A city committed to growth. A vision to develop affordable housing for teachers. A group of people willing to do the work to make a difference.
Horton Group is excited to partner Davenport Properties in a market rate housing project in Springfield, Massachusetts. Horton Group will complete the construction on a 60-unit building in the former Willy’s Overland Building on 151 Chestnut Street.
The idea began with Paul Doherty and other members of Springfield Business Leaders for Education when they asked how to support teachers in the Springfield Public School System.
“Over several meetings, we came to identify an area where we are able to move the needle best was by helping to attract and retain teachers here in the city,” said Tricia Canavan, President and Owner of United Personnel.
After teaming up with Davenport Properties, they searched for the perfect property, and plans started to come to fruition. At the press conference, Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno explained that the construction for the $14.5 million investment is beginning this summer, with plans for completion in 2020.
Willy’s Overland Redevelopment Housing Initiative
The 35,000 square foot building was once home to a car maker before being damaged in a gas blast and abandoned in 2012. Once completed, the renovated building will have a vibrant retail space with a cafe and patio on the ground level, along with 60 apartments and common areas catered toward teachers.
After visiting a housing project with a similar vision in Baltimore and speaking with a teacher group, as well as students at UMASS Amherst, Davenport Properties understood what types of amenities teachers wanted in their community.
The main lobby with offices, computers, and a conference table will be incorporated into common living areas for teacher collaboration. In addition, there will be a common area with a fireplace, big screen TV, and kitchen, as well as a fitness center in the building.
Just the Beginning
While the development is focused on attracting and retaining teachers, Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno is expecting the property to draw in “an eclectic mix: the millennials, the baby boomers, empty nesters…but especially teachers,” he stated.
While this initial development is 60 units, Chuck Irving of Davenport Properties believes this building is going to be a step forward for Springfield.
“We went out and invested in another building and another property for the ability to do several hundred units,” Chuck shared. “Because we think this building is going to be successful, and we think this whole neighborhood is going to turn into something very valuable for the community.”
Learn more about Willy’s Overland Redevelopment Project here: