NeighborWorks Capital is pleased to extend a $2.2 million state tax credit equity bridge loan to NewVue Communities, a NeighborWorks America network organization in Fitchburg, MA.
Funds will be used to support the development of the Fitchburg Arts Community, which includes the adaptive reuse of the former B.F. Brown Middle School into an artist preference affordable low-income apartment property. The development will bring 68 units of housing, with 47 anticipated to be affordable to households earning less than 60% of AMI, including 14 units restricted to households earning less than 30% of AMI. The Fitchburg Arts Community project will be located on a campus of three distinguished historical buildings adjacent to the Art Museum of downtown Fitchburg. There is significant support and engagement of the local community for the project, as the buildings have been vacant for decades and are a historical part of Fitchburg. The downtown area has undergone significant transformation as part of its revitalization effort, in which the Fitchburg Arts Community campus plays an integral role.
NewVue Communities was founded in 1979 as the Cleghorn Neighborhood Development Corporation. It expanded its territory in 1985 to encompass all of Fitchburg and again in 1995 to include its “twin city” of Leominster. In 2015 the organization changed its name to NewVue Communities to reflect its regional focus serving much of North Central Massachusetts. The organization currently serves 22 cities and towns from Athol to Harvard, with a combined population of 240,000. NewVue Communities is one of the only nonprofit organizations dedicated to affordable housing in North Central MA, and this project will directly contribute to increasing affordable units in Fitchburg.
NewVue Communities provides homeownership and preservation services, community building and engagement, and real estate development/asset management. It currently operates a portfolio of 179 units among 11 projects. The organization is focused on preserving and providing adaptive reuse solutions to several mid-19th century structures and recently was awarded the Paul & Niki Tsongas award from Preservation Massachusetts for its work in completing The Carter School Apartments in Leominster.
NewVue Communities also provides job and skills development by offering a steward leadership development program in conjunction with Fitchburg State University’s Resident Leadership Institute, recently graduating 104 persons from the program. The program centers on providing residents with leadership training in the areas of community organizing, mental health, working with children with special needs, public health, and arts and culture.
NeighborWorks Capital began our partnership with NewVue Communities in 2011, and this is the second loan we have extended to the organization. We are proud to be a part of NewVue Communities’ story and support its mission to create strong and healthy neighborhoods where residents choose to live, work, and invest.
Learn more about NeighborWorks Capital’s competitively priced, fixed-rate loan capital that is available to members of the NeighborWorks network. Visit our lending solutions page for more information.