Congressman James McGovern and State Representative Natalie Higgins joined members of the NewVue Communities leadership team for a tour of the Carter School Apartments on Tuesday, July 14, 2020. The newly completed renovation of the Carter Junior High School on West Street provided a beautiful back drop for Marc Dohan, Executive Director to brief Congressman McGovern and Representative Higgins on both the challenges of a project like the Carter building and the positive impact of completing such an important affordable housing opportunity for the community. “We are very pleased to have this building completed and the apartments at full capacity. The condition of the building certainly provided some unique challenges given its earlier condition,” said Dohan.
A tour of the building included meeting Carol Bergeron, a tenant who moved into her unit the beginning of March. Ms. Bergeron spoke with Congressman McGovern about how pleased she was to have secured an apartment, describing it as spacious and beautifully designed. Ms. Bergeron who was born and raised in Leominster was most happy about the opportunity that her new housing provided – an opportunity to move back home to Leominster. “There is a great deal to like about this place and my apartment, but probably the best thing is that the people who manage the building are so nice, responsive, and helpful,” said Bergeron.
Congressman McGovern, who supported the Carter School project throughout its development, spoke about the critical need for affordable housing and encouraged NewVue to continue identifying projects that have the impact of the Carter School Apartments. “The opportunity to tour the Carter School Apartments as a finished project was wonderful, and I’m glad my office was able to help support this important project,” said Congressman Jim McGovern. “While affordable housing continues to remain unreachable for far too many families, I was so glad to see that these welcoming and affordable units will serve as homes that families can be proud of. I commend NewVue for taking this project on and seeing it through to completion. It’s impressive.”
State Representative Natalie Higgins offered her thoughts on the project and said “I’m so thrilled to see the Carter School Apartments filled with new and old neighbors. NewVue Communities worked relentlessly to ensure this project was successful, even helping residents move in throughout the start of the COVID-19 state of emergency and continues to bring so many opportunities to the residents of Leominster through its work.”
|We thank those businesses, foundations and individuals who supported NewVue Communities in 2019 through the Community Investment Tax Incentive Program|
Athol Savings Bank
Blue Hub Capital
Davis Square Architects, Inc.
DeVellis Zrein, Inc.
Matthew and Kellie Fournier
Greater Worcester Community Foundation
Hackett Feinburg, P.C.
ICON Architecture, Inc
Klein Hornig, LLP
Leominster Credit Union
Massachusetts Housing Investment Corporation
Erin and Heidi Nano
Michael R. Martin
Quality Contracting Inc.
Resolution Architects LLC
Rollstone Charitable Foundation
Resource Management Inc.
Rocheford Family Trust
Robert Ruxin and Peggy Shukur
Santander Bank Foundation
United Way of Mass Bay
Andrew and Elizabeth Van Hazinga
Wingate Management Company, LLC
If you would like to support NewVue Communities or learn more about
the benefits of the Community Investment Tax Credit program and join
our CITC Team, learn more. Or, contact Kerry Flathers, Director of
Development and Communications at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In November 2019, NewVue Communities submitted a 2020 Community Revitalization Fellowship application offered through the Center for Community Progress in Washington, DC. NewVue’s Program Officer Meredith Geraghty, and Community Organizer, Francisco Ramos prepared the application with full confidence that the Fitchburg Community Art Stewards can make a national difference using the arts to transform abandoned and distressed properties.
Today, February 11, 2020, NewVue Communities proudly shares the Center for Community Progress press release announcing that six Fitchburg Art Stewards have been selected to participate in the national training program. Congratulations to our Art Stewards.
Are You Dreaming of Owning Your Own Home? That’s the big question asked in the promotional material for NewVue Communities’ Homebuyer Education class. Madeline Mendoza, Housing Services Manager and the instructor for the classes convinced participants on Wednesday, January 21, that big dreams need planning and it is never too early to start.
Seventeen individuals representing 13 families jump started their new year with a commitment to learn more about buying a home. Attendees traveled from Athol, Fitchburg, Gardner, Littleton, Westminster and Worcester to participate in the first of three evening classes. Madeline engaged the group in a variety of discussions including one’s readiness to buy a home, budget and savings plans, credit and debt management, and the application and approval process for a home purchase loan.
Let’s face it, sometimes, it’s all about the snacks, and in this class the snacks are plentiful. Madeline understands that most participants who arrive for the three-hour class have likely already put in a full day. “In addition to making sure participants benefit from a carefully designed workshop, I want them to be comfortable. I want them to look forward to the next session. We hear a lot of laughter during the class and that makes everyone’s time enjoyable,” said Madeline.
“It doesn’t matter where you are in your journey to purchase a home. The Homeowner Education classes will help you build buyer confidence, develop a workable plan, and hear about the experience of others in the group,” stated Madeline.
This class is being held in the community room of the Watermill Apartments on Water Street in Leominster. Classes are often held at the NewVue training room at 470 Main St. in Fitchburg.
Dreaming of owning your own home? Check out Future Homebuyer Classes at newvuecommunities.org or call 888-978-6261.
FITCHBURG—The ideaLab in the Fitchburg State University Theater Block continues to partner with local and regional agencies in support of small business development in the city.
Bay Colony Development Corp. President and CEO Mary Mansfield recently presented a check for $10,000 to NewVue Communities Executive Director Marc Dohan to support NewVue’s Small Business Technical Assistance Program.
Fitchburg State is redeveloping the Theater Block at 717 Main St., with the ideaLab on the second floor hosting a variety of business development initiatives in partnership with NewVue Communities. Small businesses interested in securing financing and technical assistance are encouraged to contact NewVue at 978-342-9561 or to visit their website at nvcomm.org.
The program focuses mainly on micro-enterprises (businesses with 5 or fewer employees) and very small businesses (businesses with 20 and fewer employees) and in addition to Bay Colony Development Corp. is supported by the City of Fitchburg CDBG Program, Massachusetts Growth Capital Corporation, United States Department of Agriculture, City of Gardner CDBG Program, corporate grants and private donations.
Bay Colony Development Corp. is a Certified Development Company designated by the U.S. Small Business Administration to market, process, and close SBA 504 loans in the states of Massachusetts, Vermont, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, and certain counties in Connecticut. The SBA 504 program provides up to 90 percent financing for commercial and mixed-use real estate purchases, new construction, equipment acquisitions, debt refinance and leasehold improvements.
Reprinted from the Sentinel and Enterprise
By Peter Jasinski
LEOMINSTER — With a new state grant promised, NewVue Communities hopes to be able to move forward soon with its long-planned conversion of the former Carter Junior High School on West Street into affordable-housing units.
“It’s very exciting and we’re very fortunate to get this,” NewVue Executive Director Marc Dohan said. “We’ll be taking a school that’s no longer in use, that a lot of people have memories tied to, and putting it back into use. This is a critical day for us to get this funding.”
Gov. Charlie Baker’s office announced Tuesday that $72 million in grants had been awarded to projects throughout the state to rehabilitate and preserve nearly 2,000 housing units. The plan to create 39 units of housing in Leominster is among those listed, though no mention was made of how much money NewVue communities was awarded.
Dohan said Wednesday that he hasn’t yet been told the exact amount of money, but he’s confident it’s enough to cover the rest of the costs for the project.
He estimated that between $10 million and $11 million will come from the state.
He said the total cost of the project is about $16 million, and that NewVue has already raised between $5 million and $6 million already.
“We have some that we’re borrowing and some from other grants as well,” Dohan said.
The project has been in development for about five years, and NewVue communities has been waiting more than a year to have enough funding before being able to begin construction.
Plans for the renovation have already been completed and approved by all pertinent city departments.Once completed, the former Carter School will feature 39 affordable family housing units, 16 of which will be designated for households earning less than 30 percent the area median income. The building’s remaining units are expected to house only tenants with annual incomes between $25,000 and $50,000.
Empty since the mid-1990s, the school has experienced significant deterioration of its interior, including fire damage, a breached roof and a collapsed stairwell.
The renovation is expected to take about a year, but Dohan was unable to say when a start date might be scheduled.
“We’re trying to go over everything as quickly as we can, but we don’t have a date at this time,” he said.
Dohan said NewVue will continue to seek additional money as it considers possible upgrades to the current plan.
When reached for comment Wednesday, Ward 5 City Councilor Richard Marchand, who represents the neighborhood in which the housing units are being built, said he’s happy to hear the project is moving forward.
“The Carter building has been a contentious item in this city for decades, and I’m glad to see this proposal come to fruition,” Marchand said. “The concerns of the neighborhood have always been on the table, and I think we’re all pleased with this.”
Marchand added that he hopes rehabilitation of the property will also help alleviate current traffic problems at Hall and West streets, located at the corner of the Carter School property.