Much of the work will focus on the exterior
The Salem News | By Dustin Luca
February 5, 2017
SALEM — Two of the city’s most visible buildings are about to get a $20 million face-lift.
Pequot Highlands, a two-building, 250-unit apartment community off of Highland Avenue, recently came under new ownership with a $65 million purchase by Maine-based Silver Street Development Corporation. The new owners were announced in the middle of January.
Since then, the company has also landed a $41.2 million tax-exempt loan through MassHousing to put extensive work into the property and label more of the units as “affordable housing,” putting their total investment north of $100 million before future tax credits are considered.
“We’re affordable housing developers — that’s all we do, primarily,” said Chris Poulind, chief operating officer for Silver Street Development. “We saw an opportunity with this property, in that we thought we had the resources and the capability to deal with the issues with the building — the facade, namely.”
The buildings were initially built in 1971, at a time when red brick was popular in building design. Built on First Street off of Highland Avenue, the buildings contain 41 one-bedroom apartments, 150 two-bedroom apartments and 59 three-bedroom apartments.
Along with their new ownership, Silver Street also increased the number of affordable units using low-income housing tax credits from 100 to 200 units, according to the company. One unit is lived in by a property manager, and the remaining 49 are rented at market rate.
The estimated $20 million in renovations target a handful of areas in need of love at the property, with the brick exterior representing the largest chunk of the renovation project.