Boston, MA. A once-thriving shovel factory in Massachusetts, which was instrumental in the California Gold Rush, the Civil War, and the creation of the Transcontinental Railroad, will keep its place in history thanks in part to an affordable housing and historical preservation project.
The Ames Shovel Works complex in North Easton, which at one time was slated to be demolished, is made up of 15 mostly vacant granite and wood buildings that were built from 1852 to 1928. Developed by Beacon Communities LLC, the new mixed-income community of 113 apartments will preserve the granite building exteriors and rooflines. Several buildings near the complex were designed by the prominent 19th century architect Henry Hobson Richardson, with landscapes designed by renowned landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted. The deal closed this month and construction is now underway. The project is expected to be completed by 2014.
“Ames shovels played a vital role in building our country,” said Josh Cohen, Beacon Communities’ development director. “Beacon Communities is honored to be involved in such an important project, which will not only preserve the rich history of this industrial village, but also rejuvenate downtown North Easton.”
Paul Bouton, a Nixon Peabody affordable housing partner who led Beacon Communities’ outside legal team in the deal, added, “This was a complex deal that leveraged a combination of Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credits and Low Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTC), as well as financing from a variety of public and private sources, to preserve the industrial village’s historical significance. We are proud to be involved in this important deal which benefits the North Easton community.”
Nixon Peabody’s legal team also included partners Ruth Silman, Allen Lynch, and Forrest Milder, and associates Mahmood Firouzbakht and Dan Kolodner.