Exterior of the Harris Mill building

An historic property gains new life

Harris Mill, Coventry, Rhode Island 

Built in the early 1900s as a bustling textile mill, by 2013 Harris Mills had become a slightly dangerous place. It had stood empty for 20 years. Fires had broken out twice. Producing no income for the town, the mill had fallen into state receivership.

In other words, it was a perfect property for Starr Development Partners and Brady Sullivan Properties, real estate developers whose business model revolves around taking underutilized, typically derelict, vacant mills and rehabilitating them into modern workforce rental units.

But this project had some unique circumstances: The ability to finance it rested on preserving state historic tax credits—and those credits were about to expire. Starr turned to BlueHub Capital, known at the time as Boston Community Capital, because they were a partner with whom the they had often worked. BlueHub Capital's "unique understanding of the state historic tax credits allowed them to provide creative and much-needed financing,” says Chris Starr, a principal of Starr Development Partners. “Their ability to move quickly was incredibly important to helping the project become a reality.”

of workforce housing created as part of neighborhood revitalization efforts