SPRINGFIELD – June 28, 2022 – Today the City of Springfield, MassHousing, MassMutual, MGM Springfield, WinnDevelopment and Opal Real Estate Group jointly announced the closing of construction financing and the conveyance of 31 Elm Street in downtown Springfield. Together, these project milestones will allow WinnDevelopment and Opal Real Estate to transform the historic former Court Square Hotel at 31 Elm Street into 74 new mixed-income rental homes.
The preservation of 31 Elm Street is a key component of downtown Springfield’s ongoing revitalization. Originally constructed in 1892, the Court Square building sits between Springfield City Hall and the MGM Springfield resort. Prior to its redevelopment, the property had sat vacant for decades and was deteriorating rapidly. The property is now being fully preserved and redeveloped through a unique public-private partnership of state, local and private-sector stakeholders.
"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."
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts, the City of Springfield, MassMutual and MGM Springfield are jointly contributing $48.5 million in construction and permanent financing to the project. MassHousing is acting as funding administrator, on behalf of the public and private project partners.
Concurrently with the financing transaction, the City of Springfield and the Springfield Redevelopment Authority have transferred ownership of the 31 Elm Street site to WinnDevelopment and Opal. The City of Springfield and the Springfield Redevelopment Authority completed approximately $4 million in environmental remediation work at 31 Elm Street prior to the conveyance of the project site.
Other funding sources include $10.8 million in federal and state historic tax credit equity and a deferred developer fee. Bank of America is providing a total of $12.2 million in construction, bridge and permanent financing.
When complete, the redevelopment of 31 Elm Street will fully restore the historic property, preserving historic details while adding modern building systems, and creating 74 new mixed-income apartments, 12,000 square feet of commercially active ground floor space, a 200-seat restaurant, a gym and community space. The 74 residential units will be comprised of 59 market-rate units and 15 workforce housing units, which will be affordable to households making up to 80% of the Area Median Income (AMI). The Area Median Income for a family of 3 in Springfield is $84,750.
There will be 49 new 1-bedroom units and 25 2-bedroom units at the property. The general contractor is Fontaine Brothers, the architect is The Architectural Team, and the management agent will be WinnResidential. Construction is expected to be completed in the Fall of 2023.
MassHousing has financed 12 rental housing communities in Springfield totaling 2,564 units of housing with an overall original loan amount of $157.4 million. The Agency has also provided home mortgage loans to 4,965 homebuyers and homeowners in Springfield with an original purchase principal balance of $384.4 million.
WinnCompanies is an award-winning, national owner, developer and manager of high-impact affordable, middle income, mixed-income, market rate and military housing communities. Founded in Boston in 1971 and supported by 3,600 team members in 23 states and the District of Columbia, WinnCompanies is one of the nation’s leading multi-family housing managers with 103,000 residential and military apartment homes under management. It is a leading manager of affordable housing and privatized U.S. military housing in the United States. The company owns 120 apartment communities in 11 states and the District of Columbia.
About Opal Real Estate Group
Focused on becoming the predominant real estate brand in western Massachusetts and northern Connecticut, OPAL Real Estate Group is comprised of best-in-class real estate professionals for the execution of large scale, high profile development opportunities and the management and marketing of existing holdings. Founded in Springfield, MA, by Peter A. Picknelly, president of Peter Pan Bus Lines, the Group provides development, brokerage, corporate and property management services.
MassMutual is a leading mutual life insurance company that is run for the benefit of its members and participating policyowners. Founded in 1851, the company has been continually guided by one consistent purpose: we help people secure their future and protect the ones they love. With a focus on delivering long-term value, MassMutual offers a wide range of protection, accumulation, wealth management and retirement products and services. For more information, visit www.massmutual.com.
About MGM Springfield
Covering three city blocks in the heart of downtown Springfield, Mass., MGM Springfield offers an integrated resort experience with more than 125,000 square feet of gaming space, a 240-room boutique hotel on Main Street and inspired dining headlined by The Chandler Steakhouse, Tap Sports Bar, Costa, Wahlburgers and South End Market. MGM Springfield also features a seven-screen Regal luxury cinema complex, bowling lanes, Top Golf Swing Suite and a seasonally programmed outdoor plaza displaying local art, events and talent. In 2020, MGM Springfield received the world’s first New Construction Platinum LEED certification for a gaming resort. For more information, visit mgmspringfield.com, the MGM Springfield Newsroom, call (413) 273-5000, or find us on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.
MassHousing (The Massachusetts Housing Finance Agency) is an independent, quasi-public agency created in 1966 and charged with providing financing for affordable housing in Massachusetts. The Agency raises capital by selling bonds and lends the proceeds to low- and moderate-income homebuyers and homeowners, and to developers who build or preserve affordable and/or mixed-income rental housing. MassHousing does not use taxpayer dollars to sustain its operations, although it administers some publicly funded programs on behalf of the Commonwealth. Since its inception, MassHousing has provided more than $27.5 billion for affordable housing. For more information, follow us on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.