Built in a former high school, The Tyler is honored by the Green Building Council & Novogradic BOSTON (November 8, 2021) – The Tyler, a mixed-income, senior apartment community created by WinnDevelopment inside the former high school for East Haven, CT, has earned two more awards for its innovative approach using state and federal historic tax credits to incorporate the industry’s strictest standard for energy performance in a residential historic adaptive reuse project.
The non-profit Connecticut Green Building Council (CTGBC) recently recognized the 70-unit development with its 2021 Award of Excellence, which honors excellence in green building design and construction that supports the broader goals of using the built to combat climate change within the state of Connecticut and beyond.
Designed and built in accordance with the Passive House Institute’s rigorous EnerPHit Standard with applicable historic exclusions, The Tyler is expected to use 20% less energy than an ENERGY STAR new construction building. By repurposing the former school building, the development avoided 18,000 metric tons of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions annually – the yearly energy use of 1,900 homes. In addition, a 90-kilowatt solar PV system on the roof is contributing to even greater carbon reductions by producing more than 100,000 kilowatt hours of clean, renewable energy every year.
In addition to the CTGBC recognition, The Tyler also was honored last week with the 2021 Novogradac Journal of Tax Credit Award for Historic Rehabilitation as a residential development that best exemplifies “major community impact.” Headquartered in San Francisco, Novogradac is a national professional services organization that provides accounting, valuation, and consulting expertise with a major emphasis in the real estate sector.
“Projects like The Tyler demonstrate the inherent sustainability of adapting historic structures to meet 21st-century environmental expectations,” said Adam Stein, executive vice president of WinnDevelopment. “This award-winning effort would not have been possible without the foresight and support of the Connecticut Department of Housing, Connecticut Housing Finance Agency (CHFA), and the State Historic Preservation Office.” The latest awards follow recognition of The Tyler as the nation’s Best Overall Development and Green Building in Affordable Housing Finance magazine’s 2020 Readers’ Choice Awards, as well as a 2021 Connecticut Preservation Award of Merit.
“The Tyler fills a critical need for affordable housing in East Haven. WinnDevelopment’s adaptive reuse of the property has created a sustainable asset that will benefit the community for decades to come,” said Nandini Natarajan, CHFA’s Chief Executive Officer. Managed by WinnResidential, The Tyler formally opened in October 2020. The 104,871-square-foot brick building had been vacant for nearly 21 years after serving as the town’s high school since 1936. The WinnDevelopment project preserved and restored the property while transforming the academic core of the building into 67 one- bedroom units and three two-bedroom units serving the complete range of incomes.
“The rehabilitation of the historic East Haven High School demonstrates what preservationists have said for decades - that historic preservation, conservation, and energy efficiency are not competing goals,” said Julie Carmelich, historic tax credit administrator for the Connecticut State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO). “Our team extends its thanks to WinnDevelopment and its team of architects, contractors, and consultants for all their hard work and vision.” Financing for the $21.5 million project came from federal Low Income Housing Tax Credits from the CHFA; historic rehabilitation tax credits from the National Park Service and SHPO; soft debt from Connecticut
Department of Housing (DOH) Flex Program; construction financing from Bank of America and Citizens Bank; Affordable Housing Program funds from the Federal Home Loan Bank of Boston; energy rebates from the United Illuminating; partnership equity from Bank of America, and a low-interest permanent loan from BlueHub Capital (formerly Boston Community Capital). As a project partner, the Town of East Haven agreed to a 10-year deferred property tax structure.
WinnDevelopment is the nation’s leading developer of historic and iconic buildings for use as multifamily housing –transforming more than 40 abandoned textile mills, schools, and other landmark structures into affordable and mixed-income apartment properties in Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Virginia and Washington, DC. No other developer has won more awards for residential adaptive reuse projects.