Innovative Partnership Funds Two Massachusetts Historic Preservation Projects


BOSTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Cherrytree Group, LLC, a tax credit advisory firm, has announced the funding of two historic preservation and rehabilitation projects in Massachusetts. Cherrytree formed the equity partnership and closed the state and federal tax credit equity financing for the highly visible developments, raising over $2 million in tax credit equity from individual investors.

One of the funded projects is the adaptive re-use of the 100-year-old Plymouth Post Office Building in Southeastern Massachusetts. The building, which has also served as a courthouse, Federal office building, and houses a collection of retail stores, has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places since 1986.

The other project receiving tax credit equity financing through the partnership is the renovation of a classic Greek Revival building in Gardner, MA. The 10,000-square-foot structure in the downtown district has been converted into 12 studio apartments providing supportive housing for individuals who have completed rehabilitation treatment programs, are in recovery, or are transitioning into independent living.

Warren Kirshenbaum, president of Cherrytree Group, said these projects show the power of preservation in America’s small towns through the use of tax credits; which allow developers to reduce development costs to preserve historic structures, make use of renewable energy or clean up toxic land. At the same time, these partnerships allow individual investors to benefit by purchasing earned tax credits from developers, reducing the investor’s tax liabilities.

“We are proud to be part of both the revitalization of the landmark Plymouth Post Office and the adaptive reuse of the Central Street building in Gardner,” Kirshenbaum said, “which in a small way will assist in the battle against opioid and other addictions facing our communities.”

With a landmark clock tower and gilded dome, the developer for the Plymouth project, 1620 Capital, LLC has completed renovating the structure while maintaining its historic character. The building, named Post Office Square, contains luxury apartments and over a dozen new commercial and retail spaces —including a complete build-out of the postal facility for continued use by the U.S. Postal Service. The project has already received the 2017 Paul & Niki Tsongas Award for the Best Main Street Project in the state.

The managing partner of 1620 Capital, George Vasvatekis, said his firm has been involved with other historic preservation projects but that Plymouth’s Post Office Square will be its most visible endeavor.

“Historic buildings give our cities and towns that special character and provide a vital link to our past,” Vasvatekis said. “The state and Federal historic rehabilitation tax credits, although complicated in nature, provide that powerful incentive to engage in substantial and historically sensitive preservation. Working with Cherrytree Group, a specialized and narrowly focused company, was an instrumental partnership that ensured the success of the Post Office Square redevelopment.”

The Gardner project is a key initiative for the Gardner-Athol Area Mental Health Association’s sober housing project . The organization provides residential services for individuals with substance use disorders. Located in the town’s historic district, the renovated building is located steps from public transportation and municipal parking and is expected to soon receive certification from the state’s Alliance for Sober Housing.

“We’re thrilled to have been able to preserve this historic building and create a use for it that has positive impact on the community both socially and economically,” said Shawn Hayden, COO for the Gardner-Athol Area Mental Health Association. “Non-profit agencies like ours need to be creative when looking at large capital projects like this. Cherrytree Group was instrumental in helping us to recapture part of our investment through historic tax credits.”

The Cherrytree Group offers tax credit consulting, brokerage and syndication services to developers as well as to individual and institutional investors. Cherrytree applies for, secures, and monetizes available federal and state tax credits. The company focuses primarily on the Massachusetts Brownfields Tax Credit, Federal and state historic rehabilitation tax credits, and renewable energy tax credits such as the Federal solar investment tax credit.

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