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$2.5M for New Downtown Housing

MassDevelopment & Clinton Savings Bank Partner to Finance Transformation of Historic Vacant Rooming House in Leominster into 21 New Housing Units.

For the original post on MassDevelopment Click Here

LEOMINSTER, Mass. – MassDevelopment has partnered with Clinton Savings Bank to provide $2,520,000 in loan financing to Summer Street Apartments, LLC., an affiliate of Cougar Capital Management, which will use the proceeds to convert a vacant former rooming house at 41 Summer St. into 21 market-rate rental housing units in downtown Leominster. Originally constructed in 1840, the building played an important role in Leominster’s early industrial history by housing workers from several area factories; it was previously owned by companies such as the Prescott Comb Factory, Reed Toy Factory, and the Goodale Comb Company. Construction on the three-story building, which will include two one-bedroom units and 19 studios and micro-units, began in March 2021 and is expected to be complete by the end of the year.

“The addition of market-rate and affordable workforce housing in downtowns across Massachusetts is integral to solving the Commonwealth’s housing shortage,” said Housing and Economic Development Secretary Mike Kennealy, who serves as chair of MassDevelopment’s Board of Directors. “MassDevelopment’s longstanding partnerships with banks provide developers with financing opportunities that advance much-needed housing and spur continued economic development.” “We are excited to play a small role as Clinton Savings Bank, developer Dan Botwinik, and his team at Cougar Capital Management breathe life into another vacant building in downtown Leominster, ” said MassDevelopment President and CEO Dan Rivera. “Transformative projects like Mr. Botwinik’s work at 41 and 45 Summer St. are crucial to addressing our Commonwealth’s housing crisis by providing quality, market-rate units to house the local workforce and keep pace with demand.”

“The Baker-Polito Administration strongly believes that every region needs more housing, and we are proud to support projects in Leominster and our Gateway Cities through the Housing Development Incentive Program,” said Housing and Community Development Undersecretary Jennifer Maddox. “New housing in Leominster will bring an important asset back to life and welcome new residents downtown. Thank you MassDevelopment for being an excellent partner for this project, and on shared goals for Massachusetts.”

Clinton Savings Bank provided a $2,120,000 construction-to-permanent loan while MassDevelopment provided a $400,000 bridge loan, which is supported by $693,618 in Housing Development Incentive Program (HDIP) tax credits allocated by the Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development that will be monetized when the project is completed. The project has also received state and federal historic tax credits, a tax increment exemption (TIE) from Leominster, and is leveraging the Qualified Opportunity Zone (QOZ) program to make this renovation financially viable.

“Clinton Savings Bank is always looking for ways to partner with and support local organizations that make a difference in our region to drive economic growth across Massachusetts,” said Clinton Savings Bank Senior Vice President and Commercial Loan Officer Len Anctil. “The 21 market-rate rental housing units in downtown Leominster are in alignment with the Bank’s mission to help build better housing within local communities such as the Leominster’s downtown revitalization project.”

“This is exactly the kind of public private partnership that will continue to make downtown Leominster a success,” said Leominster Mayor Dean Mazzarella. “We are particularly proud that this project not only brings additional residents downtown, but embraces Leominster’s past by preserving one of our historic buildings. With new housing, a new park, new businesses and the soon to be complete rail trail, Leominster is becoming a true destination. Thank you to MassDevelopment, Clinton Savings Bank, and Cougar Capital for investing in Leominster.”

Owned and operated by Dan Botwinik, Cougar Capital Management is a vertically integrated real estate company that focuses on acquiring underutilized properties and maximizing their potential through permitting, development, and property management.

MassDevelopment has previously supported another project by Cougar Capital Management in Leominster. In January 2019 MassDevelopment provided $6 million in financing – including a $4.5 million construction-to-permanent loan and a $1.5 million bridge loan, which was supported by $1,740,000 in HDIP tax credits – to help Cougar Capital Management redevelop the W.S. Reed Toy and Manufacturing Factory at 45 Summer Street into the Toy Factory Apartments. The formerly vacant mill building now features 36 market-rate rental housing units (both one-bedroom and two-bedroom) with high ceilings, exposed brick, large windows, a rooftop deck, and solar panels. Construction was completed in September 2020 and all units were leased and occupied by January 2021. The Toy Factory Apartments were honored in June 2021 as a recipient of the Paul and Niki Tsongas Award by Preservation Massachusetts, an award that recognizes individuals and projects that promote the preservation of Massachusetts’ past.

“We are very excited about these projects on Summer Street in Leominster,” said Cougar Capital Management Owner Dan Botwinik. “The tax credits and HDIPs made these renovations possible, and the City has been great to work with, and we are grateful to our lenders, designers, subcontractors, and everyone else who showed up day after day to keep making progress despite the challenges posed by the pandemic.”

MassDevelopment, the state’s development finance agency and land bank, works with businesses, nonprofits, banks, and communities to stimulate economic growth across the Commonwealth. During FY2020, MassDevelopment financed or managed 341 projects generating investment of more than $2.69 billion in the Massachusetts economy. These projects are estimated to create or support 10,871 jobs and build or preserve 1,787 housing units.


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