SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – On Wednesday, a closing of construction financing and conveyance announcement was made on a historic former Court Square Hotel at 31 Elm Street in Springfield turning into 74 new mixed-income rental homes.
The announcement came after project milestones from the City of Springfield, MassHousing, MassMutual, and MGM Springfield. WinnDevelopment and Opal Real Estate Group have received ownership of 31 Elm Street and will be transforming the Court Square building that sits between Springfield City Hall and the MGM Springfield resort.
According to MassHousing, the preservation of the building will be a key component of Springfield’s ongoing revitalization.
The Court Square building was first constructed in 1892. It is through public-private partnership of state, local and private-sector stakeholders that the building is getting redeveloped after reaming vacant and deteriorated.
“My administration has never given up on this vital and historic economic development project that will act as an anchor for our downtown district for years to come creating both housing and a good four-letter word – JOBS! I want to thank the Baker-Polito Administration, Congressman Richard Neal, MassHousing, MassMutual, MGM Springfield, Winn Opal, the Springfield Redevelopment Authority, and its Board members, and all of our public and private partners for getting this project across the goal line. With the construction financing secured we’ve reached yet another milestone on this transformational project to restore the historic grandeur of this once stately building. This has been a huge undertaking, one that had to overcome the unanticipated challenges from the pandemic and supply shortages every industry has been experiencing, but thanks to this unique public and private partnership we have made the impossible possible,” said Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno.
“MassHousing is proud to support this historic investment in Springfield’s ongoing revitalization,” said Chrystal Kornegay, Executive Director of MassHousing. “The new mixed-income housing at 31 Elm Street will add to the vitality of downtown Springfield. We congratulate our public- and private-sector partners for their commitment to this transformational project, and for their tenacity in seeing it through.”
“MGM Springfield is incredibly proud to help bring this iconic and transformative development project to downtown Springfield,” said Chris Kelly, President and Chief Operating Officer of MGM Springfield. “The historic 31 Elm Street building is a wonderful symbol of our city’s past, present and future, and it’s an honor to be part of its story. This project is a symbol of what great partnerships can achieve.”
“MassHousing has been our critical financial partner in a very complex transaction, providing significant public funding as well as an innovative channel for the private sector resources needed to help us make this long-awaited development a reality,” said WinnCompanies Executive Vice President Michael O’Brien. “Together with Opal Real Estate Development, we are excited to have finally reached this milestone. We are grateful to MassHousing for supporting a project that will deliver housing, economic activity and jobs to downtown Springfield.”
“MassHousing’s support for this development is not only an endorsement of the need for apartment homes in downtown Springfield but also of the many efforts over the years to strengthen the Court Square area as the centerpiece of the city,” said Peter A. Picknelly of Opal Real Estate Group. “It’s rewarding to see this once-vibrant historic building being brought back to life thanks to our partner, WinnDevelopment, the undisputed leader in first-class, residential adaptive reuse projects.”
A contribution of $48.5 million from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, the City of Springfield, MassMutual, and MGM Springfield will be made to help with the costs of the project. While MassHousing acts as a funding administrator.
About $4 million has gone into environmental remediation work already through the City of Springfield and the Springfield Redevelopment Authority.
In addition, $10.8 million in federal and state historic tax credit equity and a deferred developer has been given. A total of $12.2 million in construction, bridge and permanent financing is to also be provided by Bank of America.
Redevelopment project outcome plan:
- Preserved historic details with modern building systems
- 74 new mixed-income apartments, comprised of 59 market-rate units and 15 workforce housing units
- 49 new 1-bedroom uits and 25 2-bedroom units at the property
- 12,000 sq. feet of ground floor space
- 200-seat restaurant
- Gym and community space
Construction is expected to be completed by Fall of 2023.