Skip to content

MWDN: Holliston’s Cutler Heights Housing Complex gets off the ground

March 17, 2010

March 17, 2010
By Kendall Hatch, The MetroWest Daily News

HOLLISTON — After numerous stops and starts in seven long years of planning, developers yesterday formally broke ground on a project that will increase the town’s affordable housing stock.

“Today is a great day for the town of Holliston and the Holliston community,” said Jon Juhl of JNJHL and Associates LLC, one of three entities that comprise the Cutler Heights Housing Limited Partnership.

Juhl has worked with the Holliston Housing Development Corp. and Neighborhood of Affordable Housing Inc. since 2002, trying to get the project in motion. Once the project is built, it will be run by the Holliston Housing Authority.

Crews have been working on the site – on Hollis Street behind Town Hall – for a few weeks now. All 30 of the development’s apartments will be affordable.

The 3 1/2-story building will have one one-bedroom apartment, 23 two-bedroom apartments, and six three-bedroom apartments. Twenty-seven of the apartments will be available to families or individuals earning at or under 60 percent of the Boston median income level. Three of the units will be available for those at or below 30 percent of the median income. Holliston residents will get preference.

The project has hit some bumps in the road during the years that officials have been talking about it. While the Zoning Board of Appeals first approved the local permits for the development in 2007, the project stalled when the economy fell into recession.

About $2.2 million in state funding and $3.9 million in federal stimulus money gave the project the boost it needed to continue. The development cost $7.6 million.

“This is a project that really shows the persistence and tenacity of…so many different people over such a long period of time,” said state Sen. Karen Spilka, D-Ashland. “There have been speed bumps and potholes, but the potholes have been filled and the speed bumps have smoothed out.”

Spilka said construction of the development has not only increased the town’s affordable housing stock, but created jobs.

The project was funded by numerous lenders, including the Community Economic Development Assistance Corp., Middlesex Savings Bank, MassHousing, Neighborhood of Affordable Housing and the Massachusetts Housing Partnership Fund.

Holliston also kicked in $909,000 for the project through Community Preservation Act funds. The project went to Town Meeting eight times for CPA funding and was approved each time.

“It is the citizens of Holliston that made this all work,” said Community Preservation Committee Chairman Sam Tyler.

Tina Brooks, undersecretary in the state Department of Housing and Community Development, praised Holliston’s initiative in using local cash for the effort, which she said showed residents’ desire to make their town affordable.

“You put a significant amount of local funds into this,” she said. “It’s almost unique being able to aggregate that much local funding.”

The project is expected to be completed in about a year, with the first tenants moving in next spring.

Advertisements

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: