The National Affordable Housing Management Association (NAHMA) has selected Union Crossing in Lawrence, Massachusetts as winner of its Affordable Housing Vanguard Award in the category of Major Rehabilitation of a Non-Housing Structure.
Vanguard Award for Major Rehabilitation of a Non-Housing Structure:
* Union Crossing, Lawrence, MA; Management Company: First Realty Management, Inc., Boston, MA; Owner: Lawrence Community Works, Lawrence, MA
Union Crossing was developed by the nonprofit Lawrence Community Works, which transformed a complex of former textile mills along the Merrimack River in Lawrence, Mass., into a thriving, mixed-use neighborhood. The project includes a mix of residential and commercial spaces, as well as substantial infrastructure upgrades in the surrounding area. Located on a 5.5 acre riverfront site within walking distance of both the commuter rail station and downtown Lawrence, the redevelopment includes 60 new units of affordable, energy-efficient family housing, 33,000 sq. ft. of renovated commercial space, a new riverfront playground and community gardens, a new bridge for the North Canal, and improved streetscape amenities. The Union Crossing Project was the most ambitious effort undertaken by the City of Lawrence Community Development Department in over a decade and is truly a model public/private partnership. In keeping with the project goals, some 125-175 temporary jobs, and up to 225 permanent jobs are being generated. Brownfields contaminants have been abated, and new, environmentally sustainable housing and commercial/retail space have been created. Financing came in the form of an assessment grant from the City of Lawrence of $47,000, MassDevelopment Cleanup Funding of $826,870, a Community Development Action Grant of $2 million, a More Jobs Grant of $1,463,000, Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (American Recovery and Reinvestment) funds of $550,000, City of Lawrence (HOME and EDI) funds of $1,313,000, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Funds of $6.3 million, the U.S. Small Business Administration for $200,000, and private partners who invested $31 million. Construction was completed on schedule and the first residential units were ready for occupancy in October 2011.
These awards were created to recognize newly developed or significantly rehabbed affordable multifamily housing communities that showcase quality design and financing.
The Vanguard Awards celebrate success in the multifamily affordable housing industry by recognizing and benchmarking new, quality, multifamily affordable housing development or significant rehab. The award:
- Demonstrates that exceptional new affordable housing is available across the country, and that it is an asset to any neighborhood;
- Demonstrates that the affordable multifamily industry must be creative and innovative to create exceptional properties given the financing and other challenges to development;
- Highlights results of private-public partnerships required to develop today’s affordable housing; and
- Shares ideas for unique design and financing mechanisms with industry practitioners to further stimulate creative development in the affordable multifamily industry.
For additional details on the NAHMA Vanguard Award program, see http://www.nahma.org/content/vanguard2013.html.