Peabody, MA WinnCompanies celebrated the completion of a $49.3 million rehabilitation project to repair and upgrade a 284-unit affordable housing community built inside the historic former leather tannery that helped make the city a global hub of leather manufacturing in the early 1900s.

The groundbreaking ceremony at The Tannery, now renamed Preserve North, culminates an effort that began in the fall of 2018 when housing officials from Mass. asked WinnCompanies to try to acquire the four-building complex to prevent it from being sold at a market rate. developer, as deed-restricted affordability protections for its residents have expired.

Keith Construction served as general contractor for the project and The Architectural Team served as architect.

“It was a great honor for us to have the chance to protect and significantly improve a property that occupies a critical position in Peabody’s history and in the community’s inventory of affordable housing,” said Larry Curtis. , President and Managing Partner of WinnDevelopment. “The development team deserves great credit for successfully managing and carrying out this complex busy rehabilitation during the shock of the pandemic.”

Led by WinnDevelopment Executive Vice President Adam Stein, the project tackled major deferred maintenance issues, including cracked exterior brickwork, sagging roofs, and HVAC, plumbing, and weather protection systems. obsolete fires. Workers installed new windows, energy-efficient kitchens and bathrooms, flooring, light fixtures, video intercoms and security systems in residents’ apartments. The property’s first-ever tenant lounge, fitness center, and mailroom were built in the community building, along with an expanded laundry room. Outside, workers constructed a new yard and improved landscaping and parking.

With the community’s 235 affordable homes set to be converted to market-priced apartments in 2018, the Massachusetts Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development exercised its power under state law to designate an affordable housing developer to buy the property if it could match the market rate offer.

At the request of the state, WinnCompanies agreed to pursue the property in October 2018 and, with funding from MassHousing, the state’s quasi-public affordable housing authority, purchased it in July 2019 as part of a a transaction that extended the community’s affordability provisions for a minimum of 45 years. years.

“This is a great outcome for low-income residents of Preserve North, who will continue to be able to live affordably in downtown Peabody in a completely renovated building with a few added amenities,” said the manager. MassHousing executive, Chrystal Kornegay. “Everyone involved in this transaction is committed to ensuring that The Tannery property is not converted at market rates and remains a long-term source of affordable housing in Peabody.”

35 apartments are reserved for households earning less than 30% of the AMI, 165 housing units are reserved for households earning 60% or less of the AMI; and 35 apartments are reserved for average rents below 80% of the AMI.

“The sale of the tannery to WinnCompanies has allowed many low-income Peabody residents to stay in their homes and continue to be part of our community. It has also secured a significant portion of Peabody’s affordable housing stock for decades to come,” said Mayor Ted Bettencourt.

“The deal to save the tannery represents remarkable teamwork. Working with my administration, City Council, members of our State Legislative Delegation, and DHCD, WinnDevelopment has proven to be an exceptional partner. »

Additionally, the rehabilitation increased the number of ADA-compliant apartments from 14 to 22, creating 15 units for residents with reduced mobility and seven (7) for the sensory handicapped.

“Massachusetts residents are in critical need of affordable housing options,” said State Senator Joan B. Lovely. “Preserve North has retained 235 affordable units in our housing stock where individuals and families can continue to live in downtown Peabody. This development pays tribute to the past of our city. Once the epicenter of Peabody’s leather industry, this facility continues the legacy of helping to preserve and enhance the longevity and future of Peabody residents. I want to thank the City of Peabody, WinnDevelopment, MassHousing, and the Massachusetts Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development for their leadership and hard work in making this project a reality.

WinnCompanies also paid for repairs to a collapsing dam and retaining wall on the property, which were later transferred to the City of Peabody.

“This project is one of the finest examples of a successful public/private partnership. With the help of state and municipal funding, Winn Development has rejuvenated this subdivision and brought the Crowninshield property into the 21st century,” said State Representative Thomas P. Walsh. “Its inhabitants are the beneficiaries of this collaboration. I am grateful to WinnDevelopment, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and the City of Peabody for making this possible.

MassHousing provided construction and permanent mortgage, bridging loan financing, and tenant preservation and protection financing; the City of Peabody provided funds under the Community Preservation and Inclusive Zoning Act; and the Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development provided Housing Tax Credit funding for capital improvements.

Bank of America acted as the Low Income Housing Tax Credit investor, providing more than $25 million in tax credits.

“The need for more affordable housing is a priority in Massachusetts. We are committed to providing financing solutions here at Peabody and elsewhere that help achieve this important housing goal. Making our communities stronger, healthier and more inclusive is essential to building a sustainable economy,” said Miceal Chamberlain, president of Bank of America Massachusetts.

Built in the late 1800s by Arthur C. Lawrence as an industrial leather tanning facility, the property is a decaying 225-foot brick chimney, which has been cut back to 15 feet and converted into a memorial recognizing the the site’s pivotal role in Peabody’s industrial growth during the early 20th century.

“Peabody’s leather story is a real American story – a story of ingenuity, hard work and community. The AC Lawrence Memorial honors the memory of the immigrants who settled here to work,” said Deborah Eskenazi, Vice President of the Peabody Historical Commission.”We would like to thank WinnCompanies for working with us and Mayor Bettencourt to create a lasting tribute to the men and women who dedicated their lives to the leather industry and the development of our town of Peabody.”

At the center of the 289,000 square foot campus is a three-story community building connected to two seven-story brick apartment buildings via enclosed walkways. An additional four-storey apartment building is located nearby. There are 20 studios, 234 one-bedroom apartments and 30 two-bedroom apartments contained in the three residential buildings

Resident services, including an on-site resident pantry and meals for school-aged youth, are provided through WinnResidential’s Connected Communities platform through partnerships with local community organizations.