The Cubit is a former wire manufacturing facility, built in 1920, with five floors totaling 55,000 square feet at the corner of Appleton and Race streets. In the spring of last year, brothers Denis and Marco Luzuriaga purchased the building with the intent to create a mixed-use development. Last winter the Cubit was announced as the future downtown location of the Holyoke Community College (HCC) Center for Hospitality and Culinary Excellence, which will occupy the first and second floors. The upper two floors will house eighteen market rate rental apartment lofts ranging in size from 750 to 1,150 square feet, similar in size to a one or two-bedroom apartment. The apartments will boast high ceilings and oversized windows and offer such modern conveniences as new thermal windows, efficient heating and cooling, and contemporary kitchens. In May 2016 the developers received approval from the Planning Board for site plan review.
In the summer of 2016 HCC announced a partnership with MGM Springfield to provide free tuition to 50 Holyoke residents every year at the Culinary and Hospitality Center. This agreement was reached with HCC and MGM Resorts by negotiations in which MGM would front $400,000 to HCC from the previously agreed upon monetary agreement with the City for being considered a surrounding community, plus an additional $100,000 to the College. The total of $500,000 will be used towards the Center’s build out efforts, which is projected to be up and operational by Fall of 2017.
The Mayor and City Council approved local tax incentives for The Cubit project, both on the commercial and residential property taxes; which requires the state’s approval by the Massachusetts Economic Assistance Coordinating Council and the Department of Housing and Community Development.
The commercial exemption will be on newly created real estate valuation and will be calculated as follows:
- Year One: 65%
- Year Two: 55%
- Year Three: 45%
- Year Four: 35%
- Year Five: 25%
- Year Six: 15%
The residential tax exemption applies to 100% of the increased property valuation for ten years. The City received approval from the Commonwealth’s Department of Housing & Community Development (DHCD) in 2012 to establish the Center City Housing Development Incentive Program (CCHIP) in the downtown as a way to spur private investment in the redevelopment and adaptive reuse of existing structures for the development of market-rate, multi-unit housing opportunities. This is the City’s first certified housing development project that will benefit from the CCHIP.