Sandwich Affordable Rental Development to Break Ground Next Month

A design layout of Terrapin Ridge in Sandwich. Architect: Brown Lindquist Fenuccio & Raber Architects, Inc., Engineer: Coastal Engineering Company, Inc.

SANDWICH – Ground is expected to be broken next month in Sandwich for the Terrapin Ridge affordable housing development.

Planning for the project, which will include 30 one-, two-, and three-bedroom rental units, began a decade ago.

The project will start with the construction of road and utility infrastructure off Quaker Meeting House Road.

Sandwich Housing Authority Executive Director Paula Schnepp says it is huge for the town that the project is finally moving forward.

“We haven’t had any affordable housing developments since Osprey Lane was completed in 2003,” Schnepp said.

“It’s been 16 or 17 years since we have had any significant [affordable] rental developments.”

The infrastructure work will include site clearing and grading, drainage and sewer system installation, and a parking lot.

The work will also provide for improvements to roads and crosswalks for the existing development on George Fernandes Way.

The town closed bids for the road and utility work Wednesday.

A $1.5 million MassWorks grant was awarded for the project last fall for the road and utility construction.

Construction plans for the project were rekindled last month after an announcement of grant funding from Governor Charlie Baker through the state’s 2019 Affordable Rental Housing Awards.

The Department of Housing and Community Development will support the project with Low Income Housing Tax Credits and subsidy funds.

The Town of Sandwich is also supporting the project with $1.4 million in Community Preservation Act funds.

All units will be restricted for households earning less than 60 percent of Area Median Income, with 14 units further restricted for extremely low-income households earning less than 30 percent of AMI.

Schnepp said it is not uncommon for projects like these to take this long to develop.

“It takes a very long time to put all the pieces together to create affordable housing,” she said. “It takes a lot of persistence and determination to get it done and I am very happy we have gotten this far.”

Schnepp said the biggest challenge of the whole process was finding a developer to work with.

“We had a vision for what we wanted on that lot, but it took us a couple of rounds to find the developer than met all the requirements that the board had and that we could move forward,” she said.

The Women’s Institute for Housing and Economic Development, a Boston-based organization, is the project’s developer. It specializes in the creation of affordable housing throughout New England.

The organization expects the entire project to be completed by the spring of 2021.

Coastal Engineering Co. is working with Brown Lindquist Fenuccio & Raber Architects, Inc to provide surveying, engineering, and permitting support services in connection with the project.

Schepp said the financing is expected to close by the end of the year with construction expected at the beginning of 2020.

“I think everybody will be extremely excited when it is finished,” Schnepp said.

About Brian Merchant

Brian Merchant grew up in Central Massachusetts and now lives in South Dennis on the Cape. He has been part of the news team in the NewsCenter since the spring of 2014. He studied radio broadcasting at the University of Tennessee.
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