The transformation of 7610 Maple serves as a model for why preservation of older buildings is necessary, and works. Construction on the 1960s high rise, located on Maple Avenue in Takoma Park, Maryland, began in the summer of 2010 and was completed September 30, 2011. Residents began moving in mid-October, and by December the building was fully leased. The renovation cost $5.75 million and created a total of 72 jobs.
The previous owner planned to sell the property to luxury condo developers, but when the housing market declined the sale stalled. The 8-story brick building deteriorated, became a fire hazard, and was condemned. The vacant structure became an eyesore on the main street of an otherwise vibrant neighborhood for nearly three years until MHP acquired it in December 2008.
“With the help of creative public-private financing and dedicated partners like Capital One and Montgomery County, we were able to take a vacant, run-down property in the heart of Takoma Park and turn it into stylish new affordable homes for 36 families,” said Robert A. Goldman, President of MHP.
MHP houses people, empowers families, and strengthens neighborhoods throughout Montgomery County. Through its affiliates, MHP has developed more than 1,300 units of affordable rental housing, focusing primarily in transit-oriented neighborhoods in Takoma Park, Rockville, and Silver Spring. 7610 Maple is located less than a mile from the Takoma Park Metro station and two blocks from an elementary school and senior center.
Formerly known as Maple Towers, the asbestos filled property received a green gut-rehab, including all new windows, kitchens and bathrooms, a new elevator and a reflective Thermoplastic Olefin (TPO) roof, which is made of recycled material. MHP transformed 35 mostly studio and 1-bedroom apartments into 36 modern and bright 1-, 2- and 3-bedroom homes for working families, seniors, and residents who needed handicap-accessibility. A 2,000-square foot community center with a computer lab was also added to the building, allowing MHP to offer an on-site Play and Learn preschool program for residents and additional educational workshops.
Seventy-eight percent of the apartment homes are reserved for low- and moderate-income households with incomes between 30-60 percent of AMI, with the remainder rented at market rate. Residents include a retired nurse, teacher, school bus driver, retired librarian, and three military veterans readjusting to civilian life after long stretches of active duty deployment during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Total development costs totaled $12,150,184 – or $296.60 per square foot. Construction financing was provided by Capital One Bank, which also purchased the 9 percent low-income housing tax credits issued by the State of Maryland. Gap financing was provided by the Montgomery County Department of Housing and Community Affairs and the County’s Housing Investment Fund. Additional financing was provided by NeighborWorks America, and the Maryland Affordable Housing Trust.
This is the second award that MHP has received in as many weeks for its mixed-income property. Last week, 7610 Maple received the award for Best Small Affordable Housing Project from the Housing Association of Nonprofit Developers (HAND).
Montgomery Housing Partnership (MHP) creates quality, affordable homes in Montgomery County. It is a private, nonprofit housing development organization that houses people, empowers families, and strengthens neighborhoods. Through its affiliates, MHP has developed more than 1,300 units of affordable apartments, condos and townhomes. MHP also works with residents to enhance the vitality of the neighborhoods in which affordable housing is located, and implements Community Life Programs for its residents. It is a chartered member of NeighborWorks®