By Charlene Lovett
The Goddard Block, located in Claremont’s historic city center, is undergoing a complete transformation that will result in 36 new apartments at a time when affordable housing is in high demand. The $11 million construction project represents the biggest investment of the decade in the revitalization of the historic district. It is on schedule to be finished in December, following the completion of a multi-million dollar infrastructure investment of nearby Main Street earlier this summer.
The construction project is a mixed use, mixed income project. It will have both commercial and residential space, and apartments available to people of varying income levels. Approximately 10,000 square feet on the first floor, adjacent to Pleasant Street, will be reserved for commercial enterprise. The space can be divided to accommodate multiple businesses or remain intact for a single entity.
While the quality of the apartments will not differ from one unit to another, the number of apartments available to renters of varying income levels will. Nine of the 36 apartments will be rented at market rates, while the majority will be rented according to a percentage of the area median income (AMI) as defined by Housing and Urban Development (HUD) for Sullivan County.
Nineteen of the apartments will be reserved for renters who earn 60% of the AMI. For one person this equates to $34,320 and increases by approximately $4,000 for each additional person. Another four apartments will be available to renters who earn 50% of the AMI. For one person, this is $28,600 and also increases about $4,000 for each additional person. The remaining four apartments will be set aside for individuals with disabilities.
Given that the Economic and Labor Market Information Bureau cites the per capita income for Claremont as $24,227, this project will deliver quality housing at affordable prices. Because the inside of this historic building has been entirely gutted and reconstructed, environmental concerns such as lead-based paint will not be a concern. The location provides people of all ages the opportunity to live within walking distance of shops, restaurants, cultural art events and the MakerSpace.
It is anticipated that demand for these apartments will be high. New construction is always a draw, and discussions with the Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center have already taken place regarding apartment availability. The completion of this project coupled with other revitalization projects taking place in the city center represents a huge investment in the heart of Claremont. Building on this momentum will be critical in achieving our goal to be a vibrant city in which to live, work and play.
Charlene Lovett is the Mayor of Claremont and welcomes your questions, comments and concerns. Please email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.