In recent years, the city of Quincy has demonstrated an impressive commitment to its economic growth and revitalization. It was, in fact, the first city in the Commonwealth to receive District Improvement Financing (DIF), a state program that enabled the city to create a district improvement financing zone in Quincy Center. The plan is to use the newly generated tax revenues from businesses moving into the refurbished district to fund other important city infrastructure projects.
A Master Tax Increment Financing (TIF) program has also been designated for the downtown area since 2005. This program awards those businesses who invest in Quincy Center and create new jobs a 5% local real estate tax exemption. These businesses also become eligible for a state tax credit.
The City’s downtown redevelopment plan has been in the works for some time and, in contrast to the huge downtown redevelopment plan announced at the start of 2014, the current plan seems financially sound and quite modest in scope. Quincy’s City Council established a new zoning district, increasing the height allowances, easing density and parking requirements, and instituting a streamlined permitting process. This zoning district encourages mixed-use development that should add to the vitality of the downtown.
Quincy Mutual Fire Insurance and Gate Residential Properties are financing a 400-unit apartment building and $100 million retail project which will be the first portion of the redevelopment. Construction on a six-story apartment building containing 169 units will begin in early 2015 with completion targeted for 2016. This building will have 12,000 square feet of both retail and commercial space. A second building will follow which will have retail space and 220 apartments.
The mayor of Quincy, Thomas Koch stated that “Quincy Mutual’s commitment to the city and its persistence in seeing this vision through to reality is nothing short of extraordinary. This plan confirms what we’ve known for some time — that Quincy Center’s potential is ready to be captured. The joint venture between Quincy Mutual and Gate Residential brings together two companies with tremendous expertise and who are committed to getting this project completed”.
Quincy Mutual has been in Quincy since its establishment in 1851. Quincy Mutual President and CEO K. Douglas Briggs also prepared a statement “Quincy is our hometown. More than half of our employees are residents of Quincy and adjacent communities, so what happens here has always been important to our company and the community. We are now partnered for West of Chestnut with a developer in which we have great confidence”.
The news release also included a statement from James Moran the executive vice president of Quincy Mutual: “We have the right team in place, and with Gate Residential we have a developer who fully understands this market and knows how to build projects with luxurious amenities that will appeal to individuals who value easy access to Boston in a relaxed urban environment.”.
Gate Residential, which is a division of Redgate Holdings LLC, also made a statement through its principal, Damian Szary, which said “West of Chestnut offers residents outstanding amenities and vibrant urban living in a historic community, conveniently located on the Red Line. West of Chestnut marks a new chapter for Quincy Center, and we’re excited to announce this terrific team that will build the type of project that will attract a new wave of young professionals to Downtown Quincy.”.
Other companies participating in the project are Graffito SP of Cambridge and Landworks Studio Inc., Sheskey Architects, and Duffy Design Group, all of Boston.
Quincy Center was due for a $1.6 billion overhaul by Street-Works, a developer from White Plains, New York, but the plan was deemed unfeasible and was terminated in April, 2014.