Central Square Terrace
Located in the heart of Keene, Central Square Terrace provides 90 studio and one-bedroom units of subsidized, centrally located housing for elderly and disabled Keene Housing residents. Originally developed in 1983 by Keene Housing, the building comprises two interconnected parts including Colony Block, a historic building facing Central Square that is on the national register of historic places.
While Central Square Terrace had been successfully providing housing to low-income residents since 1984, as of the summer of 2018 the property needed significant rehabilitation. Many of the interior finishes were original to the 1983 project, and the building’s mechanical systems were at the end of their useful life. In addition, the legal ownership of the property was complex and presented a barrier to any major rehabilitation efforts.
In the summer of 2018, Keene Housing was finally in a position to take full legal control over the property and approached Cheshire County to propose a $15 million dollar acquisition and rehabilitation project. To support the project, Cheshire County applied for and was awarded a federal Community Development Block Grant through the New Hampshire Community Development Finance Authority. The block grant was sub-granted to Keene Housing to carry out the project, in combination with funds from the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit program administered by the New Hampshire Housing Finance Authority.
Construction for the project commenced in spring of 2019. In order to help administer federal Community Development Block Grant funds in this complex project, Cheshire County retained Southwest Region Planning Commission for grant administration services. Construction continued through 2019 and 2020 and despite delays and complications due to the COVID-19 pandemic the project was completed in fall of 2020. All ninety apartments are newly painted and received new kitchen cabinets, countertops, flooring, appliances, LED light fixtures, new bathrooms and much more. In addition, the 19th-century façade of Colony Block was fully restored, and all the building’s mechanical systems were extensively upgraded including significant energy efficiency improvements. The project represents one of the most ambitious rehabilitation projects ever undertaken by Keene Housing and one of the largest Community Development Block Grant projects in the Monadnock Region’s history.