BRIDGEWATER – After more than 20 years of vacancy, the old McElwain School in Bridgewater is beginning to be transformed into mixed income apartments.

Capstone Communities and MPZ Development, the developers who bought the school, launched the site at 250 Main Street on October 12.

The apartment complex will have 57 units and is the first of its kind in the Town of Bridgewater, offering several types of affordable housing options in newly constructed and rehabilitated buildings.

The project also includes a public park that will be created in front of the school, as well as two public playgrounds for different age groups.

“We are delighted to officially open the McElwain School Apartments,

which will provide mixed-income housing that the community of Bridgewater urgently needs, ”said Jason Korb, director of Capstone Communities and Mathieu P. Zahler, director of MPZ Development, in a press release.

“Over the past four years, we have worked tirelessly on the financing, design and construction of McElwain School Apartments and pride ourselves on providing such quality housing at rent levels that hard-working families can. to afford.

Following:The ceremony looks back on the Bridgewater Mitchell School project, in preparation for its opening next summer

The apartment complex will consist of 13 one-bedroom units, 36 two-bedroom units and eight three-bedroom units. Construction is expected to be completed by the end of next year.

Six apartments will be offered at market rates and 42 apartments will be rented to households earning no more than 60% of the region’s median income (MAI), which is $ 42,000 to $ 64,740.

In addition, three apartments will be rented to families earning no more than 50% of the MAI, which is $ 35,000 to $ 53,950, and six will be rented to households earning no more than 30% of the MAI. AMI, which is $ 21,000 to $ 32,370.

Limited income units will have all utilities, except telephone lines, included in the rent, and will range from $ 562 to $ 1,125 for one bedroom, $ 675 to $ 1,350 for two bedrooms and $ 779. $ to $ 1,558 for three bedrooms. The six units for rent at market rates will have their rents determined closer to the end of the project.

The apartments will be divided between the old school, which will have 16 units, a new building, which will have 38 units, and a nearby renovated three-unit building which will retain this number of units.

MPZ Development and Capstone Communities opened the McElwain School Apartments on October 12.

Zahler said in an email that the new apartments will have modern amenities while respecting the historic building. He said they will all have central heating and air, in-unit laundry facilities and high quality finishes.

There will also be a fitness center, community hall, charging stations for electric vehicles, storage for residents and solar panels on the roof of the property. In the old school, the apartments will have historically faithful windows, hallways, blackboards, stairwells, woodwork and original doors.

The $ 28.9 million development is located along Main Street outside the Bridgewater Center. It is not far from Bridgewater Common and is within walking distance of several local restaurants.

The estimated cost of development has increased from the $ 21.7 million originally forecast in 2018. Zahler attributes the increase in costs to supply shortages related to the pandemic and a continuing increase in construction costs that began in 2018.

Construction of the project was also delayed. It was originally scheduled to start in January 2020 and end last summer. Zahler said it is not uncommon for this type of project to be delayed and the pandemic to have contributed to the delay.

Zahler said he believed the project would benefit the community in many ways, including preserving the historic school building, creating open community space and providing more affordable housing in Bridgewater.

“In 2017, Matt Zahler and Jason Korb had an ambitious vision to take over an abandoned public school and bring its hallways to life again,” said Michael Dutton, Director of the City of Bridgewater, in a press release. “We’re thrilled the team Matt and Jason have come together to do this.”

The name of the school and apartment complex pays homage to William McElwain, the founder of the William H. McElwain Shoe Company, a shoe maker who was one of Bridgewater’s major employers at the turn of the 19th century.

Capstone Communities and MPZ Development bought the town property last June, then sought community input on the project. The project is funded by many public and private financial partners and includes both loans and tax credits.

For more information on the project, visit https://capstonecommunities.com/mcelwain-school-apartments-bridgewater.

Enterprise Staff Writer Susannah Sudborough can be contacted by email at [email protected] You can follow her on Twitter at @k_sudborough. Support local journalism by purchasing a digital or print subscription to The Enterprise today.

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