The transformation of a downtown block in Brockton to a mixed-use development that includes affordable and market rate housing is heading toward completion with a financing package now in place.
Trinity Financial is constructing the second phase of the Enterprise Center, a multiyear project that when complete will encompass 224 new mixed-income apartments and 65,000 square feet of office, retail, and artist exhibition space on the block formerly housing the Brockton Enterprise newspaper, along with a new municipal parking garage built by the city.
With financing now fully in place after a recent closing with MassHousing and other state and private funding sources, Trinity has begun the second and final phase of the project, the construction of a 111-unit rental apartment building that is targeted for completion in September 2022.
“With this major milestone and support of our capital partners, we are excited to be able to complete the full block redevelopment,” said Jonathan Brahmer, vice president of asset management for Boston-based Trinity.
“We remain very supportive of Brockton’s downtown revitalization effort and we think this project will help further those goals, " he said, “as well as bring quality housing to 111 more households with some great amenities and access to all that downtown Brockton offers.”
The 3.5-acre site, across from the city’s commuter rail station, is bordered by Main Street, Centre Street, Montello Street, and Petronelli Way.
The project’s first phase involved converting the former Brockton Enterprise building on Main Street into 47,000 square feet of offices and an 8,800-square-foot future restaurant space, in addition to restoring the building’s original 1887 brick facade.
Phase one, completed in 2015, also involved constructing a new building on Centre Street with 113 apartments. Seventy-one of the units are affordable, 42 of those with preference for artists. The building also includes 1,500 square feet of retail space, and an art gallery. A city park honoring veterans of the Korean and Vietnam wars was restored.
Complementing the $63.5 million construction, the city built the 414-car parking garage. A $10 million state grant supported the $17 million project, completed in 2019.
The $48.2 million second phase involves construction of a new building with 111 rental apartments — 58 of them affordable — with an outdoor plaza on Petronelli Way.
The second-phase financing includes $19 million in MassHousing loans, $30.6 million in state and federal tax credits, $3.5 million from the state’s Affordable Housing Trust Fund, and $3.5 million from the state Department of Housing and Community Development. Bank of America provided a construction loan and is the tax credit investor. Blue Hub Capital provided the state tax credit loan.
Rob May, Brockton’s director of planning and economic development, said the Enterprise Center is a “perfect fit” for the city’s downtown revitalization efforts, though the project’s earlier phase predated the city’s 2016 downtown action strategy and an urban renewal district.
He said the downtown strategy encourages mixed-use, transit-oriented development. As part of that effort, the city adopted Chapter 40R, a type of smart growth zoning that allows developers who build mixed-use projects near transit facilities to exceed the usual density limits if at least 20 percent of units are affordable. The Enterprise Center was permitted under Chapter 40R.
“We are very happy with what they’ve done,” May said, noting that the project is advancing Brockton’s goal of bringing 1,000 new residential units into the downtown. Including the Trinity second phase and other recent projects, 380 units have been completed, permitted, or are under construction.
Brahmer, of Trinity Financial, said it is clear city officials are committed to their vision of a reenergized downtown. “We bought in very early to that vision and now the market is catching up with what the city and we saw as the potential.”
John Laidler can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.