Convert Waltham Armory Into Affordable Housing

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The Waltham State Armory was built in 1908 and is on the corner of Sharon and Curtis Streets. The building is listed under the National Register of Historic Places and was sold in 2014 to Heritage Hall LLC4. The property was sold by the State in 2004 to a private developer and has been vacant for several years.

The proposal is to convert this building into 23 affordable housing units-- 17  for residents making 60% Area Median Income (AMI) and 6 for residents making 30% AMI. 13 one bedrooms, 8 two bedrooms and two three bedrooms. Each unit would have 1.5 parking spaces, equaling 34 parking spaces. 

The Project is needed to add more affordable housing options. There is a lack of affordable housing for Waltham’s low-wage workers in the service industry. There is a 3-5 year wait period to get into Waltham public housing and very few options for safe and affordable apartments.

More than 1/2 of the funding will come from state and federal sources. The project will cost approximately $12 million to buy the property and develop the affordable housing within the existing structure.  The Community Preservation Committee has approved $5 Million for purchase and development of the property. Metro West CD will be able to secure more than $7 million in federal and state tax dollars to complete the development.

The City will maintain control of the building by having a deed restriction on the property.  This allows the City to set the parameters for the affordable housing use and provides the City with an important oversight role.  As with all affordable housing in Waltham, the management for the Armory apartments would be required to report annually to the City’s Housing Division to account for the income verification of the current tenants, rent rates, and a copy of all leases to ensure compliance with the affordable housing deed restriction.

The historical building will be preserved. The Armory is registered under the National Historic Registry, any changes made to the building will have to be approved by the State Historic Commission.What changes will be made to the appearance of the Armory?Minor changes are proposed such as the addition of dormers on the 3rd floor.  This would be needed in order to fit the 23 units in the building.  Affordable housing projects need to be over 20 units in order to be eligible for state and federal funding otherwise they would not be financially feasible.

There is support from Mayor McCarthy, the Waltham Community Preservation Committee, the Waltham Historic Commission, and WATCH CDC.

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