Wednesday, July 23, 2014
My Account  | Login
Nashua;87.0;http://forecast.weather.gov/images/wtf/small/few.png;2014-07-23 12:01:36
Monday, June 9, 2014

Bridge Street Waterfront Development seeking low-income tax credits

NASHUA – The huge mixed-use development proposed at the mouth of the Nashua River is seeking tax credits so that some of its apartments will be accessible to lower-income people.

The Bridge Street Waterfront Development is pursuing federal low-income housing tax credits partly because it hasn’t been able to line up enough private financing to build what could be a $36 million project. ...

Sign up to continue

Print subscriber?    Sign up for Full Access!

Please sign up for as low as 36 cents per day to continue viewing our website.

Digital subscribers receive

  • Unlimited access to all stories from nashuatelegraph.com on your computer, tablet or smart phone.
  • Access nashuatelegraph.com, view our digital edition or use our Full Access apps.
  • Get more information at nashuatelegraph.com/fullaccess
Sign up or Login

NASHUA – The huge mixed-use development proposed at the mouth of the Nashua River is seeking tax credits so that some of its apartments will be accessible to lower-income people.

The Bridge Street Waterfront Development is pursuing federal low-income housing tax credits partly because it hasn’t been able to line up enough private financing to build what could be a $36 million project.

“Rent rates in Nashua are strong, but not strong enough that we can just go out and do a deal 100 percent debt equity,” said James Vayo, project manager for the developers, referring to a common type of private financing.

The credits are handled by the New Hampshire Housing Finance Authority. They are designed to reduce financing costs for housing projects so that they are more available for people with income at 50-60 percent of the local median income. In Nashua, they were applied most recently in building the about-to-open Apartments at Cotton Mill in a former mill just west of Main Street.

Getting the credits won’t be easy.

“Of late we’ve had $4 worth of applications for every dollar that we have,” said Dean Christon, executive director of the authority. It gets “around five to six” applications from developments around the state each year, he said.

The state housing authority has about $3 million in credits to dispense this year. The amount assigned in a given year can be applied each year for up to a
decade – thus, for example, if $250,000 in credits are assigned this year they can be applied every year for a decade, effectively giving a total of $2.5 million in tax breaks to a developer.

Developers can use the credits to reduce their tax bill, as long as the percentage of tenants with income falls within the tax credit guidelines.

“These projects have to serve lower-income people, that’s the whole concept here,” Christon said.

Vayo said that while numbers are still in development, the goal is that the credits would allows rents to be “$50 to $100” less per month than the market rate.

If Renaissance Downtown doesn’t get the tax credits, he said it is developing other options.

“We’re very, very close” to financing, he said.

The Bridge Street Development is designed to turn 26 acres at the west end of Bridge Street, half owned by the city and half owned privately, into a mixed-use development with hundreds of condos and apartments, and some retail space. Phase one of the plan will have three or four 4-story buildings with 72 apartments each, covering about 9 acres. Most will be one-bedroom, but there will be some studios and some two-bedroom apartments. Prices have not been announced.

Renaissance Downtown, a New York-based firm, is developing the site as part of an agreement with the city.

It will be located next to the skateboard park, which is likely to be moved, at the Nashua side of the Veterans Bridge over the Merrimack River.

Under current plans, construction probably won’t begin until summer of 2015, and take about 18 months to finish.

The land for phase one has been a construction site for a year as part of the city’s massive sewer project creating a Combined Sewer Overflow that can hold up to a million gallons of discharge, preventing raw sewage from being carried into the Merrimack River after heavy rains.

David Brooks can be reached at 594-6531 or dbrooks@nashua
telegraph.com. Also, follow Brooks on Twitter (@GraniteGeek).