Committee approves contingency plan to pay for new Malden City Hall

Wicked Local Malden | By Andrew Cardinale
January 25, 2017

The Malden City Council’s Finance Committee voted unanimously Tuesday to support a $9.3 million bond that would serve as a contingency plan to help fund the new City Hall.

Under the city’s current agreement with Jefferson Apartment Group, officials expect the city to acquire a condo unit that will become City Hall via a tax incentive deal with the state. The deal provides a property tax exemption to the developer and has the state pay the developer directly for the price of the condo.

The $9.3 million bond gives the city a “backstop” in case the state does not approve this deal. City Strategic Planning Analyst Ron Hogan explained that the money represents the bulk of the cost for the city to purchase the condo unit.

The state program, known as the Housing Development Incentive Program, is available to so-called “gateway cities” like Malden as a means to increase housing stock and diversity, as well as to support economic growth. According to Hogan, the project has already received conditional approval by the state. Final approval won’t come until the new development is at least 80 percent occupied, but there is “zero indication,” he said, that the state wouldn’t approve the deal when that time comes.

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