First-time buyer? Check out ONE Mortgage

Ribbon cutting heralds transformation of former school into mixed-income community

Posted on November 6, 2023

State Housing Secretary Edward Augustus was among the speakers at the ribbon cutting.

BRIDGEWATER --- MPZ Development and Capstone Communities joined state and local officials and residents on September 19 in celebrating the grand opening of the McElwain School Apartments, a new 57-unit, mixed-income apartment community near Bridgewater’s town center.

The development, at 242-250 Main Street, combines the adaptive reuse of McElwain School, which sat vacant for 20 years, into 16 apartments, renovation of an existing two-story house containing three apartments and construction of a detached, energy efficient three-story building with 38 apartments designed with Passive House certification requirements.

The development includes a mix of one-, two- and three-bedroom units to individuals and families whose income ranges from 30 to 60 percent of area median income (AMI). A dog park, playground, community room and a wildflower bee meadow are also features of the development. MHP has provided $5.3 million in permanent financing.

“You’ve got historic preservation, new construction, community amenities restoring this beloved, but blighted school to its former glory. The impact has grown exponentially from there,” said MHP Chief of Public and Community Engagement Dana LeWinter during remarks after the ribbon cutting.

Town Council President Erik Moore was a student at the McElwain School. “I have amazing memories of the building,” he said. “I have memories of this building fostering relationships, it provided a sense of community to our youth. It exposed me and many others to new ideas and new ways of thinking.”

The namesake of the McElwain School Apartments is William H. McElwain, founder of the William H. McElwain Shoe Company, a major employer in Bridgewater at the turn of the 20th century. The McElwain family donated money for the building and lot for the former McElwain Grammar School, constructed in 1912.

MPZ and Capstone commissioned internationally renowned steampunk artist Bruce Rosenbaum to create a metal sculpture of a flying shoe, which sits outside the school building’s main doors. Capstone Communities Principal Jason Korb said the sculpture, which has 1,000 shoemaking pieces on it, is meant to be whimsical while reminding the community of the role teachers once played at the McElwain School, encouraging students to let their dreams fly.

View other developments MHP has supported in the South Shore region of Massachusetts.

For more information contact MHP Communication Manager Lisa Braxton at or at (857) 301-1526.