In December 2016,  BIDFA, as conduit issuer of an Enterprise Zone (EZ) Facility Bond, closed on $21.5 million in financing to construct Roxbury’s new Melnea Hotel. The total development cost is $38 million. Additional funding was provided by New Market Tax Credits, a MassWorks grant, and developer equity. Construction of the new hotel is slated for completion on —-.

This 135 room Residence Inn by Marriott will be located at the corner of Melnea Cass Boulevard and Washington St.  Colwen Management, an award-winning hotel developer and operator and Urbanica, Inc., a transformative development company with extensive local development experience have partnered to build the hotel.

BIDFA, as a conduit bond issuer qualified this project for Tax-Exempt financing as an Enterprise Zone Facility Bond. Cambridge Savings Bank is the bond purchaser. In these transactions, the tax exempt treatment means that the bond revenue is tax-exempt revenue for the purchaser. The purchaser then passes along a lower interest rate to the borrower. As happened in this case, the lower interest rate facilitates a project that otherwise wouldn’t cash flow, and couldn’t be built. This tax exemption refers to federal and state taxes. City of Boston tax revenue is in no way impacted. Additionally, the credit of the borrower, and not that of the City of Boston, BIDFA, or the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, is pledged to repay the bonds.

To qualify for an EZ Bond, the borrower must guarantee that 35% of all permanent jobs created by the project must be Boston residents from Boston census tracts that have a poverty rate of at least 20%, and/or a census tract where the median family income does not exceed 80% of the Boston-Cambridge-Newton Metropolitan area.

This project will bring important change to the Dudley Square neighborhood and will generate significant jobs and benefits for local residents. To facilitate this local job creation, the Developers are contributing $400,000 to a job training fund to be administered by the Mayor’s Office of Workforce Development. They will also provide on-site job training. The hotel is still under construction, but the projected long term job creation goal calls for 48 permanent positions. These jobs will pay a minimum of $18 per hour, well above the industry average.

Outreach for construction site jobs has been outstanding. As of March 2018 there have been 266 persons employed on the site. Of those 65.9% are minorities, 11.3% females and 53% of all workers are Boston residents. This exceeds the Boston Jobs Policy targets of 25% minority, 10% female and 50% Boston residents.