New LEED Certification: Frost Terrace

Frost Terrace has achieved LEED certification!

Frost Terrace, located at 1791 Mass. Ave., Cambridge, was recently certified LEED Gold (v4 – Multifamily Midrise). Part of Frost Terrace’s LEED success is its alignment of sustainable design strategies with principles of affordable housing—lowering utility costs, conserving resources, prioritizing mobility (bikes and transit), and creating healthy living environments for residents. The project includes re-used existing buildings and materials, wood structure and finishes, energy recovery ventilation, efficient electric-driven heat-pump systems, and highly insulated envelopes (new and upgraded).

LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design), developed by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), is the most widely used green building rating system in the world and an international symbol of excellence. Through design, construction and operations practices that improve environmental and human health, LEED-certified buildings are helping to make the world more sustainable.

Congratulations to the project team!

Bruner/Cott Completes Frost Terrace in Cambridge, MA

     

New Construction and a Restored 19th Century House Anchor Affordable Housing in Porter Square

Known for residential design in new construction, restoration/renovation, and industrial conversions, Bruner/Cott Architects announces the completion of Frost Terrace, a 100 percent affordable housing apartment community at 1791 Massachusetts Avenue in Cambridge’s Porter Square. Achieved in partnership with Capstone Communities and Hope Real Estate Enterprises, the complex is in a desirable, transit-oriented neighborhood facing an extreme shortage of such housing. It provides 40 families and individuals with long-term rental options.

Directly adjacent to the firm’s Lesley University Lunder Arts Center on Massachusetts Avenue, Frost Terrace comprises three extant buildings—1 and 2 Frost Terrace, plus a contextual modern addition that balances the overall composition. The William Frost house, built in the late 1800s, was preserved, transformed, and expanded at the rear of the complex to provide additional living quarters. Formerly surrounded by similar houses and the North Avenue Congregational Church (moved to its site from Kirkland Street near Harvard Square in 1867 and is now the Lunder Arts library), the Frost house is the last of its kind on the block, providing continuous historical context.

Designed with light and air in mind, twenty-six of Frost Terrace’s 40 units are generous 2-to-3-bedrooms. Thirteen one-bedroom and one studio unit complete the mix. Reserved for households earning less than 60 percent of the area median income (AMI), with four units reserved for households earning less than 50% of AMI and four units reserved for households earning less than 30% AMI, the complex received over 900 applications during its initial leasing.

A transit-oriented development that prioritizes space for people over motor vehicles on the site, Frost Terrace offers immediate proximity to the MBTA, bike lanes, and essential community services, as well as 44 secure bike parking spaces. Three parking spaces are provided for residents with disabilities.

Sustainable design strategies include LEED Gold certification aspirations for multi-family mid-rise. Environmental interventions include the installation of solar panels, stormwater management, tree preservation, and energy efficient equipment, complemented by landscaping and paving improvements that created accessible community space.

“Rooted in community building, new contextual architecture, and historic preservation, Frost Terrace’s sustainable design aligns with current principles of affordable housing—prioritizing mobility, lowering utility costs, conserving resources, and creating healthy living environments,” says Principal-in-Charge Jason Forney. “Our goal was to respect and renew the venerable aspects of the site and its structures while delivering environmentally responsible housing for today and tomorrow.”

The Frost Terrace project was made possible by an affordable rental housing award announced by Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker on July 25, 2018, which provided $57 million in direct subsidies for 19 high-impact projects throughout the state. Additional funding was derived from Low-Income Housing Tax Credits and subsidy funds via the Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) and funds through the City of Cambridge Affordable Housing Trust.

 

Photos here

Photography Credit: Robert Benson Photography

 

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808 Memorial Drive Project Receives $87m in Financing from Mass Housing

Congratulations to client Homeowner’s Rehab Inc. on receiving $87.2 million in financing for the renovation of the 808-812 Memorial Drive multifamily housing community in Cambridge, Massachusetts. This financing will enable HRI to extend affordability protections by at least 15 years and to make substantial property renovations.

Situated along the Charles River, the buildings house 300 mixed-income apartment units of varying sizes, approximately 38,000 sf of commercial space, and five levels of parking. The project aims to improve tenant comfort and sense of security, while also strengthening the residential community and identity.

MassHousing provided HRI with a $61.5 million tax-exempt construction loan and permanent loan, $24.9 million in taxable and tax-exempt credit equity bridge financing and a $787,763 interest reduction payment (IRP) loan. The project will also use $8.9 million of income during the construction period for development costs. The transaction also involved $36.9 million in equity financing from an allocation of Low-Income Housing Tax Credit tax credits by the Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development. The LIHTC tax credits were syndicated by RBC.¹

Bruner/Cott is performing an occupied renovation of two 1970s-era apartment buildings with construction expected to be completed by 2022.

Read the full article on Multi-Housing News.