Conservatory Lab Charter School closes NMTC and tax-exempt bond financing for new 3-8 school in Dorchester

Consulting Firms Boston

Affirmative Investments, Inc. is proud to have worked on behalf of Conservatory Lab Public Charter school to close $12MM of NMTC Allocation and a $19.2MM tax-exempt bond to finance construction of a new school building that will house 275 students in Grades 3-8. The new building will be located at 395 Columbus Ave, just a few blocks from the planned Upham’s Corner Arts District and Conservatory’s school from grades K-2. With the new facility, Conservatory Lab will have permanent homes for all of its grades and enrich the community with its unique music-based curriculum. New Markets Tax Credits were provided by Civic Builders and PNC Bank. Citizens Bank purchased the tax-exempt bond that was issued by MassDevelopment.

Conservatory Lab’s new upper school will open for the start of the 2020-2021 school year.

Partnership between Watermark Development Inc. and Horizons for Homeless Children breaks ground on social service hub in Roxbury


Lee Goodman from Watermark Development, Inc. and Kate Barrand, CEO of Horizons for Homeless Children, broke ground on a major, 140,000 SF social services hub in the Jackson Square neighborhood of Roxbury. Horizons for Homeless Children is a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the lives of young homeless children and their families. Horizons provides high quality early education, comprehensive family support services, opportunities for play, and statewide advocacy work.  The Horizons Watermark Center, located at 1785 Columbus Ave, will allow Horizons to grow from 175 early childhood education slots to 225 slots and achieve financial independence by owning its own space. Other users of the building include:

  • The Department of Children and Families, which will house 85 case workers and serve as DCF’s regional headquarters. The mission of DCF is to ensure that children are able to grow and thrive in a nurturing home environment through case management, foster care, and adoption services.
  • YouthBuild USA, a non-profit that provides education, counseling, job skills and leadership training to at-risk and proven-risk youth ages 16-24

The project will open in the spring of 2020 and at full occupancy will bring over 400 new jobs to the Jackson Square area.

Affirmative secured $47.7MM of NMTC Allocation from MassDevelopment, Massachusetts Housing Investment Corporation, The Community Builders, Partners for the Common Good, The Rose Urban Green Fund, and Building America.

Affirmative also secured debt financing for the project from Eastern Bank, Boston Private Bank, BlueHub Community Capital, and The Life Initiative.

West End House Boys & Girls Club celebrates its completion of expansion

Mayor Martin J. Walsh joined local business and community leaders, families, children, and alumni to celebrate the completion of an expanded West End House Boys and Girls club in Allston, MA. Included are a substantial expansion of the teen center and the creation of a multi-purpose performing arts pavilion to showcase the work of youth participating in the club’s extensive arts programming. Over the past five years, total membership has grown by 50% and the center now provides a variety of services to more than 1,700 youth from across Boston.

L-R/back row: Joseph I. Mulligan III, Board Vice President; Mayor Walsh; Andrea Howard, West End House CEO; State Rep. Kevin Honan, D-Allston-Brighton



Community Servings Featured in NYTimes

Community Servings, whose $21 million expansion was financed by the AI team, was featured in the New York Times this August. The Times noted that Community Servings’ “food as medicine” approach, which focuses on controlling or curing chronic illnesses by changing what people eat, provides a national model for organizations who provide “medically tailored meals.”

AI is proud to have found Community Servings $20 million of NMTC allocation and is excited for the 31,000-square-foot “food campus,” which will house a kitchen large enough to prepare as many as 1.5 million meals a year, healthful entrees that these days include quinoa burgers, turkey tender Parmesan and sweet potato lentil soup. The facility will also include a learning kitchen for job training, classrooms for nutrition education and a policy center focused on teaching other groups how to replicate the organization’s model.

For the full New York Times article, see here.

Grocery Store Planned to Serve Hartford’s North End


After over a decade of planning the Hartford Community Loan Fund, with support from Affirmative Investments, received $8.5 million loan from the state of Connecticut’s bond commission to develop the City of Hartford’s second full-service grocery store. The $23 million supermarket project would anchor the “Healthy Hartford Hub.” Starting with the supermarket, a teaching kitchen, a café and parking, the hub would focus on providing shopping options for fresh foods and how to prepare them. The hub could later be expanded to include a pharmacy, medical clinic, exercise space and, possibly, housing. If all approvals and financing are secured, construction on the supermarket could start in a year, and take 18 months to complete. If successful, the development would end more than a decade of failed efforts.

AI is excited to supporting the City of Hartford and the HCLF in this important project, and is able to bring its experience and expertise from past projects, including Vicente’s Supermarket and Tropical Foods International to the development team. To read more on the project in the Hartford Courant, click here.

Knights of Columbus Presents Affordable Housing Project

After many years of seeking redevelopment options for their property at 41 N. Margin St. Knights of Columbus have proposed building 23 affordable elderly apartments. Ground floor space would also house a new council headquarters for the Knights. Motivated by the recent loss of affordable housing in the North End at 145 Commercial St. and the Mercantile Building, the KoC intend to arrange a 99 year lease to the non-profit East Boston Community Development Corp. (E.B.C.D.C.) that will develop and manage the property. There will be 3 units on the first floor and 5 units on the upper four floors as part of the 5-story building. General affordability requirements would be for those with incomes up to $45,000 while the elderly notation means those at least 62 years old. Public financing would be used and tenants would be selected via lottery.


Community Servings Breaks Ground on ‘Food Campus’

Community Servings Breaks Ground on ‘Food Campus’
Boston Mayor, Mass. DPH Commissioner Join Nonprofit to Celebrate Start of $21 Million Project That Will Triple Medically Tailored Meal Deliveries to Chronically Ill People

BOSTON (May 30, 2018) – Community Servings, a nonprofit provider of medically tailored meals and nutrition services to individuals and families living with critical and chronic illnesses, broke ground today on an expansion project that will broaden its caring mission and its leadership role in furthering the power of food as medicine.

The $21 million “Food Campus,” now under construction on the site of Community Servings’ headquarters in Jamaica Plain, consists of a three-story addition and kitchen expansion in the existing space. The 31,000-square-foot project will enable the organization to triple the production of medically tailored meals to meet increasing demand, double the capacity for daily volunteers, and double the number of food service job training graduates.

“We are extremely excited about our project, especially with how the new building’s design will open up our organization to the community like never before,” said David B. Waters, CEO of Community Servings. “Tall windows will afford views of the dynamic work of our daily volunteers, while new classrooms will provide ample space for nutrition education and job training for our neighbors. Most importantly, we will be able to increase the number of meals we make and deliver to feed those in need.”

Community Servings hosted a groundbreaking ceremony with Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh and Massachusetts Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Monica Bharel, along with other key philanthropic supporters of the Food is the Foundation capital campaign, which to date has surpassed 80 percent of its $10 million fundraising goal. This private capital combined with equity raised from New Markets Tax Credits, private debt from community development lenders, and funding from the City of Boston will pay for the construction and expansion of Community Servings.

“Community Servings is an organization that provides more than food. It is a community that understands the needs of people and families who are experiencing critical and chronic illnesses, and provides them with the comfort of knowing that someone cares,” said Mayor Walsh. “I am

excited to celebrate with Community Servings as they break ground on their new headquarters in Jamaica Plain where they will be able to triple their production and double the capacity for volunteers, spreading more hope than ever.”

“We are proud of our decades-long relationship with Community Servings and look forward to seeing this important work reach more residents of Massachusetts in this new building and improve their health and the quality of their lives,” said Commissioner Bharel.

Key features of the new facility include:

A Learning Kitchen that will accommodate up to 24 students for job training and nutrition classes, and include video capabilities for nutrition education seminars.
A Family-Friendly Volunteer Kitchen that will allow individuals of different abilities and families with young children to volunteer in meal preparation and packaging.
A Baking Kitchen that will produce desserts for special diet clients in-house, saving on the cost of purchased desserts while adding a baking component to the job-training program.
• A Food & Health Policy Center that will focus on research into medically tailored meals and health care, and replicating the Community Servings model on a national scale.

Community Servings has experienced a 40 percent growth in demand for its medically tailored meals over the last five years. At any given time, 50 to 150 people are on the organization’s waitlist. The need is expected to grow even more as health providers and insurers recognize how medically tailored meals can help improve patient health while reducing the cost of care for vulnerable people.

The project is scheduled to be completed in the fall of 2019. Community Servings has engaged an experienced and talented group of partners to lead the design and development of the Food Campus, including construction manager Shawmut Design and Construction, development adviser QPD, architect Jacobs, engineer Bohler Engineering, environmental adviser Ransom Consulting, and financial adviser Affirmative Investments. In addition, the law firms Brown Rudnick LLP and Greenberg Traurig LLP provided pro bono legal services for the project.

The project’s lenders include Cambridge Savings Bank, City of Boston, Low Income Investment Fund, Nonprofit Finance Fund, PNC Financial Services Group, and the Property and Casualty Initiative. The federal New Markets Tax Credits program and the federal Healthy Food Finance Initiative are critical components of the project financing.

“The community development lenders are proud partners in this project because of its great promise for improving health outcomes for chronically ill people and Community Servings’ outreach to the whole community, including utilizing locally grown products and expanding

impactful hiring plans and job-training programs,” said Kirsten Shaw, director of the northeastern region for the Low Income Investment Fund in New York.

For more information about the project and how to support the Food is the Foundation capital campaign, please visit 

About Community Servings
Community Servings is a not-for-profit organization with a 28-year history of providing medically tailored meals and nutrition services to individuals and families coping with critical and chronic illnesses like HIV/AIDS, cancer, kidney disease, diabetes, heart disease, and others. The meals are made-from-scratch and home-delivered, sending the message to those in greatest need that someone cares. Community Servings helps its clients maintain their health and dignity and preserve the integrity of their families through free, culturally appropriate meals, nutrition education and counseling, and other community programs. For more information, visit




Falmouth bands together to create more housing

Over the next two years, the Falmouth Housing Corporation hopes to add 20 single-bedroom units of workforce housing on Gifford Street, with consulting from Affirmative Investments. The units will be rented at affordable rates. Small, affordable units for local workers have been a consistent need in the town of Falmouth. The board of Selectmen Chairwoman Susan Moran called the proposal “a great move forward for Falmouth.” The project will be built in two phases, and monthly rents will range from $808 to $1,150, depending on the applicants income. All utilities are included in the rent. FHC submitted an application to the Department of Housing and Community Development seeking funding for Phase 1, which calls for 10 units in two buildings and is estimated to cost $2.5 million. The selectmen and Community Preservation Committee agreed to pitch in $650,000 from the town’s affordable housing fund last week. The board acts as the fund’s trustees. The cost of Phase 1 was driven up by the need to install all necessary infrastructure for the whole project, including a septic system. Phase 2 is expected to cost less. To read more on the Gifford Workforce Housing project click here.





UTEC Celebrates Ribbon Cutting of Nancy L. and Richard K. Donahue Hub For Social Innovation

UTEC hosted hundreds of people for a celebratory, energetic ribbon cutting of their new facility named Nancy L. and Richard K. Donahue Hub for Social Innovation. The ribbon cutting featured tours of the building, a DJ and, in place of a red carpet, an orange one- the organization’s main color- made from UTEC recycled mattresses. The building located on 17 Warren St., was purchased by UTEC about two years ago from the Lowell Community Health Center. Public and private sources particularly the Donahues for which it is named, contributed a total of about $2.5 million to fund its renovation. The center hosts several features, professional childcare is available for UTEC families free of charge. The third floor will hold various programs and activities, while the bottom floor is a large industrial kitchen that will host not only UTEC work but various community groups as well. The kitchen in the bottom floor has space for several different simultaneous activities. One corner holds equipment for UTEC Cafe workers to make homemade nut butter, which will soon be available for sale. Other areas can be booked for use by startups, budding entrepreneurs, schools and nonprofits.Once tours concluded Thursday, the several hundred attendees gathered in the new center’s third floor to hear remarks by local leaders, UTEC participants and members of Gov. Charlie Baker’s administration. To read more on UTEC and its new facility the Nancy L. and Richard K. Donahue Hub for Social Innovation click here.

Ribbon cutting and dedication of the Nancy L. and Richard K. Donahue UTEC Hub for Social Innovation. Ribbon cutting including UTEC CEO Gregg Croteau, far left, and Philip Donahue, his mother Nancy Donahue, and Gov. Charlie Baker, center. (SUN/Julia Malakie)

New sign unveiled remotely from inside at the ribbon cutting and dedication of the Nancy L. and Richard K. Donahue UTEC Hub for Social Innovation. UTEC cutting boards for sale. (SUN/Julia Malakie)











High Tech Chelsea Home is helping People with ALS Live Longer

Leonard Florence Center for Living in Chelsea, MA places people who’ve been diagnosed with one the most cruel and debilitating diseases known as Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis(ALS), or Lou Gehrig’s disease. The residents living with these diseases are living a longer and more meaningful lives than ever thought possible. The place is wired with computers that help residents do things their hands can’t do. The individual components of the system are off-the -shelf stuff and just need Wi-Fi and a browser to function. Patients who are able to move their heads are able to aim at an infrared dot on the wall that lets them call for elevators and doors.  For residents who can’t move their heads, they’re able to send commands with just small eye movements. Theres two floors dedicated to ALS members, with 10 beds on each floor. Each floor has a common pristine kitchen, long woodblock dining table, living room area with a complete electric fire place. Residents are able to control the lights, window shades, thermostat, TV and home theater, and any electric devices like a fan directly from their computer screens. CEO Barry Berman says he wants residents to be treated with dignity. Due to the quality care given to the residents, they’re able to live well beyond their prognoses. To read more more about Leonard Florence center and one of the residents, Steve Sailing personal experience at the facility click here.