Library Commons, Holyoke

HAP is in the process of developing 55 mixed income residential units in Holyoke which we are calling Library Commons. We envision converting the area surrounding the newly-renovated Holyoke Public Library into a safe, vibrant, pedestrian-friendly neighborhood for the families that live there and the organizations that serve them.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q:  Why is HAP undertaking this development?

A:  HAP is a committed partner in the City’s urban renewal efforts for a number of reasons.  As a manager of several apartment developments in Holyoke, we have a vested interested in contributing to the City’s continued growth and success.  Just as importantly, revitalization is our mission – for more than 40 years, HAP has worked with communities to provide safe, quality housing for families, helping them to achieve a better future and promoting vibrant, diverse communities.

Q:  How will Library Commons benefit the neighborhood?

A:  Currently, some of the area surrounding the Library consists of boarded up buildings that have a negative impact on the safety, health, and welfare of neighborhood residents. The development of Library Commons will help create a safe haven for pedestrian of every age as they walk to schools, the library, shops and other businesses in addition to providing safe, quality housing.

Q:  Will there be a Property Management presence at Library Commons?

A:  Yes. HAP will establish an on-site property management office that will be staffed during normal business hours.  For off hours, residents will be able to contact a 24-hour answering service with any issues or concerns. The on-site office will have information on all HAP programs (e.g. homeownership counseling, financial education, etc.) for all neighborhood residents.

Q:  How is Library Commons being financed?

A:  HAP will be applying for financing from a combination of private and public sources, including private bank acquisition, construction, and permanent financing; State and Federal Historic Tax Credits and Low Income Housing Tax Credits; and other sources.

Q:  What is the total number of apartments in the development?

A:  Library Commons will consist of 55 market-rate and affordable rental units, resulting from the redevelopment of three boarded-up buildings (193-203 Chestnut Street, 117 Essex Streets, 210 Elm Street) and new construction on an adjacent vacant lot.  At the same time, HAP will undertake rehabilitation of an existing 19-unit apartment building that is located at the corner of Dwight and Clinton Streets.

Q:  Will off-street parking be available to tenants?

A:  Yes. Library Commons will provide 63 off-street parking spaces for the 55 units at the Chestnut/Essex/Elm Street site.

Q:  Will there be any wheelchair accessible units?

A:  Yes.  Library Commons will provide a minimum of three wheelchair accessible units as well as two units for the visually and hearing impaired.

Q:  Who is eligible to live at Library Commons?

A:  Library Commons will consist of one-, two-, and three-bedroom apartments. All income levels will be eligible to apply for tenancy.

Q:  What are the next steps for the development of the property?

A: As of March 2014, HAP is moving forward to obtain initial approval from the Holyoke Planning Board regarding routine issues such as building set back, parking requirements, etc. We will also be submitting our plans for the preservation of the Chestnut/Essex/Elm Street buildings to the Holyoke Historic Commission. Once those approvals are obtained, HAP will move forward to put financing in place.

Q:  When will construction start?

A:  It typically takes 36 - 48 months to secure financing for this type of development.  Based on that timeframe, we are anticipating that construction will begin in mid-2017.

Q:  How can interested tenants find out more?

A:  Contact Melphy Antuna, HAP Property Manager, at the email or phone number provided below.

HAP plans to keep the Holyoke community informed throughout the development process.  We will conduct additional outreach meetings in the future in order to inform and update the community. HAP will continue to update our website whenever necessary to provide the latest information.  We encourage the neighborhood to stay involved and we look forward to those conversations.

For more information, contact Melphy Antuna, 413.233.1731 or  mantuna@haphousing.org.