A six-story building in downtown Boston has secured financing for a conversion to residential, the first such project to move forward under a new city tax incentive program. 

Boston Pinnacle Properties' project to convert the 11K SF building at 281 Franklin St. into 15 rental units received $5.1M in financing from Rockland Trust, the lender announced in a press release Wednesday. Construction on the project is set to begin within the next few months and is projected to be completed within the year.

The six-story office building still has five tenants, with three leases set to expire in June, one in November and the last not until 2027, according to the Boston Globe. Boston Pinnacle Properties' President Adam Burns acquired the property for $3.8M in February, almost half of what the seller bought it for in 2017.

The Boston Planning & Development Agency launched the Downtown Residential Conversion Incentive Program in October, and as of December had received proposals for eight conversion projects, including 281 Franklin St., the Boston Globe reported.

Through the program, developers who convert properties will be provided a payment-in-lieu-of-taxes incentive. The average tax reduction would be up to 75% of the standard tax rate for up to 29 years. Those moving forward with the program will need to obtain building permits by October 2025.

“This transaction would not have been possible without Mayor Wu and the BPDA who recognized, early on, the impending problem with vacant downtown office buildings and endeavored to create a program that turns that vacancy into a win for our City," Burns said in a statement. 

Additional proposals for the program include Equity Residential's plan to convert buildings at 2 & 5 Longfellow Place and 1 & 10 Emerson Place into 57 units. Billerica-based KS Partners has also proposed to turn three connected buildings at 85 Devonshire into 98 units.

Posted by Ryan Drowne on
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