Valley Community Development to Hold Groundbreaking at The Lumber Yard Apartments in Northampton on Nov. 1
Project is a city and state collaboration that will accentuate efforts to revitalize Pleasant Street
NORTHAMPTON—Valley Community Development will hold a groundbreaking ceremony Wednesday, Nov. 1 at 1 p.m. at The Lumber Yard Apartments at 256 Pleasant St., a roughly $19 million affordable housing project that is a collaboration of multiple funding and development partners.
Joanne Campbell, executive director of Valley Community Development, will lead the event, which will be attended by Jay Ash, the state’s secretary of Housing and Economic Development; Mayor David Narkewicz; and Wayne Feiden, the city’s director of planning and sustainability.
Also expected to attend are representatives from Way Finders, a financial partner and project co-sponsor that will manage the apartment complex once it has been built; and MassWorks, which is funding the relocation of an underground storm water conduit through a grant obtained by the city with the assistance of Valley Community Development.
In its 30th year, Valley Community Development is excited to be taking the next step in this project, which Campbell said is a great example of collaboration between Way Finders, multiple city and state organizations, and many funding mechanisms—from loans to grant funds to state and federal tax credits.
Valley Community Development is a nonprofit with a mission to empower individuals with low and moderate incomes by developing affordable housing, encouraging homeownership and offering small business assistance to help individuals create sustainable employment.
Narkewicz said the 70,000-square-foot affordable housing project fits in with the city’s larger goal of revitalizing the Pleasant Street corridor and is sure to bring good synergy and projects down the road.
“The mark of a strong and successful downtown is one where people can live, work and shop, including residents from every rung of the economic ladder,” Narkewicz said, noting this project will create new housing and boost economic development. “Valley Community Development’s Lumber Yard project is a vital piece of the overall redevelopment of Pleasant Street, and I’m looking forward to watching this beautiful new mixed-use building take shape.”
Feiden said The Lumber Yard will advance efforts to increase foot and bicycle traffic and commercial activities, making Pleasant Street a healthier, vibrant and more active street.
“The Lumber Yard provides desperately needed affordable housing, a 24-7 presence on the street, commercial activity and a guarantee that all residents of all incomes will be able to live, work, play and shop on Pleasant Street,” he said.
Valley Community Development’s major partners in The Lumber Yard Apartments project include: The City of Northampton, which provided $500,000 in federal Community Development Block Grant funds and Community Preservation Act funds, as well as funding through MassWorks, a state program, that is covering the costs of the relocation of the storm water conduit that runs under the property; the state Department of Housing and Community Development, which provided the bulk of the financing; the state Community Economic Development Assistance Corporation, which provided pre-development and acquisition financing; TD Bank, which is providing tax credit equity and construction and permanent financing; Way Finders, a co-sponsor that will provide long-term compliance and property management services; and Smith College, which provided a $100,000 grant.
In recognition of its 30th anniversary year, Valley Community Development has launched a $400,000 fundraising goal to help the nonprofit act on goals outlined in a five-year strategic plan. The nonprofit serves Northampton, Easthampton, Amherst and Hadley
For more information about Valley Community Development or its five-year plan, visit valleycdc.com.