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May 25, 2023

Planned Athol mixed-income affordable housing development granted $1M

A graphic of brown brick buildings with a parking lot and children running through a grass lawn Rendering | ICON Architecture of Boston courtesy of NewVue Communities A rendering of a planned affordable housing development in Athol, The Riverbend-Bigelow Schools Project

The Riverbend-Bigelow Schools Project in Athol, being developed by the nonprofit NewVue Communities, will receive $1 million in federal funding to redevelop a former school complex into 53 units of intergenerational affordable housing.

The money is one of several Central Massachusetts projects to receive money as part of the omnibus appropriations bill passed the the House and Senate in December, according to a press release from Congressman Jim McGovern (D-Worcester), who will be in Athol on Friday to announce the funding.

The Riverbend-Bigelow Schools Project, to be known as Residences at the Park will provide 20 one-bedroom apartments, 24 two-bedroom apartments, and nine three-bedroom apartments. 

Eight of the units will be restricted to tenants earning 30% of the area median income, six units at 50% AMI, 30 units at 60% AMI, and nine units at 80-to 100% AMI, according to an informational publication provided by NewVue Communities on Thursday.

The development will preserve the Ellen Bigelow School, built in 1912, and portions of the Athol Riverbend School, constructed in 1907 and 1937. A new two-story building, connecting the school buildings will be constructed to house the one-bedroom units.

NewVue Communities is a Fitchburg-based community development corporation serving communities throughout North Central Massachusetts from Harvard to Athol.

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