Capstone Communities and Hope Real Estate Enterprises
Sean D. Hope, a third generation Cantabrigian, is the founder and principal of Hope Real Estate Enterprises LLC in Central Square, Cambridge. Sean has leveraged his experience as a Land Use attorney and former member of the Cambridge Zoning Board in partnership with Capstone Communities LLC to develop Port Landing, a 20 apartment 100% affordable housing development at 131 Harvard Street in The Port.
Sean is deeply committed to improving the quality of life for Cambridge residents through his work with the Margaret Fuller Neighborhood house, Cambridge Children and Family Services (CFCS), and the Cambridge Historical Society.
Jason Korb is the principal of Capstone Communities LLC where he has developed market rate, mixed income, and 100% affordable housing. Since founding Capstone in October 2010, Jason has successfully completed a total of $36,000,000 in development transactions in Cambridge, Somerville, Arlington, Newton and Brockton Massachusetts. Prior to forming Capstone, Jason was the Vice President of Acquisitions at Beacon Communities LLC, a developer, owner, and manager of over 9,000 apartment homes in the Northeast.
Most recently, Capstone Communities LLC in partnership with Hope Real Estate Enterprises LLC completed Port Landing, a 100% affordable family community in The Port, Cambridge. Prior to the birth of his two young children, Jason was the vice-chair of Preservation Massachusetts and a board member of Caritas Communities.
What is considered affordable housing in the context of Frost Terrace?
Affordable housing typically includes apartments that limit household income to at or below 30%, 50% and 60% of the area median income (AMI). For 2019, the adjust gross income limits in Cambridge for a family of four range from $35,550 to $71,100. For 2019, three-bedroom monthly rents (including all utilities) would range from $924 to $1,848, and two-bedroom monthly rents would range from $800 to $1,600.
How long will the apartments be restricted as affordable housing?
The apartments at Frost Terrace will be affordable in perpetuity.
How can I apply for an apartment home at Frost Terrace?
The property management team will hold a public lottery for all of the apartment homes at Frost Terrace. There will be a 60 day application period during which time applications for the lottery are accepted. If you would like to be notified of the application period and receive an application, please click on the "Application Information" tab and fill out your information. Someone will send you an application when the application period opens. We anticipate the lottery application period opening in Spring 2020.
How was the proposed height and density determined?
The development team balanced financial considerations and based the proposed density and Floor to Area Ratio (FAR) on adjacent properties, including the Newport Road condominiums to the south (45’), Lesley University to the north (55’), and 1-7 Arlington Street condominiums to the northwest (60’). Frost Terrace is similar in density and scale to these neighboring properties. The proposal retains the original 1 and 2 Frost Terrace houses to the rear and proposes shed dormers on the existing houses. The height of the proposal for 1 and 2 Frost Terrace is in line with the Residence B district and neighborhood at the rear and north.
Will the existing mature trees on the site, including but not limited to the Chestnut tree on the property line between the Newport Road condominiums and the five-story tree between 1 and 2 Frost Terrace, be retained?
The mature trees on the site will be retained as part of the proposal. The development team has hired a landscape architect and retained an arborist that provided specifications to ensure the trees are not damaged during construction and to specify and ongoing operations and maintenance.
Electrical transformers in new developments in Porter Square have been placed in conspicuous locations and have reduced visible green space and are unattractive.
The Eversource electrical transformer and switch gear will be pole mounted and enclosed in a vault under the front lawn so that the front of the site will remain green space.
Will the apartments be duplexes, flats, etc.?
The apartments in the current 1791 Mass Ave building, existing 1 and 2 Frost Terrace houses, and new 4-5 story addition will be a combination of flats and duplexes.
How will the interior of the apartments and common areas be finished?
The apartments and common areas will be modern with contemporary fixtures. Below are photographs from the development team’s recently completed Port Landing development at 131 Harvard Street. The finishes at Frost Terrace will be similar in quality and appearance but will also express the proposal’s unique character.
Will the apartments be accessible to individuals with mobility and sensory difficulties?
All of the apartments in the new 4-5 story addition will be designed in accordance with the Massachusetts Architectural Access Board 521 CMR 5.00 Group 2B standards, which state that “…at the time of initial construction, full accessibility without need for further modification.” In addition, 4 apartments in the new 4-5 story addition will be Group 1 units for individuals with mobility difficulties and 1 apartment will be also be a Group 1 unit for individuals with sensory difficulties. The first floor apartment in the 1791 Mass Ave. house will also be a Group 2B apartment.
Will an elevator be provided?
One elevator will be provided in the 4-5 story addition that will serve all the apartments in the addition (a total of 28 apartments). The 12 apartments in the 1791 house and 1 and 2 Frost Terrace houses will not contain an elevator.
What amenities will be in the building?
There will be an onsite management office that will be staffed part-time. In addition, there will be a resident community room in the lower level of the 4-5 story addition where management will organize programming for families, seniors and children. There will also be enclosed bicycle storage in the lower level.
Ownership and Management
How are residents selected? Do current Cambridge residents have any priority? Is it possible to give displaced Cambridge residents any priority?
Current Cambridge residents and certain others will have priority to apply to 70% of the apartments.
Resident screening will follow all federal and state fair housing laws in addition to the requirements specified by the Cambridge Community Development Department and the Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development. Prior to construction completion, the lottery application period, which is at least 60 days, will be opened so that applicants can submit his or her application to live in the community. Applications will be available online, in the Community Development office, in the libraries, by mail via phone and email requests, and at other locations throughout the City. The lottery application period will also be advertised in various publications, both English speaking and non-English speaking. There will also be at least two meetings run by Trinity Management Company, the development’s third-party property manager, that will provide information on the development. Every applicant will receive a letter with a number in the mail. After the application period closes a public lottery will be held and a representative from Trinity will pick each number, which will determine an applicant’s place on the wait list. After the lottery, the first group of applicants will be screened by Trinity to ensure they income qualify and meet the development’s credit and criminal background requirements. Applicants who apply after the lottery will be placed at the end the wait list.
For more information on resident selection visit: http://www.mass.gov/hed/docs/dhcd/hd/fair/afhmp.pdf
Who will manage the community once it opens and for how long will you own the building?
Capstone and Hope will be hiring a professional property management company that specializes in multi-family affordable housing. Capstone and Hope recently opened the 100% affordable Port Landing apartment community in The Port (Cambridge). Port Landing is currently managed by Trinity Management Company, a highly respected management company that currently manages over 6,000 market rate and affordable apartments and over 538,500 square feet of commercial space. Under the various affordable housing subsidy programs, Capstone and Hope are required to own Frost Terrace for a period of no less than 10-15 years after the development is completed. This long-term ownership requirement ensures that we have a vested interest in constructing a high quality and sustainable apartment community.
Parking and Transportation
The proposal includes only 3 onsite parking spaces, will tenants have cars and where will they park?
We estimate that our residents will have approximately 20 vehicles. Only three accessible onsite parking spaces were permitted for the following reasons:
- Adding at-grade parking to the site will significantly reduce the number of apartments that can be constructed on the site since the parking spaces would occupy the areas currently slated for apartments;
- Adding below-grade parking would (1) be very inefficient (the ramp and drive aisles would take up significant space leaving reduced room for parking spaces), (2) it would be aesthetically unappealing since the ramp and garage door would be facing onto Mass Ave, and (3) it is uneconomical (garage parking spaces range in cost between $100,000 – $150,000 per parking space, depending on conditions).
Management will employ traffic demand measures (TDM) that include subsidizing MBTA passes, Hubway memberships, and Zipcar memberships; providing covered and accessible bike parking; providing live information on transit services on a screen in the lobby; matching residents who desire to carpool with other residents; and, providing at move-in information to all residents on all public transportation options within a short distance of the site. Residents that have cars registered in Cambridge will be eligible for City of Cambridge resident on-street parking permits.
Will bicycle parking be provided?
Covered and accessible bike parking will be provided, some of which will be in the lower level of the new 4-5 story addition.