Proposal Would Bring Affordable Housing, Retail to Former Salvation Army Building

The former Salvation Army building at 440 Broadway could soon be the site of 29 affordable housing units if the City Council approves the sale of the property.

City Manager Thomas Ambrosino is asking the council to approve the sale of the building to Traggorth Companies for $1,150,000. In addition to the residential units, the Traggorth proposal also includes 4,100 square feet of retail space on the ground floor.

“The City is seeking to redevelop the former Salvation Army building to catalyze affordable housing and economic development in the Downtown,” stated Ambrosino in a letter to the City Council. “Following the City’s acquisition of this site, the Department of Housing & Community Development undertook site-planning activities and engaged stakeholders to advance an affordable housing project with community benefits.”

The resulting request for proposals resulted in the one submission from Traggorth. After reviewing the proposal, Ambrosino said an evaluation committee unanimously voted to recommend the City Council approve the sale of the property to allow the project proceed.

At Monday night’s meeting, the council voted to move the proposal to a future subcommittee meeting for further discussion before taking a final vote.

In addition to the 29 units, there will be 20 parking spaces that will be accessed through Cherry Street. Of the 29 residential units, 10 will be offered for affordable home ownership opportunities for households making 80 percent of the Area Median Income (AMI), while the other 19 units will be rental units for households making either 30 or 60 percent of the AMI.

“At the ground level, the proposal envisions flexible space intentionally designed to accommodate local culinary entrepreneurs and small businesses,” said Ambrosino. “The retail space will feature an outdoor dining patio overlooking Luther Place, a communal kitchen and a collection of small food shops, similar to a public market.”

As part of the deal with the city, Traggorth would also rehabilitate and extend the affordability of 17 units of affordable housing it owns at 466 Broadway.

“The City expects that the project will create vibrant, healthy housing that is affordable for Chelsea residents, while bolstering homeownership opportunities for first time homebuyers,” said Ambrosino. “The City is also optimistic that the unique retail space will enliven the downtown, generate foot traffic and support the local economy.”

Ambrosino said the project is consistent with Chelsea’s affordable housing and economic development objectives, specifically to spur affordable home ownership, enhance the vitality of the Broadway corridor, and provide a range of housing types for residents.

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