With market-rate apartments sprouting along Revere’s oceanfront, a new development is ensuring that some of them will be offered at affordable rents.
The Neighborhood Developers, a Chelsea-based nonprofit, recently broke ground on a $22 million project to construct 51 units of affordable housing at 571 Revere St., a block from the beach and near the Wonderland MBTA station.
Opening in spring 2021, the six-story building will feature a mix of one-, two-, and three-bedroom apartments, a shared community room, and underground parking, according to Rafael Mares, executive director of The Neighborhood Developers.
Mares said the project will help meet a growing need for affordably priced housing in the city. He said that includes the Revere Beach area, where 1,168 new market-rate apartments are completed, under construction, or planned in the Waterfront Square development area.
“Particularly in a community where rents are continuing to increase and where many local residents cannot afford to pay market-rate rents, we wanted to provide a place where people in Revere could still live in Revere and to be close to the beach and public transportation,” he said.
Thirty-two of the building’s units will be affordable to households earning up to 60 percent of the $113,300 area median income for a family of four, with 11 of those further restricted to households with incomes below that figure. Nineteen units will be “workforce housing” for households earning up to 90 percent of area median income. Preference for 70 percent of the units will go to Revere residents.
As of October 2018, market-rate rents in that neighborhood were an estimated $1,850, $2,175, and $2,650 for one-, two-, and three-bedroom units, respectively, according to Mares.
Rents at 571 Revere St. will be $1,266, $1,520, and $1,755 except for the workforce units, all one-bedrooms, which will rent for $1,778. But most rents will be subsidized based on tenant income.
The Neighborhood Developers owns 461 rental apartments in Chelsea and Revere, some of which it developed. Its Revere properties include two in the Shirley Avenue neighborhood, which is in the vicinity of the beach but is not seeing the rapid development of new market-rate units.
Bob O’Brien, Revere’s director of economic development, said the city has enjoyed a “successful and very positive relationship with The Neighborhood Developers over the years,” and welcomes its latest project.
The future affordable units will complement the market-rate apartments in Waterfront Square, O’Brien said, adding that the new building also was designed to be visually compatible with those in the square. The development was designed by Arrowstreet, the same architectural firm that designed the master plan for Waterfront Square and three of its buildings.
In addition to its new residential units, Waterfront Square when completed will encompass a 172-room Marriott Hotel and five restaurants, among other public amenities. The development also has been supported by such public investments as construction of a new pedestrian bridge linking Wonderland Station and Revere Beach.
O’Brien said the Revere Street project advances the city’s goal of expanding affordable housing, including near the beach. He noted that low-cost housing in the area is not unprecedented, citing the Jack Satter House, a decades-old 266-unit senior complex that continues to operate on Revere Beach Boulevard.
He also observed that the Waterfront Square apartments, though market-rate, are lower priced than comparable ones in Boston.
The Revere Street property was formerly the site of The Cove, a bar that closed in 2014. The Neighborhood Developers bought the parcel in 2017.
The project is being undertaken with the help of a mix of state and federal funds, including $7.9 million in financing from MassHousing.
A lottery to select future tenants is expected next winter.
John Laidler can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.