Cambridge, MA Capstone Communities LLC (Capstone) and Hope Real Estate Enterprises LLC (Hope Real Estate) joined the city, public officials, and the local community to celebrate the grand opening of Frost Terrace, a 100% affordable, transit-oriented community located at 1791 Massachusetts Ave., in the Porter Sq. neighborhood. At a time when the need for high-quality, affordable housing options in Greater Boston has never been higher, Frost Terrace provides 40 individuals and families affordable, long-term housing options located in immediate proximity to the MBTA, bike lanes, and essential community services like grocery stores, healthcare facilities, and schools.
Designed by Bruner/Cott Architects, Frost Terrace is comprised of four buildings, three of which were preserved and restored to their historic integrity during the design and construction process. A modern, ribbon-like building located in the middle adjoins the front Second Empire home and unites the site. Frost Terrace has 40 units in total, with each historic home containing four apartments with the modern addition containing 28 apartments. The variety of studio, one-bedroom, two-bedroom and three-bedroom apartments are available to individuals and families earning between 30 and 60% of the Area Median Income (AMI). Frost Terrace received over 900 applications during its initial leasing cycle.
One unique feature of Frost Terrace is its high-percentage of family-oriented housing. 65% of Frost Terrace’s units are two- and three-bedroom apartments, which is the most acutely needed affordable housing in the city currently. The wide variety of housing options available at Frost Terrace allows both families and individuals to comfortably and affordably live at Frost Terrace and enjoy the community’s many amenities which include private outdoor green space, a community room, 44 indoor bike parking spaces, electric vehicle chargers, a common laundry room and on-site management.
Sustainable design strategies implemented at Frost Terrace align with the principles of affordable housing: prioritizing mobility, conserving resources, lowering utility costs and creating healthy environments for residents. In addition to reutilizing existing buildings and materials, Frost Terrace incorporates efficient electric driven heat-pump systems and utilizes energy recovery ventilation to circulate 100% outdoor air in new construction, a feature that has become increasingly critical in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Additional environmental features include solar panels (to be installed in early 2024), energy-efficient equipment, stormwater management systems and mature tree preservation. The community’s strategic location, with access to various public transportation options, ensures connectivity and reduced reliance on private vehicles. Frost Terrace has been recognized as a Built Environment Plus Green Building Showcase Award Winner, a Cambridge Historical Commission Award Winner, and achieved LEED Multifamily Midrise Gold.
Rockland Trust provided $17.7 million in financing for the development, including an $8.7 million construction loan and $9 million in low-income housing tax credit (LIHTC) equity through syndicator Stratford Capital Group. The Massachusetts Executive Office of Housing and Livable Communities (EOHLC) awarded the LIHTCs as well as additional subsidy funds. The Cambridge Affordable Housing Trust provided over $10 million in funding, and the Massachusetts Housing Partnership provided a $5.2 million permanent loan.
“Once a forgotten residential site along a busy commercial avenue, the reimaged Frost Terrace site has been transformed into a vibrant, affordable urban housing community,” said Jason Korb, principal of Capstone Communities and Sean Hope, principal of Hope Real Estate. “We are grateful to The city of Cambridge, EOHLC, Rockland Trust and our many project partners who made our vision of an accessible, sustainable, affordable community at Frost Terrace a reality.
“Frost Terrace is a model transit-oriented affordable development in the heart of bustling Porter Sq.,” said EOHLC secretary Ed Augustus. “100% affordable developments like Frost Terrace are necessary to meet the housing needs of working families and EOHLC was proud to support this project with $900,000 in tax credits and $4 million in additional subsidy funds.”
“Frost Terrace is more than just a response to the demand for affordable housing in Cambridge,” said mayor Siddiqui. “This 100% affordable 40-unit development, with sustainable features, invests in a greener future and provides Cambridge families a stable foundation for opportunity and growth.”
“Affordable housing is the bedrock in any community, and I’m immensely grateful to witness the completion of this 40 unit project, which features 26 two and three-bedroom units for Cambridge families,” said Yi-An Huang, Cambridge city manager. “The Cambridge Affordable Trust, which receives significant annual funding from the City, is actively facilitating the realization of projects like Frost Terrace. The Trust’s allocation of $10.8 million to this 100% affordable development underscores our commitment to creating housing for all, and it fills me with immense pride.”
“It’s a great day to celebrate the Frost Terrace opening,” said representative Marjorie Decker. “This project represents an incredible opportunity for families who desperately need access to affordable housing in Cambridge. The proximity to public transportation and the access to supermarkets and local shopping is a luxury often too distant for families in Cambridge who can’t afford market rate rents and don’t have the luxury of owning a car. As someone who grew up in Cambridge public housing, I really appreciate the quality of the homes and that the designs are people-centered. Too often, families who are economically struggling are expected to be grateful for rentals that don’t respect the value of human dignity. It’s a great day for 40 families who now have the security and dignity of calling Cambridge home.”
“Stratford Capital congratulates both Capstone Communities and Hope Real Estate Enterprises for successfully delivering 40 apartment units of much needed affordable housing in the underserved market of Cambridge,” said Jared Rand, senior vice president at Stratford Capital. “The achievement of fully completing construction of Frost Terrace is a momentous occasion and marks the culmination of years of dedication and concerted effort put forth by all its stakeholders, most notably, its co-developers, Jason Korb and Sean Hope. Special thanks to the local, state and federal agencies for their collective contributions and also to Rockland Trust for providing both the construction lending and tax credit equity financing to make Frost Terrace a reality.”
“The successful completion of the Frost Terrace project by Capstone Communities and Hope Real Estate Enterprises provides high quality, affordable housing to 40 families in the Porter Square neighborhood,” said John Quintal, senior vice president and Boston lending center manager at Rockland Trust. “We congratulate Jason and Sean for their success and thank all of the state and local agencies that also provided financial support for the project”.
“MHP is proud to finance this 100% affordable development in the heart of Porter Square,” said Clark Ziegler, executive director of the Mass Housing Partnership. “Frost Terrace is as beautiful as it is welcomed by those seeking affordable housing options in Cambridge. We congratulate Capstone Communities and Hope Real Estate for their hard work and creative vision to make this wonderful development a reality.”