Capitol Square Apartments

Capitol Square Apartments was the first Arlington property to receive low-income housing tax credits from the Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD).  Originally constructed in 1912, these three apartment buildings on adjacent parcels are a few blocks from the Capitol Theatre in East Arlington. Significant renovations were made to all 32 existing apartments, common areas and exteriors, and units are affordable in perpetuity serving low-income households.

The acquisition and redevelopment of these properties required a complex mix of both private and public financing, including Community Development Block Grant funds from the Town of Arlington, local HOME Program funds, state Affordable Housing Trust Funds, stabilization funds through DHCD, low-income housing tax credits (4%), tax-exempt bond financing through Eastern Bank, state and federal historic tax credits with investors Brookline Bank and Cambridge Savings Bank, and HUD funding through the McKinney-Vento Program.

HCA performed capital improvements to the buildings including heating system replacement, roof replacement, installation of sprinklers and emergency lighting, and electrical system upgrades as well as overall unit upgrades with kitchen and bath replacements or upgrades, unit reconfiguration and floor refinishing. Energy improvements included wall and roof insulation, new windows, and energy efficient appliances.

The buildings’ strong historic integrity of location, design, setting, materials and workmanship were enhanced through the renovation. In the interior, wood floors, stair newels and balustrades, and other original wood moldings were preserved. Exterior details were carefully restored or recreated to further enhance the appearance of these architecturally and historically significant structures. Rehabilitation of each building was done in compliance with the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation. The renovation at 252, 258 and 260 Massachusetts Avenue reinforced the early-20th-century streetscape in scale, massing and setback.

The buildings offer a mix of apartment sizes: 6 studio units, 17 one-bedroom units and 9 two-bedroom units, retaining 32 units overall. Bus service is available at the front door and many retail and other services are within walking distance. There is ample off-street parking for residents with automobiles. Eight project-based Section 8 vouchers are secured, and those apartments are affordable to very low-income families and individuals. The remaining rents are affordable to households earning between 30% and 60% of the Area Median Income (AMI). The majority of the units are affordable at 60% AMI.