BOSTON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Preservation of a registered historic landmark in Lowell, Massachusetts has begun following completion of pre-development funding for the Lowell Legacy Hotel. The funding was arranged by the Cherrytree Group of Newton, Massachusetts.

The five-story building, built between 1896 and 1905, was recently declared eligible to receive Federal tax credits for historic preservation. Syndication of the tax credits is being managed by Cherrytree Group through a fund created for development in economically distressed cities, known as “Opportunity Zones”.

The Opportunity Zone program was established by Congress last year to encourage development in economically challenged areas of the nation. Lowell was one of the cities which received designation in 2018 and the Athenian project is one of the first to begin in the city.

For roughly 42 years the Athenian Corner Restaurant has stood as a landmark dining destination in Lowell. The Panagiotopoulos family, which owns the restaurant, teamed up with Madison Security Group, and with the assistance of the funding from Cherrytree’s affiliate Hampton Financial Partners, was able to begin rehabilitation of the restaurant — adding a boutique hotel, which will be the only one of its kind in downtown Lowell. According to Cherrytree President Warren Kirshenbaum, the pre-development funding serves as a bridge loan leading to long-term financing by the Small Business Administration.

“We are proud to be a part of this project which we see as integral to the revitalization of Lowell,” said Kirshenbaum, “and we are encouraged that our involvement in the pre-development phase has allowed the project to overcome significant hurdles.”

Hampton Financial Partners funded $825,000 in pre-development capital to the project. The funding allowed construction to begin this winter.

“Cherrytree has been a solid supporter of our project, and we could not have reached this point without them,” said Tim Grover, executive vice president of Madison Security Group.

The new Lowell Legacy Hotel will contain 52 guest rooms as well as banquet facilities, Grover said. The project’s architect is Jozokos Architecture Inc. and the developer is Athenian Corner Inc.

The Cherrytree Group offers tax credit consulting, brokerage and syndication services to developers as well as to individual and institutional investors. Cherrytree applies for, secures, and monetizes available federal and state tax credits. The company focuses on Federal and state tax credits for historic rehabilitation, low-income housing, renewable energy and clean-up of contaminated land.

Want to learn more about developing or investing in Opportunity Zone funds? Cherrytree Group recently has been featured in the Boston Business Journal and Boston BisNow.