An innovative effort to convert state surplus land into a vibrant mixed-income, mixed-use community.
Village Hill Northampton is a joint public-private redevelopment project that is the result of over 25 years of effort by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, the City of Northampton, elected officials, advocates, and concerned citizens. Situated on a prominent hilltop west of downtown Northampton, the redevelopment provides a forward-looking, economically viable reuse for the former Northampton State Hospital.
Since 2002, The Community Builders, Inc. (TCB) has worked in conjunction with MassDevelopment to create a mixed-use community that consists of affordable and market-rate housing, commercial space, a child care center, a possible community center/museum area, and the development of a 60-80 unit assisted living facility for seniors. The Master Plan includes 207 residential units, split between for-sale and mixed-income rental housing. Overall, fifty percent of these residential units will be designated as affordable.
Hilltop Apartments, the redevelopment's first rental phase, was completed in 2006 and holds 33 units in two historically significant buildings. These units house individuals and families with a wide range of incomes. The second rental phase was completed in 2009 and includes 40 units. Thirty-two of these units are restricted to low-income residents and the remaining eight market units are available without income restrictions. The project is designed to be Energy Star compliant with solar photo-voltaic panels, storm water recharging, environmentally-friendly building materials, and wireless internet access.
The redevelopment of Northampton State Hospital represents an enormous opportunity. The property is surrounded by scenic walking trails along the Mill River, with access to a bicycle trail, community gardens, and the Smith College campus. Northampton's close proximity to New England's economic centers makes the project a potential catalyst for economic development. Further, it will create a vibrant and attractive mixed-use community with jobs, housing, and modest amounts of convenience retail, all less than a mile from the educational, cultural, and civic resources of downtown Northampton.