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PHOTOS: New Capitol Square Apartment Building

The building is the first of three in the Housing Corporation of Arlington's largest project yet.

The following is from the Housing Corporation of Arlington.

Capitol Square Apartments Ribbon Cutting

On the morning of December 12, Housing Corporation of Arlington was pleased to celebrate the completion of its Capitol Square Apartments building, 258 Massachusetts Avenue, the first of three buildings on the property that will hold 32 affordable units upon completion this winter. 100 HCA supporters came out to celebrate and listen to speakers including Arlington Town Manager Adam Chapdelaine, Cedric Kam from U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development, Massachusetts Department of Housing & Community Development’s Undersecretary of Housing Aaron Gornstein, Peter Sargent from Massachusetts Housing Investment Corporation, Gregory Bowe from Cambridge Savings Bank, Tony Fracasso from MassDevelopment and Eastern Bank’s President, Robert Rivers. Cambridge Savings Bank sponsored the morning’s festivities, and the event concluded with the guests touring the completed units.

Mark Lesses, HCA’s Vice President and Vice President of Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, started the morning off by welcoming the crowd and discussing the significance of the units, “Capitol Square Apartments is HCA’s largest project yet and the first Arlington property to receive low-income housing tax credits from Massachusetts Department of Housing & Community Development.”

Originally constructed between 1892 and 1912, these historic apartment buildings are being rehabbed under the guidance of the U.S. Department of the Interior National Park Service and the Massachusetts Historic Commission. Significant renovations include all new systems, new roof, wall and roof insulation, insulated windows, some new kitchens and baths, stucco recoating, copper flashing, and preserving as much of the original detail as possible. Units will be affordable in perpetuity serving low-income households at or below 60% of area median income. The buildings offer a mix of apartment sizes: 6 studio units, 17 one-bedroom units and 9 two-bedroom units with 32 units overall.

Bus service is available at the front door and many retail and other services are within walking distance. “With a bus stop right out front,” stated Undersecretary Aaron Gornstein, “This is the true meaning of transit-oriented development!”

The acquisition and redevelopment of these properties required a complex mix of both private and public financing including: Community Development Block Grant funds from the Town of Arlington; local HOME Program funds from the North Suburban Consortium; as well as Affordable Housing Trust Funds, low-income housing tax credits (4%), stabilization funds and HOME program funding through DHCD. All of the above funding comes through the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and there is additional HUD funding through the McKinney-Vento Program. Tax-exempt bond financing is provided through MassDevelopment and Eastern Bank. State and federal historic tax credits have been purchased by investors Brookline Bank and Cambridge Savings Bank through the syndicator Massachusetts Housing Investment Corporation (MHIC). The total cost of this venture is approximately $11 million.

In an elegant benediction over the building, Pastor Christine Elliott of Calvary Church gave thanks, “...for the dream which made this day possible and the patience and tenacity which have brought it to life; for the tireless work and dedication, day in and day out, of HCA staff and Board members; for the partnership and teamwork of public and private sectors and for all who have advocated and contributed money, time and heart; for the support of this community and a town that cares for all persons; for the workers who have given their strength and skill to this project...”

With the completion of the Capitol Square Apartments Project, Housing Corporation of Arlington will own and operate 90 affordable apartments in Arlington.

Housing Corporation of Arlington promotes social and economic diversity in Arlington by providing and advocating for decent affordable housing for low-income families and individuals. HCA’s Board of Directors, committee members, volunteers and small professional staff work closely with Arlington residents, congregations, businesses, tenants and housing professionals in an effort to keep Arlington diverse and stable. HCA was established in 1986 and is a 501(c)3 corporation.

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