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MHP helps Marathon preserve 67 Pittsfield apartments for the long run

Posted on January 26, 2017

New Amsterdam: new buildings in foreground and the Grace Building in the back left.


PITTSFIELD --- The Massachusetts Housing Partnership (MHP) continued its support of rental housing in Pittsfield, this time providing a long-term, low-interest loan to support Marathon Development Group’s ongoing efforts to fix, stabilize and ensure affordability of New Amsterdam Apartments for years to come.

Using its Treasury’s Risk Share Program, MHP was able to refinance the original $2 million loan and provide Marathon Development with a $2.375 million, 40-year loan while also reducing the interest rate from 6.78 to 3.5 percent.

“Whenever you can get financing like this, it helps stabilize operations and fulfill the mission of providing safe, decent affordable housing,” said Mark Soja, president of Marathon Development Group. “We couldn’t have done this without MHP’s help and this financing will benefit the properties for years to come.”

New Amsterdam Apartments consists of seven buildings: the historic downtown Wood Building at 421 North Street, the brick Grace Building at 103 Bradford Street, and five new buildings of modular construction at 80-168 Bradford Street. 

The Wood Building has ground-floor commercial space and 12 upper-story apartments, the Grace Building has 12 apartments and the five new buildings  contain 43 apartments. The apartments were originally financed with federal low-income housing tax credits. There is one studio, 16 one-bedroom and 50 two-bedroom apartments, all affordable to families earning below 60 percent of area median income.

MHP used its Treasury Risk Share Program
to provide Marathon Development Group
with a 40-year loan at a 3.5 percent interest rate.

The five new buildings were finished in 2010. They were heralded as a major facelift for the city’s aging West Side neighborhood and were believed to be the first new affordable housing built in the city by a private developer in 30 years.

By 2012 however, the new buildings were experiencing water damage. Marathon Development, which had been brought in as a co-partner, funded repairs, bought out the other partner and brought in a new property management company to improve operating conditions.

“Mark Soja and the team at Marathon Development Group deserve a lot of credit for stepping up to the plate and making the necessary repairs to put the property back on track and making sure that this housing is a benefit to the community and the downtown for years to come,” said Clark Ziegler, executive director of the Massachusetts Housing Partnership.

This is the third loan MHP has made in the last six years to support affordable rental housing in Pittsfield. MHP also provided an $800,000 first mortgage to support the transformation of the Rice Silk Mill into 45 mixed-income apartments and a $2.5 million loan for the acquisition and rehabilitation of 100 units at Dalton Apartments. 

Since 1990, MHP has used its capital sources to provide over $1 billion for the financing of over 22,000 rental apartments across Massachusetts.

Marathon Development Group is a New York-based real estate company that specializes in the acquisition, restructuring and redevelopment of affordable multifamily properties. Marathon has redeveloped more than 1,700 units of affordable housing. New Amsterdam is the company’s first redevelopment in Massachusetts.

For more information about New Amsterdam financing and MHP’s financing options, contact: 

  • Director of Lending David Rockwell, 857-317-8550 or drockwell@mhp.net.
  • Senior Relationship Manager Nancy McCafferty: 857-317-8556 or nmccafferty@mhp.net.