(Meredith, NH) – Construction began January 3rd on Lakes Region Community Developers’ (LRCD) $5.4 million project to renovate the 25-unit Deer Run apartment complex at 62 Pleasant Street in Meredith, NH. Construction is scheduled to last 12 months. Upon completion, the property name will change to Harvey Heights.
“This project has been five years in the making and we’ve had to overcome many obstacles,” said Carmen Lorentz, LRCD’s Executive Director. “I’m proud of our team for persisting against all odds to preserve these affordable units and bring them up to our healthy housing standards.”
LRCD purchased the property in 2016. It was built in the 1970s using a US Department of Agriculture – Rural Development financing program that requires the property be maintained as affordable housing for 40 years. After that, the owner can essentially do what they want with the property. In this case, the owner wanted to sell it.
Given the property’s location, LRCD believed there was a high likelihood the property would have been redeveloped as high-end housing, meaning 25 units of affordable housing would have been lost. LRCD purchased the property to preserve it as affordable housing. Due to the scarcity of resources in New Hampshire to develop and renovate affordable housing, it took LRCD five years to put all the funding together. “It’s unbelievably competitive when you apply for funding,” said Lorentz. “The need is so great, but the resources are very limited.”
Planned improvements include interior renovations to all apartments, the addition of a sprinkler system for life safety, and a multitude of energy efficiency improvements, including new windows, doors, insulation, and siding. The goal of the project is to ensure the units have good indoor air quality and are energy efficient, which is good for the tenants, the community, and the environment. The project also includes improvements to the grounds.
The property will remain occupied throughout construction. Blocks of four apartments will be vacated on a rolling basis to complete the interior renovations.
Funders that made this project possible include Raymond James Tax Credit Fund, New Hampshire Housing, New Hampshire Community Development Finance Authority, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, U.S. Department of Agriculture – Rural Development, Federal Home Loan Bank of Boston, NeighborWorks America, and Rural LISC. Construction financing is provided by Franklin Savings Bank. Permanent financing is provided by NeighborWorks Capital and USDA – Rural Development. North Branch Construction is the construction manager. Stewart Associates Architects and Northpoint Engineering comprise the design team.