Months ago, we exclusively obtained a letter penned by Kevin Shea, former planning and community development director for Framingham. In that letter dated 2/23/2021 he wrote:
I am in receipt of the request from Attorney Papavasiliou for an Estoppel Letter from the City for the Alta Union House.
I have had a chance to review UCH-TIF Zone agreement between the City and WP East Acquisitions, LLC. It seems like the only information we need is evidence that the developer is in compliance with the City’s Inclusionary Zoning By-Law.
I can’t tell from the rent roll provided by the developer which of the units have been designated/occupied as affordable.
MCRT Investments, LLC (Modera Framingham) provided us with this affordable housing information as part of their request for an Estoppel Certificate Letter.
I will contact Attorney Papavasiliou to request the same certification/information.
While researching some other matters, we obtained evidence that Alta Union House sold for $62,000,000. On April 1, 2021, ownership transferred from Union House LLC to Wispar 3 Finco LLC, a New York state corporation.
Months ago, we discussed the letter by Shea with an expert in real estate and tax incentives, and they laid it out to us in layman’s terms…
The developer got a substantial tax break for building these units in a targeted zone.
I don’t think an outside investor should come in and be able to take advantage of a tax break that was not meant for them.
There should be a clawback if a developer is just going to flip the property.
It will all depend on how the agreement is written…..and if Petrini protected the City or the original developer.
The TIF, or Tax Increment Financing, a deal from the city to the original developer, initially was:
100/005.0-0009-0025.0 TIF AGREEMENT COMMENCED FY 2019. BASE VALUE = $2,185,500. 15 YEAR TIF. FY 2019 FULLY TAXABLE. FY 2020 NEW CONSTRUCTION 97% EXEMPT. FY 2021 = 96%; FY 2022 = 95%
In a sale, we do not believe that the TIF could be maintained, however… if the transfer was all done secretly… It’s anyone’s guess.
This sale could have been due to a default, or Alta Union House not being able to pay it’s bills. The document below seems to indicate this. We are still investigating what really happened, and why nobody seemed to report on it when it happened.
At the time of the property transfer, indicating cash flow issues, a lien was filed against the property by the city for unpaid water and sewer balances totaling over $50,000.