Mixed-Income Rental, Historic Preservation/New Construction


Approximately $29.5 Million





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MPZ Development LLC and Capstone Communities Development LLC have created a mixed-income housing development through the renovation of the historic but long-vacant McElwain School, to provide 16 units, and the construction of 38 new units on the balance of the property. The project also includes renovation of the three-family house and barn for an additional three units and maintenance work space.

Collectively known as The McElwain School Apartments, the development provides a mix of one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments affordable to individuals and families whose incomes range from 30 percent to 60 percent of area median income as well as market rate units.

Designs for the adaptation of the schoolhouse for residential use follow the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation. Federal and state historic tax credits were utilized to make possible the preservation of the building’s architectural integrity, including installation of historically accurate windows and cleaning and repointing of the exterior masonry. The dramatic staircases and other interior common area elements typical of such school buildings were also refurbished.

A three-story elevator building at the back of the three-acre site has been designed to complement its historic neighbor and to fit with the surrounding single-family homes and nearby apartment communities. The new construction building is a PHIUS certified passive house which offers the ultimate in energy performance and conservation, there is also a large solar array atop this building. The adjacent three-family house has been renovated, and a maintenance building has been created in the barn, maintaining the architectural character of the existing 1880 structures.

This development was the result of a strong public private partnership with the Town of Bridgewater. Project financing utilized tax credits, state and federal housing funds, and private sources.

PHOTOGRAPHY Credit: Patrick Rogers Photography