New Rantoul development to include additional affordable units

The Salem News | By Arianna Macneill
November 18, 2016

BEVERLY — The new, mixed-use development planned for a site in front of the MBTA commuter rail garage has cleared permitting and is set for construction in the spring.

And the developer now hopes to make 14 of the building’s 67 apartments affordable, workforce housing, under federal and state guidelines. That’s about 21 percent of its total stock, well above the 12 percent required by the city’s inclusionary zoning ordinance.

If all goes according to plan, the development, which also will have ground-floor retail space, will open in spring 2018. The total development cost is $21 million.

Though six stories tall with a height just under 70 feet, the new building’s top two floors will be set back, creating the illusion of a shorter building.

The increase in affordable, or workforce housing, is new.

“What I’m hoping to do is work with MassHousing to bring some of their new workforce housing program funds to the city of Beverly,” said Sarah Barnat of Barnat Development, the property developer, adding that the program requires at least 20 percent affordable units in a development.

Workforce housing refers to units available to renters making 80 percent of the city’s area median income.

“I think it will preserve opportunities for people who have been working and living in the area for a long time to be able to afford great new housing right by the commuter rail,” she said.

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