The Concord Highlands site is approximately one acre and located across Concord Avenue from Fresh Pond in the Alewife-Cambridge Highlands neighborhood. This site represents an opportunity to create the largest new rental family housing in Cambridge in over 40 years. CNAHS will re-purpose the existing site, which was previously occupied by private businesses, for new housing development. Concord Highlands will provide 98 new affordable rental units at 671-675 Concord Ave to families with a range of incomes.
CNAHS became the owner of Matheson Apartments, 70 units of affordable housing in downtown Worcester, in December 2017. In this role, CNAHS has an opportunity to refinance, rehabilitate and recapitalize the project; we are committed to keeping the building at the affordability levels determined by the expired HUD Regulatory Agreement until the project is refinanced and subject to new and extended restrictions. CNAHS staff are currently applying for Historic Tax Credits and other financing, as well as working with the City of Worcester. Most Matheson residents are low-income immigrant families; in addition to working with local community groups to help residents access resources, CNAHS is looking forward to introducing and/or expanding resident programs that can help support the community.
808 Memorial Drive
In the mid ‘90s CNAHS worked with the tenant organization of 808–812 Memorial Drive for several years to purchase this expiring use property, which was in danger of having its affordability restrictions expire through the mortgage prepayment. The residents and CNAHS jointly operate this 300-unit, $42 million mixed-income, mixed-use project that includes a preschool, office space, a parking garage, and two gas stations.
The acquisition and rehabilitation of the property required a creative financial plan, which incorporated a multitude of funding sources, including Low Income Housing Tax Credits and HUD Low Income Housing Preservation funds (the first such combination in the country). $13 million in renovations were completed in 1998 and further improvements will continue for the next several years. Some recent improvements include a computer learning center, improved community space, new laundry facilities, a fitness center, the redesign of the interior courtyard and front marketing entrance, and the installation of a “green” co-generation mechanical system.
In June 2018, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruled in CNAHS’s favor on a lengthy legal battle with the property investor of 808-812 Memorial Drive over the acquisition price of the property, thereby securing the longevity of the buildings and lasting affordability for the residents. CNAHS, along with architect Bruner/Cott and general contractor NEI, are now focused on a substantial rehabilitation of the property to address significant capital needs. Chiefly, this will entail a recladding of the buildings to fix existing air and water infiltrations and provide greater energy efficiency. The scope will also include interior renovations, improving kitchens and bathrooms in units and updating common areas and mechanical systems throughout the building.