BOSTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The completion of financing for two historic redevelopment projects — bringing affordable housing, offices and commercial space to Franklin County in Western Massachusetts — has been announced by The Cherrytree Group of Newton.
Several abandoned buildings located within historic districts in Millers Falls and Turners Falls were preserved by the projects, undertaken by Pioneer Valley Redevelopers and Obear Construction Company.
In Millers Falls, three buildings were transformed into four affordable housing units, two residential units, three offices and a retail unit. In all, the project created 11,000 square feet of space.
Two of the buildings on East Main Street were built in 1902, while the Powers Block Building on Bridge Street was built in 1897. All have been designated by the state as historic structures.
Meanwhile, Turners Falls is gaining eight affordable housing units at a previously abandoned paper mill along the Montague Power Canal Reservoir. The brick building was originally built in the late 1800s.
For the developers, Cherrytree Group obtained $600,000 in tax credit equity for the projects, which cost over $2 million to complete.
Warren Kirshenbaum of the Cherrytree Group said these projects illustrate how the use of tax credits can give both developers and investors a way to re-energize America’s small towns by preserving historic structures.
“Everyone wins. Developers reduce costs, investors reduce tax liabilities and the community gets a fresh new stock of safer, affordable dwellings and commercial space,” Kirshenbaum said. “This single project has given 12 families an affordable place to live, as well as an entrepreneur a chance to take a shot at success,” he said, referring to a new small business that has occupied part of the Millers Falls building.
“A lot of people told me I was crazy to take on the project, and honestly, I had my doubts,” said Robert Obear of Obear Construction. “Now, everyone tells me how much the renovated buildings have improved both neighborhoods. It feels good to make that much of a positive impact.”
Cherrytree Group offers tax credit consulting, brokerage and syndication services to developers as well as to individual and institutional investors. The firm applies for, secures and monetizes available Federal and state tax credits. Cherrytree focuses primarily on credits for historic preservation, renewable energy and the clean-up of contaminated lands.