Changes Made to Salvation Army Proposal

There could soon be more affordable home ownership opportunities in Chelsea, thanks to a change in the proposed development of the former Salvation Army building on Broadway.

At Monday night’s City Council meeting, City Manager Thomas Ambrosino updated the council on the proposed change on the project being developed by the Traggorth Company. Initially presented as a mix of affordable rental and home ownership units, the development will now be 100 percent affordable and workforce home ownership units.

“In January of 2022, the city issued a request for proposals for this site in the hopes of spurring affordable housing and enlivening the Broadway corridor,” said Ambrosino. “The Traggorth Company is a respectable affordable and mixed-income housing developer that submitted a proposal to develop 28 units of affordable housing above ground retail space. The project was comprised of 10 affordable home ownership units and 18 affordable rental units.”

The proposal was approved by the City Council late last year.

Since that time, the city and Traggorth became aware of a new financing opportunity for affordable home ownership, creating the ability to make all the units available for ownership.

Ambrosino said the developer will now utilize a state housing program to help finance the project.

“Equally important, this modification will actually accelerate the project, allowing the construction to commence one year earlier than could possibly be done with an affordable rental concept,” said the City Manager. 

Traggorth and the city have finalized the land disposition agreement, and Traggorth will soon begin the permitting process before the city’s zoning and planning boards.

“Assuming the financing is available as expected, construction may begin as early as the fall of 2023,” said Ambrosino.

There was no need for the City Council to vote on the change, since the previous authorization from last year allowed for the negotiated change, according to Ambrosino.

The city purchased the property several years ago for $1.3 million, and agreed to sell it for $1,150,000 to Traggorth.

In other business, Ambrosino stated the city recently came to a contract agreement with the union representing the city’s public works employees, running from July 1 of the current year to June 30 of 2025.

“The most significant part of this negotiation with the city was the inclusion of the residency requirement and a new benefit for maternity leave, which the City Council requested in the spring,” said Ambrosino.

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