Michael Bushnell

Roughly eighteen months after first announcing the concept for the Historic Northeast Lofts project at the old Hardesty Federal facility at Independence and Hardesty Avenues, developer Jonathan Arnold is finally seeing a light at the end of the proverbial tunnel and has a tentative, Fall 2024  groundbreaking date on the project that will completely reimagine the 22-acre site.

Arnold’s transit-oriented concept would bring retail, community greenspace, restaurants and day care facilities to the outlying buildings and 389 housing units, 80% of which will be affordable, to the massive 12-story building that currently houses a self-storage and truck rental business.

Also part of the plan is a 30,000 square foot community health and wellness gym that will be open to the surrounding community.

Arnold Development principal Jonathan Arnold, who describes himself as a recovering architect, said his firm specializes in triple bottom line projects: projects are financially viable but also have long term positive impacts on the community and environment.

Architectural rendering provided by Arnold Development

“”I think at the end of the day, what gives purpose and meaning to life is it’s exciting to, first and foremost, listen to what the needs are in the community,” Arnold said. “What’s the vision? What’s lacking? And what we found was there’s a need for multi-family housing that’s affordable and attainable at a wide variety of income levels,” Arnold explained.

The housing component would occupy floors 2-12 of the primary building with units ranging from studios to three bedrooms with income levels ranging from 30-80% of AMI. (Area Median Income) The remaining 17% of the residential units would be unrestricted but, Arnold added, it would likely be between 80-100% of AMI.

Architectural rendering provided by Arnold Development

Sale of the property should be completed by mid-summer and groundbreaking is currently slated for September or October for Phase I on the main building. The project relies on both historic tax credits as well as low income tax credits in order to maintain its viability.

A public engagement session is scheduled for Wednesday evening, April 24th at the offices of the Northeast Chamber of Commerce at 2657 Independence Ave., from 6 to 7pm. A Zoom link for the meeting is also available for those who wish to attend virtually.

To read about the updated development on this story, check out the story below!