Augusta, Maine – October 19 – The Greentree Apartments complex is now officially open following a four million dollar facelift and more than two years of construction and renovations. Complex owners, Weston Associates hosted an official opening of the new and improved complex this morning where dignitaries and representatives from the Federal Government, State Legislature, MaineHousing and City of Augusta celebrated the positive impact the project had for tenants and the local community.
This 83-unit affordable housing development was originally built in the late 70’s and is regarded as an ideal model for low income housing revitalization resulting in better living conditions and facilities for residents, decreases in area crime rates and improvement of aesthetics of the surrounding neighborhood.
“The revitalization of Greentree Apartments has been a dramatic transformation and is a win-win for everyone involved. In addition to the tenants enjoying improved living situations, this project put numerous companies and people to work,” said Michael Packard, Vice President of Operations at Weston Associates. “With the help of Maine Housing, HUD, local and state municipalities we turned around an underperforming property and increased the quality of living for all tenants” added Packard.
Work on the complex began in 2009 and had the following benefits for the Greentree community and City of Augusta:
- One brand new community building and one additional affordable unit were added to the complex.
- 75 jobs were created as workers completed the renovations.
- According to the Kennebec County Sheriff’s Office, crime rates in the Greentree community have decreased from 2009 to 2011.
After completing a deal with the complex’s former owners, Weston Associates collaborated with MaineHousing to restructure the complex’s financing, allowing current tenants to have a place to live while substantial renovations were made. Through a combination of MaineHousing bond revenue proceeds, restructured FAF debt and Section 1602 Exchange funds, the preservation and renovations of Greentree Apartments became possible
"Greentree was once an affordable housing complex in desperate need of tender loving care," said Dale McCormick, executive director of MaineHousing. "Its rescue came at a time when the Low Income Tax Credit market crashed but when stimulus funds became available as a safety line. Losing more than 80 affordable housing units in Augusta would have been devastating. This redevelopment is an accomplishment of which we all can be proud."
Senator Olympia Snowe commended the staff of Weston Associates and MaineHousing for formulating a funding package that allowed the project to come to fruition. “Utilizing funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, this project preserves much-needed housing opportunities for low-income Maine families and seniors and vastly improves the comfort, safety and accessibility of the residents,” added Senator Snowe.
Greentree is the first housing development in Maine, and one of the first in the country, to have received funding under the Section 1602 Exchange portion of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). $2.1 million in federal stimulus funding helped subsidize this project and was originally part of a $4.1 million grant awarded to MaineHousing from the U.S Department of the Treasury.
Various improvements were added to each unit including; new fire alarms, sprinkler systems, mold removal, new doors, new windows, flooring, renovated kitchens with new appliances and cabinets, renovated bathrooms and increased accessibility for tenants living with disabilities.
Congresswoman Chellie Pingree noted that because of the tough economic times, housing has been put out of reach for many Maine families, and Mainers is in need of more stories like this one. “For many in Maine, having an affordable place to live can make all the difference. For working families, it means a foundation for steady employment. For those with disabilities, it means living independently and contributing to the community. For children, it means the stability needed to do well in school,” Congresswoman Pingree added.
“This $4 million in renovations to the Greentree Apartment complex is a much needed improvement for the tenants, the neighborhood, and the City of Augusta. Special thanks to all the people who made the financing of this project possible,” said Maine State Representative Anna Blodgett.
For more information about Weston Associates or the Greentree Apartments community please contact Pekka Paavonpera at (207) 775-5227 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Weston Associates, Inc. is a Boston based real estate firm specializing in the development, construction and management of multifamily housing. The firm currently owns and operates 19 apartment complexes located across New England. With expertise in several arenas, Weston can take a project from its conceptual state and carry it through all phases of the development process. For more information on Weston Associates visit their website at www.weston-associates.com.