$1.6M Bond Issued for Malden Affordable Housing, Food Pantry

54 Eastern Ave. / Rendering courtesy of Bread of Life

Malden, MA – MassDevelopment has issued a $1,660,000 tax-exempt bond on behalf of Bread of Life 54 Eastern, LLC, an affiliate of Bread of Life (BOL), which is using proceeds to build a 3-story, approximately 20,000sf building at 54 Eastern Ave. in Malden.

The project is a joint development with Metro North Housing Corporation. Bread of Life will occupy the first two floors of the building, which will feature a commercial kitchen, dining hall, food pantry, warehouse, and office space, and Metro North Housing Corporation will operate 14 low-income housing units on the third floor.

Proceeds also supported costs associated with demolishing Bread of Life’s former building on the property, which was cleared in September 2022. Construction of the new building began in November 2022 and is expected to be complete in January 2024. Eastern Bank purchased the bond, which helped Bread of Life achieve a lower cost of capital.

“This community-based, collaborative effort has all the ingredients to make a significant difference for area residents by adding 14 affordable housing units in downtown Malden and ensuring a new, welcoming space for Bread of Life to provide food assistance,” said MassDevelopment president and CEO, Dan Rivera.

“The city was pleased to provide $3.26 million in financial assistance to this mixed-use development through various funding sources including HOME Program Partnership funds, Malden American Recovery Act funds, federal Community Development Block Grant monies and funds from the Community Preservation Act,” said Malden Mayor Gary Christenson.

Founded in 1980 and incorporated in 1992, Bread of Life is a nonprofit organization that provides community meals and other food assistance to residents north of Boston. It brings together over 500 volunteers from 40 partner organizations that include congregations from the faith community, businesses, civic organizations, schools, government and social service agencies from Malden, Everett, Medford, Melrose, Wakefield, Reading, and Peabody to offer free food to hungry, homeless, and isolated people.

Bread of Life executive director, Gabriella Snyder Stelmack, said, “With the valued partnerships of MassDevelopment and Eastern Bank, Bread of Life’s programs will now be under one roof, ensuring more families have access to a warm and inviting food pantry, a modern and updated dining space, and a spacious building to operate our Grocery Delivery Program, Back Pack Nutrition Program, and Mobile Market.”