MassDevelopment sells 23.37 acre site for multifamily development

December 04, 2020 - Owners Developers & Managers

Northampton, MA MassDevelopment has completed the sale of a 23.37-acre parcel at Lot 1, Olander Dr. in Village Hill to North Commons at Village Hill, LLC, an affiliate of The Community Builders (TCB), which will build a 53-unit mixed-income multifamily housing facility on the parcel. Construction of the new facility, named North Commons, will begin this fall and is expected to be complete in 2022. Lot 1, Olander Dr. was the last available residential parcel at Village Hill Northampton.

North Commons will include 12 units that will be rented to households earning no more than 30% of area median income, 27 units that will be rented to households earning no more than 60% of area median income, and 14 units that will be rented to workforce households. 

The building will be constructed with energy efficiency standards, all of which will reduce the building’s external energy demand. In partnership with the Village Hill Northampton community, TCB plans to build a neighborhood recreation area at North Commons that will feature a playground, pavilion, picnic tables, and an open-grass lawn. TCB has also conveyed over 18 acres of the property, known as Mill River Greenway, to the city as conservation land. 

North Commons is supported by loan financing from the Community Economic Development Assistance Corporation (CEDAC), Department of Housing and Community Development, MassHousing, Mass Save, Massachusetts Clean Energy Center, and Santander Bank, state and federal tax credits, state HOME funds, and local Community Preservation Act funds. The facility will be accessible by Olander Dr., an extension project the city is currently completing using a $950,000 MassWorks Infrastructure Program grant.

“MassDevelopment is pleased to sell our last remaining residential parcel at Village Hill Northampton to The Community Builders for the development of a new state-of-the-art affordable and workforce housing facility,” said MassDevelopment president and CEO Lauren Liss. “North Commons will be a welcome addition to Village Hill, which under our leadership has transformed from a one-time hospital site to a burgeoning mixed-use community.”

Hospital Hill Development, LLC (HHD) was formed in 1999 to acquire and redevelop the former Northampton State Hospital site into a mixed-use village, now known as “Village Hill.” MassDevelopment is HHD’s managing partner, overseeing the development effort, while TCB serves as a long-standing HHD member, focusing on the development of mixed-income housing at the property. Village Hill Northampton is a 126-acre master-planned community based on New Urbanist principles. It combines commercial, R&D/light industrial, and residential uses with open space to support regional job creation, housing, business development, and recreation. When build-out is complete, the former state hospital site will feature up to 300,000 square feet of commercial space comprised of retail, office, and light industrial uses, over 300 residential units – including market-rate homes and affordable homes and rental units – and open space.

At Village Hill Northampton, TCB has also purchased 35 Village Hill Rd., where construction of 12 residential housing units with 2,500 s/f of commercial space is underway and will be completed this fall.

“We are proud to continue our partnership with MassDevelopment to expand access to affordable housing at Village Hill,” said TCB director of real estate development for Western Massachusetts and Connecticut Rachana Crowley. “This newest phase will add quality rental homes, providing even more housing choices for all households at Village Hill, and making it an even better place to call home.” 

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