NHHFA Approves $1,400,000 in Financing for Redevelopment of Unused Franklin Mill

July 7, 2016

Key hurdle cleared to convert abandoned mill in Franklin into 45 modern apartments

BEDFORD, N.H. – A 50,000 square foot brick mill on the river’s bend is set to provide far more than nostalgic value for the Franklin community, now that funding is in place to convert the structure into 45 modern apartments. The New Hampshire Housing Board of Directors recently approved $1,400,000 in loans for the Franklin Light and Power Mill project located in Franklin, New Hampshire. The project is composed of 19 one-bedroom units and 26 two-bedroom units.

The mill was erected in 1895, the same year Franklin was incorporated, and has been a constant fixture in the community despite changes within its walls. The building was home to an industrial machine shop for much of the 20th century and later operated as a foodstuffs warehouse. Recent ambitions to turn the mill into a condo development fell flat during the 2008 recession and the building went unutilized. With significant funding set in place, construction is expected to begin in late August to give the historic mill a new and lasting identity. The project sponsor, CATCH Neighborhood Housing, is using the name Light and Power Mill for the project to pay homage to the Franklin Light and Power company that occupied the building in its heyday.

“After almost two years of predevelopment efforts centered around the Franklin Light and Power Mill, we are planning to break ground and start construction in late August to early September 2016,” said Caite Foley, vice president of real estate development and asset management at CATCH Neighborhood Housing. “New Hampshire Housing Finance Authority’s commitment of tax credits, HOME funding, and State of NH Affordable Housing Funds represents approximately 79 percent of the project’s total budget. Solidifying this incredibly important piece of financing is a significant milestone for the project which will create 45 affordable apartments in downtown Franklin.”

“By repurposing the mill, Franklin is able to leverage a high-quality affordable housing asset in a region that has a limited supply of non-age-restricted workforce housing,” said Dean Christon, executive director of New Hampshire Housing. “At the same time, restoration gives an element of permanence to a historical site that may have otherwise fallen into disrepair.”

Funding for the Franklin Light and Power Mill project comes from a variety of sources including $1,100,000 in federal HOME funds and $300,000 in state Affordable Housing Fund monies.

About New Hampshire Housing Finance Authority: New Hampshire Housing Finance Authority is a self-supporting public benefit corporation. The Authority operates a number of rental and homeownership programs designed to assist low- and moderate-income persons with obtaining affordable housing. Since its inception, New Hampshire Housing has helped more than 41,000 families purchase their own homes and has been instrumental in financing the creation of more than 14,500 multi-family housing units. More information about its programs can be found on the agency’s website at www.nhhfa.org or www.gonewhampshirehousing.com.