Nonprofit to begin construction on Central Falls apartments in August

CONSTRUCTION ON A NEW housing development at the former police station at 509-511 Broad St. in Cranston and a site across the street at 524 Broad St. will begin in August, according to ONE Neighborhood Builders, the nonprofit community development corporation behind the project. / COURTESY ONE NEIGHBORHOOD BUILDERS

CENTRAL FALLS – Construction on a new housing development at the former police station in Central Falls and a site across the street is starting in August this year, according to ONE Neighborhood Builders, the nonprofit community development corporation behind the project.

ONE Neighborhood Builders said the organization recently secured all the financing needed to start construction this summer on the planned Broad Street Homes, including the conversion of the former two-story police station at 509-511 Broad St. into 17 apartments, and the new four-story, 27-unit residential development across the street at 524 Broad St.

Construction is expected to be completed by August 2025, with occupancy starting in September 2025, according to ONE Neighborhood Builders.

The nonprofit said the general contractor for the project is Marathon Construction and the architect is DBVW Architects.

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All apartments will be considered “affordable,” meaning they will be made available to residents earning not more than 60% of the area’s median income, according to ONE Neighborhood Builders. For a two-bedroom unit, the income required must be no higher than $52,260, according to the nonprofit, while the maximum income to qualify for a three-bedroom apartment at 60% AMI is $60,360.

The former police station building will include one studio apartment, 15 one-bedroom units, and one two-bedroom apartment, with two of the first-floor apartments being made compliant with the federal Americans With Disabilities Act and paired with off-street parking.

The new 27-unit building will include three one-bedroom units, 17 two-bedroom units, and seven three-bedroom units, according to the nonprofit.

“I am incredibly excited that Broad Street Homes is one step closer to beginning construction and grateful to our partners, funders and the Central Falls community for making this possible,” said Jennifer Hawkins, CEO and president of ONE Neighborhood Builders.

The development originated from Mayor Maria Rivera’s plan to “increase the supply of safe, affordable housing units” in Central Falls, according to ONE Neighborhood Builders. The properties were identified through the River’s Housing Task Force, and then were purchased by the city for the purpose of this housing project, the nonprofit said. The city then brought in ONE Neighborhood Builders as a partner to develop the project, the nonprofit said.

“Working alongside Mayor Rivera and the Central Falls Planning Department has been such a pleasure,” Hawkins said. “Just like ONE Neighborhood Builders, they are committed to thoughtfully repurposing vacant commercial and municipal buildings to create more affordable housing throughout Central Falls. … As a result of this collaboration with the community, ONE Neighborhood Builders adapted the design to prioritize increasing the number of apartments over adding more parking spaces. This change was made possible through the cooperation of zoning and planning boards.”

The development was also made possible by an allocation of the federal Low Income Housing Tax Credits program, a $2 million congressional appropriation secured by U.S. Sen. Jack Reed, D-R.I., a $415,000 grant from the Rhode Island Infrastructure Bank’s Municipal Infrastructure Grant Program, an R.I. Housing and Mortgage Finance Corp. mortgage, and other state ancillary funding, including State Fiscal Recovery Funds, according to ONE Neighborhood Builders.

The project is syndicated by Berkadia, and Webster Bank will facilitate the construction loan and federal Low Income Housing Tax Credits equity, ONE Neighborhood Builders said.

The environmental engineering for the development is SAGE Environmental and civil engineering is being done by Commonwealth Engineers & Consultants.

“I am honored that the city asked ONE Neighborhood Builders to be their developer for Broad Street Homes, and we look forward to expanding our collaboration with Central Falls,” Hawkins said.

Marc Larocque is a PBN contributing writer. Contact him at Larocque@PBN.com. You may also follow him on Twitter @LaRockObama. 

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