Ribbon Cut on $54M ThirtyOne Elm Project in Springfield

ThirtyOne Elm ribbon cutting

Springfield, MA – WinnCompanies and development partner Opal Real Estate Group recently joined with federal, state and local leaders to formally open ThirtyOne Elm, an adaptive reuse development bringing 74 apartments and 13,000sf of retail and commercial space to the heart of downtown Springfield.

Over 100 people attended the ribbon cutting, including U.S. Rep. Richard E. Neal, Massachusetts Housing Secretary Edward Augustus, Springfield Mayor Domenic J. Sarno, MassHousing CEO Chrystal Kornegay, Opal Real Estate Group Founder Peter A. Picknelly, MGM Springfield President and Chief Operating Officer Louis Theros and WinnDevelopment President and Managing Partner Larry Curtis.

Prior to the restoration project, the 132-year-old Court Square Building had been vacant for three decades. Led by WinnDevelopment Vice President Dana Angelo, the project made the preservation of the historic features in the 131,595sf former hotel a top priority. In addition, four of the apartments and two retail spaces were built inside a smaller adjoining building known as the Byers Block, reported to be the oldest surviving commercial structure in the city.

The extensive rehabilitation effort for ThirtyOne Elm ranged from stabilizing the building’s original structure and preserving the historic fabric to integrating a multifamily and mixed-use program within the constraints of the existing building’s framework. With help from The Architectural Team (TAT), who served as architect of record, and Public Archaeology Laboratory, Inc. (PAL), the existing wainscoting, crown molding, terrazzo flooring, curved wooden bannisters, marble walls and doors on the interior of the building were restored. Murals on the building’s exterior were removed and placed in storage to protect them from damage during construction, and many historic hotel doors were incorporated in the design of renovated corridors and apartments on upper floors.

The development work also included installing key environmental features such as high-efficiency heating and cooling systems, LED lighting, ENERGY STAR appliances, and electric vehicle charging stations. In addition to 49 one-bedroom units and 25 two-bedroom units, the property features an on-site management office, fitness center, community space and 45 parking spaces on site, along with 100 spaces reserved for residents in the MGM casino parking garage less than a block away. Copper + Kin, a 9,000sf restaurant from Bean Restaurant Group, is scheduled to open in the building this fall. The community’s 59 market rate and 15 middle income apartments have been leased.

Fontaine Brothers served as general contractor on the $54.5 million construction project. PAL served as the project’s historic consultant. The Massachusetts Historical Commission and the National Park Service, administrators of the state and federal historic tax credit programs, provided guidance and assisted with challenges that arose during construction. The community is managed by WinnResidential.

MassHousing acted as funding administrator for $48.5 million in construction and permanent financing jointly provided by the Massachusetts Executive Office of Housing and Livable Communities, the City of Springfield, MassMutual and MGM Springfield. The U.S. National Park Service and Massachusetts Historical Commission provided $10.8 million in federal and state historic tax credit equity. Bank of America delivered $12.2 million in construction, bridge and permanent financing, as well as all of the equity for the historic tax credits. The City of Springfield and the Springfield Redevelopment Authority completed approximately $4 million in environmental remediation work at the site prior to transferring ownership to WinnDevelopment and Opal Real Estate Group in June 2022.

Minority and Women-Owned Business Enterprises (M/WBEs) played a significant role in creating ThirtyOne Elm, earning $12.3 million in wages and fees – nearly 23% of the total construction budget. More than 45% of the construction hours were performed by women, local residents and people of color. These groups comprised nearly 50% of the workforce, including 66% of the new hires made for the project.