2147 Washington Street

Borrower
New Atlantic Development, LLC & Dream Development, LLC
Location
Boston, MA
Financing Used For
Predevelopment
Loan Amount
$1.3 million
Loan Length
24 months
Partner(s)
The Life Initiative, City of Boston

When the City of Boston issued a Request for Proposal (RFP) to develop a parcel of public land in Roxbury’s Nubian Square, New Atlantic Development, LLC was intrigued. “We had partnered with BlueHub on some other projects in the neighborhood,” says Bill Madsen Hardy, Owner, New Atlantic Development. “We knew the area.” 

“One thing that really struck us was the property’s proximity to Haley House Bakery and Café (another long-time BlueHub partner). This redevelopment would have a big impact on their business—either positive or negative depending on what went in. We saw an opportunity to be helpful.” 

Madsen Hardy continues, “The RFP had an exhaustive list of goals for the project: Mixed income homeownership. Affordable rental. Deeply affordable rental. Economic opportunity. Job creation. Direct public benefit…It can be hard to check off every box but we took on the challenge.” 

“We happen to be neighbors of Dream Collaborative, a Black-owned architecture and real estate development firm. Haley House had been speaking with them, too. Everything came together quickly.” 

The team’s design embodies a concept that the city promotes—development without displacement—meaning development that benefits the people who are already in the neighborhood.  

The project includes a new café on Washington Street that will be conveyed to Haley House; in exchange, the developers are building a portion of the project on land Haley House currently owns. There are 12 homeownership units and 62 rental units targeting a wide range of incomes. All will be marketed with a preference for artists and creative individuals—people engaged in digital design and media, for instance. The plan also includes a shared 4,000-square-foot artist workspace with equipment for wood working, metal working, 3D printing and other specialized activities. Two 1,000-square-foot rental spaces on the ground floor are earmarked for community-scale businesses, preferably arts-related. Finally, the ground-floor lobby will double as an art gallery displaying work from the community. 

Madsen Hardy notes, “We think that supporting artists is important to maintaining the health and diversity of our communities.” It’s one reason he likes to partner with BlueHub.

“We have gone to BlueHub first with every project we’ve ever done. They are a rare resource; they provide the upfront acquisition and predevelopment money that is very hard to come by. It takes a sophisticated and willing partner to buy into the vision—and they do.” 

Bill Madsen Hardy Owner, New Atlantic Development, LLC

Photo credit: Dream Collaborative, LLC