As the affordable housing shortage continues to be a major challenge on the North Shore, the YMCA on Cabot Street in Beverly has created 67 studio apartments with individual kitchenettes and bathrooms to help the region’s low-income residents find a safe, modern, reasonably priced place to live.
These units were created through complete renovation and expansion of the historic YMCA property in downtown in Beverly. The process added a fourth floor to the building, transforming 45 single-room occupancies into 67 studio apartments. The 44,000 square-foot renovation to the brick building included the removal of the original pool and fitness center to accommodate new office space, a community room, laundry facility, and bike storage.
The affordable housing project, now named Cabot Housing, was completed late last year, and as of July 2022, all units have been filled, though applications are being accepted for the waiting list. Rent on the units is well below market rates and the apartments are open the individuals making no more than 60% of the area median income, which puts the current threshold around $56,000 per year.
“I can’t think of anything more important than having a comfortable, welcoming, affordable place to live,” says Chris Lovasco, president and CEO of the YMCA of the North Shore. “It’s something too often taken for granted. I’m so proud of our Y’s commitment to meeting this need.”
Many of the current tenants were long-time residents of the old building, some living at the location for as many as 15 to 20 years.
In addition to living within walking distance of the many amenities in downtown Beverly, tenants of Cabot Housing also receive a complimentary YMCA membership, all utilities included in their monthly rent, and access to a coin-operated laundry room.
The project was a collaboration between two Beverly companies, SV Design and Windover Construction. Due to the historical nature of the 120-year-old building and complexity of the renovation, the two worked together throughout architectural planning and construction to assess the existing structure and mitigate any risk entailing the fourth floor addition and future maintenance of the entire building.
“The YMCA housing project on Cabot Street was truly a labor of love,” says Jen Hocherman, associate principal at SV Design. “The iconic building had many intricacies in its original construction that proved both challenging and fascinating. We are proud to partner with the YMCA to support their mission, and with Windover Construction to bring the project’s vision to life.”
These new studios are among more than 300 rental units the YMCA of the North Shore operates in Beverly, Gloucester, Haverhill and Ipswich, accommodating individuals and families. To learn more, visit northshoreymca.org/programs/affordable-housing