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Development Replacing Harriet Tubman House Secures $46M Construction Loan

A rendering of 566 Columbus Ave.

The developer who is replacing the Harriet Tubman House with an apartment building has secured a $46M construction loan, public documents show.

The East Boston Savings Bank loan seals financing for New Boston Ventures’ property at 566 Columbus Ave., where work toward a new six-story building has already begun, NBV’s David Goldman told Bisnow.

The 89K SF building will include 5K SF of community space in a move to preserve the site’s original public use, according to city planning documents. Of the building’s proposed 66 units, 11 will be affordable housing, a slight increase over the city’s minimum requirement for new developments.

“Half of those are earmarked for local South End, Lower Roxbury artists who are otherwise being displaced from the neighborhood,” Goldman said.

The redevelopment plans met with backlash from community members opposing the removal of the community center, detailed in letters to the Boston Planning and Development Agency. A lawsuit was filed in Suffolk County Superior Court, where an injunction against the development was denied. The BPDA approved the project in December.

United South End Settlements, which operates the Harriet Tubman House, said in December the sale of the building was the organization’s last financial lifeline. The Columbus Avenue location was the Tubman House’s third location since 1974, and the organization has since relocated to 36 and 48 Rutland St., it said. 

The three-story building housed six nonprofits and no residential tenants, and NBV offered relocation assistance for the organizations, USES said.

Meridian Bancorp, which trades on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol EBSB, recently announced a decrease in net loans from the beginning of the year to Q3’s $5.5B, down $113.7M, or 2%. Meridian attributed the slide partially to a decrease of $101.5M in commercial real estate loans.

A representative for Meridian Bancorp, East Boston Savings Bank’s holding company, did not respond to a request for comment.