A dilapidated box factory has been converted into 40 affordable homes in Leominster, Mass.

Twin Cities Community Development Corp. (CDC) took on the difficult redevelopment project in order to provide affordable housing options in Leominster and revitalize the town’s Comb and Carriage neighborhood.

Originally built in 1893, the building had fallen into severe disrepair and stood as one of the largest barriers between its neighborhood and the city’s downtown.

“We thought transforming that one building would be a game changer for the neighborhood,” says Mark Dohan, executive director of Twin Cities CDC.

Extensive work was needed to realign and strengthen the building, which was being pushed by a retaining wall.

Inside, one- to four-bedroom apartments were created for residents earning no more than 60 percent of the area median income. Larger units were included to serve the neighborhood’s many families.

Because there are many children living at Water Mill Apartments, the developers made it their first smoke-free building. They are seeking LEED certification.

The $15.4 million development utilizes four different tax credits. Massachusetts Housing Investment Corp. provided $7.8 million in low-income housing tax credit equity. Avidia Bank added a $1 million “side-by-side” investment, the bank’s first LIHTC transaction.

State and federal historic tax credits, state brownfield credits, and Neighbor­hood Stabilization Program funds were also used.

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