Leominster, MA MassDevelopment has issued a $6.96 million tax-exempt bond on behalf of Ivory Keys LLC, an affiliate of the project’s sponsor, L.D. Russo Inc., a construction and development firm in Harvard. L.D. Russo will use bond proceeds to transform a vacant historic mill building that formerly housed a piano manufacturing facility in the town’s Adams St. neighborhood into a 41-unit affordable rental housing complex. All units will be affordable to residents with incomes at or below 60% of the area’s median income, while four units will be set aside for homeless individuals and families, and four will be reserved for residents eligible for the Commonwealth’s Community Based Housing program, which provides funding for the development of housing for people with disabilities, including elders.
MassDevelopment also assisted the Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development with the approval of federal low income tax credits that will provide $3.6 million in equity for the project, and Enterprise Bank purchased the bond.
“This project is a prime example of how a public-private partnership works best to grow the Commonwealth’s housing stock, create jobs, save historic buildings, and rebuild an entire neighborhood,” said MassDevelopment executive vice president of finance programs Laura Canter. “MassDevelopment is proud to see the transformation of properties in downtown Leominster and we congratulate L.D. Russo Inc. on delivering this housing project, which aligns with our economic development mission to support Massachusetts’ Gateway Cities.”
MassDevelopment has a long history with the Adams St. neighborhood. In 2012, the agency provided two loans totaling $2.74 million to support the redevelopment of City Place at 98 Adams St. The developer, Jim Whitney, used proceeds to buy and transform one of two buildings at an abandoned five-acre manufacturing site into a professional office building. MassDevelopment provided a $5 million loan in 2015 for the second phase of this project to Whitney for The Lofts at City Place LLC, which converted the second abandoned building into 51 units of market-rate housing. This loan leveraged a 2014 $1.3 million MassWorks grant from the Commonwealth to support infrastructure improvements around the City Place development.
Founded in 1977, L.D. Russo Inc. is a construction and development company that focuses on client needs to provide high-quality project services. The company offers general contracting, budget analysis and support, property development, earthwork, site development, and construction management. L.D. Russo has managed a variety of projects ranging from healthcare and government buildings to affordable housing projects.
“With Ivory Keys, L. D. Russo has the opportunity to combine the creation of high-quality affordable housing with the renovation of an historic mill building, completing the redevelopment of Leominster’s Adams Street neighborhood,” said L. D. Russo president Lou Russo. “Construction is underway and the apartments will be ready for occupancy in the spring of 2018.”
MassDevelopment, the state’s finance and development agency, works with businesses, nonprofits, financial institutions, and communities to stimulate economic growth across the Commonwealth. During FY2016, MassDevelopment financed or managed 352 projects generating investment of more than $4 billion in the Massachusetts economy. These projects are projected to create about 8,200 jobs and build or rehabilitate about 4,200 residential units.