Alexander House in Hagerstown gets more than a new coat of paint, rededication

13 September 2023- NHPF rededicated the Alexander House, a low-income senior apartment community, in Hagerstown on Monday, September 11.  The ribbon-cutting featured Hagerstown Mayor Takesha Martinez in celebration of the $30M historic rehabilitation.

NHPF renovated the entire building including replacing all the windows and damaged doors, cabinets, appliances, and bathtubs. NHPF historically renovated Alexander House’s exterior by cleaning all the masonry and repairing any damage.  NHPF improved the building’s access by converting six units into UFAS compliant apartments, two units into hearing and visually impaired apartments, and reconfigured the laundry room, common areas, and entrances so they are ADA compliant.

The organization also upgraded the retail space and welcomed two new tenants: Menysa Events specializes in luxe balloon design and event design décor, and Create a Candle provides patrons a unique and relaxing experience creating custom candles.  NHPF also signed a long-term lease with Authentic Community Theater, Inc. (or “ACT”) for the former television space in the back of the Alexander House building. ACT provides performing arts education to students in grades 1-12 as well as a variety of entertainment options for the community.

According to Robbie Soto, Director, ACT, “This partnership ensures that our a community-based non-profit has room to grow in downtown Hagerstown, promoting the revitalization of the Arts & Entertainment district in conjunction with their performance venue, the ACT Black Box Studio.”

NHPF dramatically improved Alexander House’s energy performance with new energy-efficient, split-system heating and cooling, ducted bathroom exhaust, and fresh air supplies.  NHPF replaced all lights with energy efficient lighting, appliances with Energy Star appliances, and plumbing fixtures with water sense faucets.  The renovation was awarded the Enterprise Green Communities Certification for its sustainable upgrades.

The rehabilitation was made possible by $12.8M of equity and $9.5M of construction debt from Enterprise Community Capital, $7.5M FHA insured loan from AGM Financial, $6M loan from the State of MD Community Development Administration, $500K from the Federal Home Loan Bank of Atlanta, and $500K of construction debt from the Enterprise Community Loan Fund, Inc. 

“Preserving the affordable homes at Alexander House required a shared vision and hard work by many public and private entities brought together by NHPF,” said Ethan Handelman, Deputy Assistant Secretary for the Office of Multifamily Housing, HUD. “The residents in their new service-enriched homes in this historic building are part of the true spirit of community development.

Fr. Left Brett Ruby, NHPF, Ken White, Operation Pathways, Scott Barkan, NHPF, Karrie Hawbaker, Alexander House Community Manager, Geanna Franqui, NHPF,  Mayor Takesha Martinez, Hagerstown, Nan Mann, Office of U.S. Senator Chris Van Hollen, Annaston Cree, Office of Congressman David Trone, Stephen Green, NHPF, Ethan Handelman, HUD, Brien O’Toole, Chief of Housing Production, Maryland DHCD

Operation Pathways, NHPF’s resident services subsidiary, will provide onsite programming for the residents of Alexander House.

“Restoring this beautiful historic community asset, providing vital onsite resident services, and providing affordable retail opportunities to small, local companies represents a great accomplishment for NHPF and our partners,” said Scott Barkan, NHPF Sr. Vice President and Alexander House lead developer.

Alexander House was built in 1928 as a hotel in the Renaissance Revival style. It was renovated in 1978 to accommodate 95 units for low-income disabled residents and senior residents aged 62 and over. The 10-story building also includes over 20,000 square feet of commercial and community space.