SOUTH DENNIS — The Housing Assistance Corporation will construct a $6.4-million affordable housing complex on the Melpet Farm property on Route 134 in South Dennis.
Dennis selectmen awarded the bid Tuesday night (Dec. 14) for a 27-unit, 52-bedroom development, including eight residential buildings and a community center to HAC, the Hyannis-based non-profit that has been providing housing assistance on the Cape for 35 years.
Of the 27 units, 85 percent will be affordable to households earning at or below 60 percent of area median income, which is $75,000 on the Mid-Cape. Fifteen percent will be affordable to households earning at or below 50 percent of area median income.
On behalf of the Dennis Municipal Housing Trust, consultant Alice Boyd of Bailey Boyd Associates recommended awarding the bid to HAC, to which selectmen unanimously agreed. The town will enter a long-term lease with HAC, which will be responsible for constructing the project and its ongoing management.
Karam Financial Group and The Resource Inc. also submitted bids for the project. Karam’s 28-unit/52-bedroom proposal carried a total cost of $8.8 million, and TRI offered a $6.8 million, 26-unit/52-bedroom proposal.
The Melpet redevelopment will also include an agricultural component to be discussed early in the new year.
“HAC’s vision is a community where everyone has a safe, stable and decent place to live,” said Gisele Gauthier, director of housing development. “We have been working toward this vision for 35 years and look forward to the opportunity to do what we do best in the town of Dennis.”
Architect Chris Raber of Brown, Lindquist, Fenuccio and Raber Architects has designed three distinct yet compatible building types that are consistent with the South Dennis neighborhood. Each two-story, wood-framed building will incorporate a passive solar design. Each contains one unit equipped for handicapped and or hearing or visually impaired tenants.
“We left as much open space as possible, and have placed a gazebo and playground area in the central space to invite shared activity,” Raber said.
Each unit will be oriented toward the shared central space with a view of the agricultural field and has access to an exterior patio or deck.
“Use of a simple linear loop road for efficient vehicular circulation and perimeter parking minimizes impact to the site and provides central open space where existing tree groupings have been retained, as well as a safe play area for children,” Raber said.
Green building and sustainable design principles have been incorporated into the planning and construction of similar projects, and HAC will apply these to the Melpet project.
HAC plans to hire MB Management of Braintree, which has been successfully managing affordable, multi-family rental housing for 35 years.
The projected development schedule calls for submission of the comprehensive permit application early next spring, with completion expected in late spring/early summer, and submission of a tax-credit application next fall. Following the awarding of all available funding, construction is expected to begin in August 2012, with the first certificate of occupancy issued in October 2013 and full occupancy by January 2014.
Nicole Muller can be reached at email@example.com.