Christopher Heights approved for tax break

From The Republican
By Jim Kinney
Monday, July 1, 2013

A city tax break for the $13.4 million, 50,000-square-foot Christopher Heights of Northampton Project in the Village Hill neighborhood has been approved by the state.

Developer Grantham Group will save $213,900 in property taxes over 15 years, according to a news release issued this week by the state Office of Housing and Economic Development. Grantham Group, based in Boston, already has four other assisted living centers in Worcester, Webster, Attleboro and Marlborough.

Economic Assistance Coordinating Council approved this and 18 other projects for participation in the Economic Development Incentive Program at meetings last week. The list includes manufacturing projects in Lee, Adams and Pittsfield. In total, the projects are expected to create 2,347 new jobs and retain 3,102 existing jobs, in addition to leveraging nearly $406 million in private investment and supporting construction projects across the commonwealth.

Grantham Group has said there will be 65 construction jobs. Once built, there would be another 40 permanent jobs at the facility. The facility will have will consist of 71 studio apartments and 12 one-bedroom apartments.

Grantham Group managing director Walter Ohanian said Friday that the company is still applying for low-income tax credits. If that application is successful he hopes to start construction in February.

Grantham has planned the project for a 1.3-acre site on the former state hospital grounds it will lease from MassDevelopment for 80 years. Forty-three of the 83 units will be reserved as affordable housing. MassDevelopment owns the former hospital site.

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