May 17, 2017
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MassHousing has provided $21 million in financing to an affiliate of First Resource Companies for the preservation of affordability and extensive renovations at the 173-unit Maple Commons Apartments in downtown Springfield.

First Resource Companies has launched extensive property renovations and safety improvements at the property, including building envelope repairs, window replacement, roof replacement, boiler replacement, HVAC upgrades and apartment upgrades. First Resource Companies will also install a state-of-the-art security system that will include 150 cameras over two city blocks that will be connected directly to the Springfield Police Department.

“This transaction is providing a great outcome for the residents of Maple Commons and for the City of Springfield with the transformation of this neighborhood,’’ said MassHousing Executive Director Tim Sullivan. “First Resource has a proven track record of revitalizing neighborhoods, especially in western Massachusetts, and helping to make them safer for the residents who live there. We are pleased to be able to partner with them again at Maple Commons.’’

“From affordable housing to market-rate, first time homebuyers, MassHousing has been a terrific partner to our City of Springfield,’’ said Mayor Domenic Sarno. “Along with first-class developer, First Resource Companies, I know this will be a positive project that continues to improve the quality of life for our residents and their families. I deeply appreciate their continued belief and investment in our Springfield.”

MassHousing provided a $21 million bridge loan with a 2.40% interest rate. The Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) has allocated a total of $35 million in state and federal low-income housing tax credits to Maple Commons. This transaction also received an allocation of federal historic tax credits and HOME financing from DHCD and the City of Springfield.

All 173 apartments at Maple Commons are covered by a federal Section 8 Housing Assistance Payment Contract (HAP) through 2021, and First Resource Companies plans to extend the HAP contract for an additional 20 years.

“We were excited this year to hear that Maple Commons was funded,’’ said First Resource Companies President Gordon Pulsifer. “Our development plan in Springfield for Maple Commons as with our other neighborhood projects in this area has been to work closely with Mayor Sarno and the Springfield Planning Department and City Council, all of whom have placed this neighborhood as high priority. With the funding recently received from DHCD and MassHousing the First Resource Development team will be able to move forward with the renovation plan for 11 buildings and the redesign of this entire neighborhood. Maple Commons is in downtown Springfield in its own historic district known as the Lower Maple Historic District. This neighborhood in recent years has been hit hard with crime and with this funding we will be bringing significant change not only with the complete renovation to all apartments and common areas but also with the installation of surveillance equipment and increasing the visibility of management,’’ Pulsifer added.

“In addition, we will be adding video intercom systems for all apartments which will provide additional security for residents. We look forward to working with MassHousing and DHCD to bring change for the Maple Commons residents and to this neighborhood.”

The Maple Commons Apartments are in scattered buildings on High Street, School Street and Union Street in downtown Springfield and consist of 102 one-bedroom apartments, 63 two-bedroom apartments and 8 three-bedroom apartments.

MassHousing has financed or administered 42 rental housing communities in Springfield involving 5,512 housing units and has provided $74.9 million in financing to more than 4,000 Springfield homebuyers or homeowners who refinanced their property.