The Rental Housing Association (RHA) of the Greater Boston Real Estate Board (GBREB) has selected Union Crossing in Lawrence, Massachusetts as winner of its 2013 Community of Excellence Award in the category: Affordable.
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.
For additional details on the GBREB/RHA Award program, see http://gbreb.com/rha/rhaexpo/.