Northway Bank purchased $25,000 in New Hampshire business tax credits from Lakes Region Community Developers (LRCD) to support the final phase of renovations later this year at 193 Court Street, Laconia. LRCD was awarded $200,000 in tax credits and has $9,000 left to sell by May 31st.
“This project contributes to revitalization of downtown Laconia and enhances LRCD’s ability to carry out its mission,” said Christopher Dickinson, Senior Vice President, Commercial Banking Group of Northway Bank. Chris is also a member of the LRCD Board. “As a community bank, we care deeply about housing and community development, which is what LRCD does. Investing in the Court Street project makes perfect sense based on our priorities.”
“We are so grateful for partners like Northway Bank,” said Carmen Lorentz, Executive Director of LRCD. “We can’t do our work without the support of our local business community.”
In 2019, Lakes Region Community Developers (LRCD) bought the old Walter’s Market building to turn it into their new headquarters and a neighborhood center to host events and trainings for their tenants in Laconia. LRCD planned for two phases of renovations due to funding constraints. Phase 1 included interior renovations, new insulation and siding on the southwest facing exterior wall, and improvements to the front façade of the building. Phase 1 was finished in October 2019.
Phase 2 will include drainage and parking lot improvements to enhance safety and accessibility, insulation in the attic, insulation and new siding on the northeast exterior wall and back of the building, and HVAC upgrades.
The tax credits are administered by New Hampshire Community Development Finance Authority (CDFA). Any business with operations in NH that contributes to a CDFA tax credit project receives a NH state tax credit worth 75% of their contribution. The credit can be used over a period of five years to reduce the business’ state tax liability (business profits, business enterprise or insurance premium taxes). The tax credit program allows NH businesses to use their state tax dollars to support local projects that they care about.
Businesses interested in supporting this project by purchasing tax credits should contact Carmen Lorentz at (603) 524-0747 ext 110.
Lakes Region Community Developers’ vision is for everyone to live in a healthy home and be empowered to succeed. Founded in 1988 as the Laconia Area Community Land Trust, LRCD has developed 365 healthy rental homes in Ashland, Gilford, Laconia, Meredith, Tilton, and Wolfeboro. In 2017, LRCD expanded its mission to include new types of real estate development and new programming that empowers their tenants to effect positive change in their communities. For more information, visit LRcommunitydevelopers.org.
Northway Bank is an independent community commercial bank, with 16 branches throughout New Hampshire. The Bank was established in 1881 and provides financial solutions for customers, communities, municipalities, and businesses.
LRCD Completes Renovation Project on Ashland Apartment Complex
Virtual Open House Now Available!
Lakes Region Community Developers (LRCD) recently completed renovations on Ames Brook Apartments, a 40-unit apartment complex located on Ledgewood Lane in Ashland.
The property was built in 1975, and in an effort to preserve it as part of the Lakes Region’s affordable housing stock, LRCD purchased it in November 2016. It took three years for them to assemble the five million dollars needed for improvements. Construction began in July 2019.
LRCD’s vision is for everyone to live in a healthy home – one that is energy efficient, has excellent indoor air quality, and is free of any hazardous materials such as lead paint, asbestos, or mold. Ames Brook Apartments required significant rehabilitation to bring it up to LRCD’s healthy housing standards.
Working with Stewart Associates Architects, NorthPoint Engineering, and North Branch Construction, the renovation transformed the property inside and out, improving safety, accessibility, ventilation, energy efficiency and aesthetics.
Exterior upgrades included a new parking lot, new roofs, new windows, decks, additional insulation and more, while on the inside there are new kitchens, new bathrooms, and carpets replaced with low VOC vinyl flooring. The fire alarm system was upgraded and a sprinkler system was installed. In addition, two of the 40 units were converted into fully ADA compliant apartments, where none were available before. Common areas also received a face lift.
Ames Brook was LRCD’s first occupied rehabilitation project, adding a new layer of complexity to the process. Residents had to be relocated to new apartments, with some of them having to move twice. LRCD is grateful for their cooperation and good humor through 14 months of construction.
LRCD wishes to thank the following organizations without which the project would not have been possible: Raymond James Tax Credit Fund, New Hampshire Housing Finance Authority, Franklin Savings Bank, New Hampshire Community Development Finance Authority, the US Department of Housing & Urban Development, the US Department of Agriculture – Rural Development, Federal Home Loan Bank of Boston, Rural LISC, NeighborWorks America and the Town of Ashland.
Ames Brook Apartments is managed by The Hodges Companies of Concord, who has provided third-party property management services for LRCD for 13 years.
“This was a challenging project, but we are immensely proud of it,” said Carmen Lorentz, LRCD’s Executive Director. “It’s so gratifying to hear from the tenants how much they love their new apartments.”
LRCD welcomes you to take a virtual tour of the new Ames Brook Apartments to see all the improvements. Visit LRcommunitydevelopers.org for the Ames Brook Apartments Virtual Open House.
Lakes Region Community Developers (LRCD), Horizons Counseling Center, and Navigating Recovery of the Lakes Region are partnering to create Compass House, a group home for women in recovery. Compass House will be located at 658 Union Avenue, Laconia and will accommodate up to eight women at a time.
LRCD will renovate the building, which previously served as its headquarters. Horizons will operate Compass House with support from Navigating Recovery. Renovations at Compass House are underway by Martini Northern. Construction is scheduled to be complete early this winter.
Compass House will provide a congregate living environment for women who have completed a residential treatment program for substance use disorder. Guests at Compass House must not have a household income over 80% of the area median income. Horizons plans to start accepting applications for Compass House this winter.
“This project is a great example of the work we seek to do under our expanded mission,” said Carmen Lorentz, LRCD’s Executive Director. “We have almost 30 years of real estate development experience, and we are pleased to put this expertise to work to meet a wider range of housing and community development needs in the region, in partnership with other organizations.”
Throughout its history, LRCD has focused on developing rental homes for families of low income. It now also develops affordable starter homes and community facilities such as Compass House.
“Many women in recovery in our community, especially women of low income, do not have access to a safe, affordable, and supportive housing option,” said Jacqui Abikoff, Executive Director of Horizons Counseling Center. “Compass House will fill this long-standing gap in recovery supports in the Lakes Region.”
Horizons Counseling Center has provided quality outpatient substance use and co-occurring mental health disorders treatment and recovery services in the Lakes Region since 1987. Horizons currently manages the Belknap County Recovery Court and provides substance use disorder treatment and case management services for the Corrections Opportunity for Recovery and Education (C.O.R.E) program at the Belknap County Department of Corrections.
Each guest at Compass House will be paired with a trained recovery coach from Navigating Recovery of the Lakes Region. The guest will work with her coach to create, follow, and update a recovery wellness plan to serve as a roadmap for her as she moves toward independent living.
“When a person in recovery lives in a supportive environment like Compass House, she is much more likely to stay in recovery,” said Daisy Pierce, Executive Director of Navigating Recovery. “Compass House will help us ensure that women in recovery in the Lakes Region have access to this critical recovery support.”
Financing for Compass House is provided by New Hampshire Housing Finance Authority via a special appropriation that the New Hampshire Legislature made to the state’s Affordable Housing Fund in 2017, specifically to increase housing options for people in recovery from substance use disorder or those experiencing a mental illness. The New Hampshire Women’s Foundation also provided a grant for furnishings at Compass House.
Photo caption: (L to R) Carmen Lorentz, Executive Director of Lakes Region Community Developers; Jacqui Abikoff, Executive Director of Horizons Counseling Center; and Daisy Pierce, Executive Director of Navigating Recovery of the Lakes Region stand in front of the future home of Compass House at 658 Union Ave, Laconia.