By Carol McCracken (Post # 294)
If all of the financial pieces fall into place as anticipated, it’s likely that new ground will be broken for the 40 unit townhouse style units located on the current site of the Marade Adams School property on the Hill, by early 2011. That latest information came from Ethan Boxer-Macomber, development officer for Avesta Housing.
The former Adams School was closed a few years ago when the new East End Community School at 195 North Street was opened. Following the closing an extensive and lengthy review process was conducted by co-chairs Matt Thayer and Dan Haley. The “Reuse Committee” discussed many options for the use of the building including housing and parking as well as community space, etc. “It was the most open public hearing ever in the city,” said Dan Haley earlier today.
The real estate market for high end condominium units is slow, but Avesta is pursuing the construction of the Beckett Green housing for middle-income families. However, to do this a subsidy of $3.6 million is required. To defray some of that cost, Avesta expects to be the recipient of $1.25 million of money from the economic stimulus recovery act. It also will be asking the city council next month to grant Avesta a TIF for housing in this instance. Avesta will continue to look for funding to build Beckett Green and there could be as many as 5 – 10 different sources of money said Boxer-Macomber earlier today. “There is no one signle entity” to finance the buiding he said. Hopefully, construction will begin by early 2011.
Avesta Housing recently hosted an informational meeting with some of the community. Avesta invited some immediate neighbors of the former school as well as those previously involved in the community process. This was the first of many such dialogues with the community said Boxer-Macomber.
The most recent tenant of the former elementary school was A Company of Girls who left last year. It was a well regarded non-profit for at risk girls in the area. A Company of Girls had prior to their residency at Adams, been evicted from its long-time rental at 10 Mayo Street. Wealthy businesswoman Roxanne Quimby purchased the historic building from PROP. This summer Backman Painting Co. repaired the exterior of the building and repainted it as well. However, Quimby has not been available to say what her future plans for this building are. Quimby has not returned phone calls from MHN.
For more information on the redevelopment of Adams School, please visit www.avestahousing.org. Click on About Us and then on News.