Groundbreaking for NorthStar Learning Centers’ Early Education Academy

North Star Learning Centers, Inc. broke ground on the new construction of a state of the art, 17,500 SF early childhood education center on December 7th. The center is design to serve young children with a range of developmental needs, especially those having experienced homelessness or foster care and other special needs children requiring extra support in in order to thrive. The new building will replace two outdated, cramped facilities and allow NorthStar to provide 135 slots for infants and toddlers from low-income families in New Bedford. The building will also serve as a Community Center on evenings and weekends. The commercial kitchen will be available for events, trainings and food entrepreneurs. The kitchen and gross motor space are designed to be open and usable as a large maker space/exhibit space that will serve the community in numerous ways, including hosting professional development training for e­arly childhood educators from throughout the region, parent groups and gatherings, art exhibits and a range of other activities. An outside play area will also be open to the community.

Affirmative Investments, Inc. secured $11 million of NMTC Allocation from the Massachusetts Housing Investment Corporation, a $500,000 loan from Children’s Hospital, and $5.5 million of loans from the Property & Casualty Initiative. Other funding was provided by came from the City of New Bedford and private donors.

A Night at The Huntington Theater

Mayor of Boston Michelle Wu provides remarks during the dedication ceremony of the August Wilson Lobby.

The Huntington Theater re-opened on October 19th with a performance of August Wilson’s Joe Turner’s Come and Gone. The Huntington marked the occasion by dedicating its lobby to August Wilson, a Pittsburgh-born playwright known as the “theater’s poet of Black America”. Wilson was a resident playwright at the Huntington from 1986 – 2005. Boston Mayor Michelle Wu and Huntington Theater Executive Director Michael Maso provided opening remarks and welcomed back the theater’s first live audience since closing due to the COVID pandemic.

Affirmative Investments served at the Huntington’s tax credit financing consultant, raising NMTC Allocation and Federal and State Historic Tax Credit Equity from National Trust Community Investment Corporation and East West Bank. Other financing partners included Century Bank, now merged with Eastern Bank, and Zion’s Bank.

Massachusetts Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development Announces $1.5MM MassWorks Grant for Nubian Square Ascends

Yesterday, Housing and Economic Development Secretary Mike Kennealy and Mayor Michelle Wu announced $9 million of MassWorks Infrastructure Progran funding for three projects in Nubian Square. $1.5 million of the award went to support design and predevelopment work for Nubian Square Ascends, a transformative commercial and cultural project in the heart of Nubian Square.

Nubian Square Ascends will advance a racial equity agenda by promoting local Black businesses, artists, craftspeople, and entrepreneurs, as well as creating pathways for local youth into the region’s booming biotech and life sciences industries. The MassWorks grant provides the funding necessary to advance the project to construction financing.

Click here to view the press conference.

Springfield Prep Celebrates the Opening of their New K-8 School Building

Springfield Prep hosted its official ribbon cutting ceremony for its new K-8 campus, located at 2071 Roosevelt Ave, Springfield, MA, on September 23. The $20.4 million renovation will allow the school to create a permanent home for nearly 500 scholars in grades K-8. The school includes classrooms designed for its unique two-teacher model, breakout rooms for small group instruction, a full gymnasium with a stage for performances, and dedicated science, art, and dance rooms. Speakers at the event included:

  • Governor Charlie Baker
  • Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito
  • John Davis, Trustee, The Irene E. and George C. Davis Foundation
  • City Councilor Michael Fenton
  • Springfield Prep Founder and Executive Director, Bill Spirer
  • Springfield Prep Assistant Principal Shawna Mitchell
  • Springfield Prep Founding Student Cyrine Fioklou, 7th Grade Student

“We’ve never had a gym like this for physical activity, for performances, for community gatherings. So with bigger classrooms, for our two teacher model, with a gym like this and playground spaces, it’s just a phenomenal home for us,” said Bill Spirer, Executive Director of Springfield Prep Charter School.

Ribbon Cutting Ceremony for New YMCA at Gloucester Crossing

Scene from dedication ceremony for the Glen T. MacLeod YMCA for Cape Ann

Affirmative Investments was excited to attend the Ribbon cutting ceremony for the New YMCA at the Gloucester Crossing. AI secured $15MM in Allocation, with the projects total development cost at $25MM.

The new building will enable the Y to double its capacity from its old Middle Street home, provide about 300 parking spaces, and bring in natural light with big windows that look out into the green spaces surrounding Gloucester Crossing.

Since the new Glen T. MacLeod YMCA at 7 Gloucester Crossing opened its doors in April, the Y has been busy providing its members with access to Kids Club babysitting, Friday Night Fun, Weekend at the Y, Parent-Child swim, gymnastics and sports classes, physical therapy in partnership with Addison Gilbert Hospital, open swim, gym and gymnastics, splash pad, and all group exercise classes — including new hot yoga, heart-rate enabled spin and aqua circuit training.

To read more about the project and all the great feedback received from local officials and Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito click here.

AI Presents Harmon Apartments to Boston Disability Commission

Harmon Apartments is a 36-unit “accessibility plus” mixed-income residential development located in the Ashmont/Peabody Square area of Dorchester that is intended as a national example for independent community living serving adults with physical disabilities including those with progressively degenerative diseases. The innovative model combines accessible features with state-of-the-art technology plus wellness programs and supportive services. This development is one of just a few in the nation that meets the needs of this population, where residents can live independently with family, while being able to readily access targeted services and supports as needed. Affirmative Investments partnered with The Boston Home to create this unique property. The following presentation about Harmon Apartments was made to the City of Boston’s Disability Housing Task Force on March 30, 2021.