Clark Biscuit Apartments, North Adams, MA

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Clark Biscuit Apartments
179-191 Ashland Street
North Adams, MA 01247

Architect: Durkee Brown Viveiros & Werenfels
General Contractor: James J. Welch & Company, Inc.
Property Manager: Berkshire Housing Services, Inc.

Clark Biscuit Apartments is the adaptive reuse of the former Clark Biscuit bakery into 43 units of affordable rental housing. Construction on the long vacant and deteriorated buildings began in July of 2008 and was completed in September 2009. The renovated property features 10 one and 33 two-bedroom unique apartments offering spacious floor plans with the one-bedroom units averaging over 1,000 square feet and two-bedroom units averaging over 1,300 square feet. All of the apartments are affordable with 5 units designated for residents earning up to 30% of the Area Median Income (AMI), 6 units for residents up to 50% of AMI and the remaining 32 units up to 60% AMI. The property is conveniently located within walking distance to downtown North Adams as well as MASS MoCA, the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts and the Mohawk Theatre currently under renovation. The redeveloped property not only provides much needed quality affordable housing to the City, but revives the connection to the downtown district while preserving a key piece of the City's history.

Redevelopment of the building exteriors was extensive and included new roofing, replacement of the deteriorated windows with energy efficient insulated windows and significant concrete and brick restoration. Interior work included a complete build out including a new central elevator, energy efficient HVAC systems and fire sprinkler service throughout. Along Ashland Street, a garage addition was removed and a pedestrian friendly landscaped entrance was created. A deteriorated loading dock was removed at the rear of the property creating a new central courtyard for residents to enjoy. In addition to the complete restoration of a previously vacant building, sustainable design and green features include the recycling of over 60 tons of waste metal, historically accurate window replacement with energy efficient design, high efficiency heat and hot water systems, Energy Star appliances, motion sensor compact fluorescent lighting, low flow water fixtures, low VOC paints and rainwater catchments.

Total project cost is approximately $12.5 million. The redevelopment of the property was funded through both Federal and State Historic Tax Credits administered by the Massachusetts Historical Commission, Low-Income Housing Tax Credits allocated by the Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development and syndicated by Boston Capital, HOME funds provided by the Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development, Affordable Housing Trust Funds provided by Mass Housing, and a Lead and Asbestos Abatement grant from MassDevelopment. Construction financing was provided by TD Bank with permanent financing provided by the Massachusetts Housing Partnership.