Construction Is Underway at Dalrymple School Site

Wednesday, November 27, 2013
By John Lynds

Construction on 27 units of affordable senior housing at the former Dalrymple School in Winthrop began last Friday and will be completed in the fall of 2014.

Last Thursday, MassHousing announced that it closed a $6 million construction bridge loan for the renovation and conversion of the Dalrymple School. The loan will help get the project over the goal line while other funding sources from HUD, Historic Tax Credits, the Town of Winthrop and the Historic Preservation Fund remain in escrow. Once the project is completed the $6 million construction loan will be paid back to MassHousing. Total development cost of the development is $11 million dollars, which includes a construction budget of $8 million dollars.

“A project of this type requires the support of a great many agencies of both the Federal, State & Town Government in addition to private investment. The financing for this development includes the following,” said Director of the East Boston Community Development Corporation (EBCDC), Al Calderelli, who is developing the project. “This type of affordable development requires cooperation of a great many agencies and companies because of the importance of this building to the Town of Winthrop and its’ residents. All of these agencies and companies cooperated in bringing this development to a closing.”

All of the apartments will be affordable for at least 55 years.

The vacant, two-story, brick school building was built in 1920 and is located at 46 Grovers Ave. EBCDC has applied to have the property listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

EBCDC plans to adapt the building to provide affordable housing for elderly residents, while maintaining many of the former school’s historical features. The unit mix will include 4 studio apartments and 23 one-bedroom apartments. The renovation will also involve the replacement of all major building systems, the installation of an elevator, the re-pointing of exterior masonry and the replacement of precast stone window sills. An existing school auditorium and its historic features will be preserved as a common area for resident activities and functions.

The development will also provide service options for tenants through EBCDC’s partnerships with the Winthrop Senior Center, the Boston Neighborhood Health Center and the Winthrop Council on Aging.

“By transforming this vacant school building into housing for senior citizens, the town of Winthrop will have a quality, affordable housing resource for many decades to come,” said MassHousing Executive Director Thomas R. Gleason.

The project is also receiving funding from HUD’s Section 202 Supportive Housing for the Elderly Program ($4.7 million), the town of Winthrop ($1 million), and equity from and the sale of Historic and Low Income Housing Tax Credits.

Utilizing allocations from the Mass Historic Commission under Secretary of State William Galvin the EBCDC was able to generate from the historic tax credits $2.5 million dollars.

With an allocation of low income tax credits from the Mass Department of Housing Community Development we were able to secure $2.6 million dollars in private equity dollars. The equity interest were purchased by Boston Financial.

In addition, the East Boston Savings Bank provided a great deal of monies and resources to allow us to fund the monies needed to bring this development to a closing.

Construction is expected to be completed by October 2014.

The contractor will be CWC Builders, Inc., the architect is Michael A. Interbartolo, Jr., and the management agent is Metro Management.

  • Ed Whooley

    This is a good project, one needed as this town’s younger population tries to move it into a high tax community. But there is a curiosity in this story – where does the town of Winthrop get a million dollars ($1 million) to contribute to the financing of this project? Does that money come out of regularly collected property tax revenues even as the WIWI gang promotes their idea that taxes shoudl go up $500 a year or more to pay for a new school building and those who claim an inability to pay such levies should be told to move out of town?

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