An affordable housing development that will be across the street from the public library in Holyoke, Mass., has received its final piece of financing—$23 million provided by the Massachusetts Housing Investment Corp. (MHIC).

The 38-unit Library Commons will be located across from the public library in Holyoke, Mass.
Courtesy Massachusetts Housing Investment Corp. The 38-unit Library Commons will be located across from the public library in Holyoke, Mass.

Library Commons is being developed by Way Finders, the largest nonprofit developer of affordable housing in western Massachusetts. Way Finders has begun construction, which involves rehabilitation of two vacant historic buildings, demolition of a severely deteriorated building, and construction of a new building.

MHIC put the final piece of financing in place with $10.4 million in low-income housing tax credit financing and a $12.6 million construction loan. The project has also received a $550,000 permanent loan from Massachusetts Housing Partnership, $4.8 million from the state Department of Housing and Community Development, $400,000 from the city of Holyoke, and $1 million in acquisition and predevelopment financing from CEDAC.

“After much planning and investment from our staff, partners, and the community, Way Finders is thrilled to be bringing these beautiful buildings back to life and to be contributing to the continued revitalization of downtown Holyoke,” said Peter Gagliardi, Way Finders president and CEO, in a statement.

As well as being close to the library, Library Commons is two blocks from Holyoke Central business district, less than 0.1 miles from public transit, less than a mile away from an Amtrak rail stop that connects Holyoke to nearby cities, and an easy walk to retail stores, the YMCA, Holyoke Health Center, parks, schools, and many other services and amenities. The project is scheduled to be completed in August 2020.

Library Commons will include 940 square feet of retail space, a property management office, laundry facilities, an outdoor play area, bike racks, community facilities, and an art gallery. Way Finders intends to provide support services for residents and to rent up to 10 apartments to participants of The Care Center’s (TCC) Roque House supportive-services program. TCC is an educational institution that prepares pregnant and parenting young women for college and careers. Roque House will also offer arts and educational programming to Library Commons residents.

“We are pleased to work with our longtime partner Way Finders to build on the progress made with revitalization the Holyoke Public Library. We are confident that new housing opportunities with access to jobs, education, and entertainment will further stabilize the neighborhood and improve the lives of its residents,” said Joe Flatley, president of MHIC.

The architect for Library Commons is Dietz & Company Architects, and the contractor is N.L. Construction.