EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Merrimack Valley

June 26, 2013

Union Crossing gains national recognition

LAWRENCE — Union Crossing, a former mill complex, has received an award as one of the nation’s best new major rehabilitations of an historic structure into affordable rental housing.

The Vanguard Award was given to First Realty Management Corp. this past weekend at the joint annual conference of the National Affordable Housing Management Association and the National Apartment Association in San Diego.

The Vanguard Awards were created to recognize the nation’s best newly constructed or re-developed affordable communities that showcase quality design and financing and set new benchmarks to inspire innovation in the industry, according to a statement from First Realty.

Developed by the non-profit community development corporation, Lawrence Community Works, Union Crossing is transforming a complex of former textile mills along the Merrimack River into a mixed-use neighborhood. The property includes residential and commercial spaces, as well as infrastructure upgrades in the surrounding area.

It was the most ambitious effort undertaken by the City of Lawrence Community Development Department in over a decade and is considered a model public/private partnership with a community-based organization, according to the statement.

Representing First Realty Management Corp. at the conference was Chief Operating Officer Jan Brandin, Vice President Training & Government Relations Nancy Hogan, and Regional Manager Bill McGrath.

First Realty manages over 6,500 apartments and condominiums in three states, including the entire Lawrence Community Works portfolio. Last year, First Realty received the National Apartment Association (NAA) Paragon Award for its management, major renovation and re-branding of Camelot Court, a 40-year old, 160-unit rental property, in Boston’s Brighton neighborhood.

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