap accessible, and one will be equipped for a household with sensory impairment.

“Port Landing will provide high-quality apartment homes to hard-working families who have been priced out of Cambridge,” said Capstone Principal Jason Korb in a statement. “We are excited that MHIC is partnering with us on this vital community development initiative.”

Rents will be 70% less than comparative market-rate developments, according to Sean D. Hope, principal at Hope Real Estate.

“The need for affordable rental housing in Cambridge is acute, and, in this case, we had a chance not only to add new family housing but also to help implement a community vision," said MHIC President Joe Flatley.

Other sources of financing include:

  • $4.9 million on bond funding issued by MassDevelopment, with the bonds purchased by Cambridge Trust Co.;
  • $2 million from the Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development (including a $500,000 loan from the HOME program, a $500,000 loan from the Commercial Area Transit Node Housing Program, and a $1,000,000 loan from the Affordable Housing Trust Fund administered by MassHousing);
  • $504,466 loan from the city of Cambridge;
  • $2.2 million loan from the Cambridge Affordable Housing Trust Fund for construction; and
  • $784,861 loan from the Cambridge Affordable Housing Trust for acquisition.

Keith Construction of Stoughton is the contractor, and Cambridge-based Prellwitz Chilinski Associates is the architectural firm.