Palmer Warren Project (2004), Boston, MA

COMMUNITY IMPACT

The project developer, Jubilee Christian Church International, is the largest black church in Boston. This project, the first new construction of a commercial building in Dudley Square in 40 years, will consist of a three-story building including ground-floor retail and 2 floors of office above for a total of 30,000 square feet. Its high-profile corner location is an important symbol for the renaissance of this major commercial district in Boston’s low-income black community. This project will help jumpstart the long-delayed redevelopment of adjacent parcels, including an office and retail complex plus new 500- space parking garage. City has worked unsuccessfully with a number of developers over the past dozen years to try to develop Palmer Warren site. MHIC provided extensive technical assistance to the developer for whom this is its first major development project (the church’s goal is to use its financial resources to create economic opportunity for its community and is using this project to launch a major real estate development effort). The project is expected to create 113 permanent jobs and 120 construction jobs. It is located in Boston’s Empowerment Zone. In the project’s census tract, the poverty rate is 30%, family median income is 44% of the area median income, and the unemployment rate is 2.65X the U.S. unemployment rate. 60% of the project’s new jobs must go toZone residents. Even with $1.8 million in City funding from the HUD 108 and EDI programs, a cash equity infusion by church of nearly $1 million, the project still had a $2.2 million feasibility gap that will be covered by NMTC-financed gap equity, representing 25% of total development cost. MHIC’s CDE also provided a $3.3 million first mortgage loan. It is clear that this project would not have come to fruition without MHIC’s NMTC program.

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