By John Lynds
Owners of the 380 unit Shore Plaza affordable housing development on Border Street have started a massive and much needed rehabilitation.
LIHC Investment Group and Weston Associates Inc. announced they are spending over $14 million to improve the aging 10 acre development’s facade, interior and open space.
According to Andrew Gendron, principal of LIHC Investment Group, work will include new appliances, light fixtures, sinks, cabinets and countertops in the kitchens, as well as new vanities, shower bodies, lavatories, and tiling in the bathrooms. Common areas and lobbies will also be upgraded.
“We look forward to improving and modernizing Shore Plaza Apartments for current residents and their families,” said Gendron. “Rehabilitation projects such as this help to redefine what people think about affordable housing by creating well-maintained properties that offer quality apartments and a better standard of living.”
Shore Plaza Apartments consists of one, two, three, and four-bedroom apartments and serves primarily low and very-low income families. In addition to the renovations, LIHC and Weston renewed the property’s Section 8 Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) contract, which was set to expire in a few years, thereby ensuring that homes at Shore Plaza Apartments will remain affordable for another 20 years. Under the Section 8 program, tenants pay no more than 30 percent of their income toward rent. Weston will continue to manage the property.
“We are excited for this next chapter in the history of Shore Plaza,” said Mark J. Donahue, owner of Weston Associates, Inc. “For decades, the property has served as a stable source of quality, affordable housing in East Boston and this transaction will allow for building and common area upgrades as well as improvements to individual apartments for our residents.”
According to Gendron and Donahue the team will spend $3.5 million on all new windows. There will also be extensive masonry repairs, facade painting and new roofs.
“Apartment renovations will consist of new appliances, light fixtures, sinks, cabinets, and countertops in the kitchens, as well as new vanities, shower bodies, lavatories, and tiling in the bathrooms,” said Gendron.
The work at Shore Plaza will include a full renovation to the court yard plus new lighting and seating.
“A brand new playground will be installed for younger kids including swings and a
water feature, all on soft surface,” said Donahue. “The old basketball court will be removed and a new multi-purpose sports area for basketball, soccer and other games will be installed.”
Work is scheduled to be complete early next year.