Faith Williams and Michelle McAdaragh from our Real Estate departments talk with WHMP Radio about Live 155!

In this podcast:

How can I apply to live at Live 155?
What is Way Finders?
When will Live 155 be completed?
Where is Live 155 located?
How many units will be in Live 155?

Speaker 1: The WHMP Breakfast Club. Join Bob and Denise broadcasting live on the row.
Bob: We are live at Sylvester's on Pleasant Street in Northampton, the legendary breakfast, lunch, and brunch place on Pleasant Street. This is going to be everything Northampton here at the Breakfast Club. By the way, if you want to stop by, we've got tickets to see Zoe Darrow, a great fiddler at the Iron Horse on Wednesday, August 2. Just stop by and say, "Hey Bob! Hi Denise!" and we'll give you a couple of tickets to that. Also, Junior Brown, the great Junior Brown, is going to be there on Thursday, August 3rd. We've got tickets for both of those. Also, for the Holyoke Blue Sox, their season is coming to an end. If you haven't been ... The Valley Blue Socks, in Holyoke, at Mackenzie Field. Yes. We have tickets for that. Joining us right now, Michelle McAdaragh and Faith Williams from Way Finders, and doing this big housing complex right next door. Good morning, guys!
Faith: Morning.
Michelle: Good morning.
Faith: How are you?
Bob: Good, let's talk about Live 155. What can you tell us about this thing? Because, the people are driving by, they're very interested in what's going on.
Denise: Yeah, what's going up there?
Bob: They know what was there before. Now, they're very interested in, what is this?
Michelle: Well, Live 155, is going to replace the former Northampton Lodging, which was a single room occupancy building, previously, on the site. It was housing that was really past its time, and the city of Northampton was looking for somebody to help redevelop the site. They called Way Finders, and we said, "We're up for the challenge."
Denise: What is Way Finders?
Michelle: Way Finders is a non profit housing agency, that has been around since 1973, and everything we do is with housing. We provide affordable housing developments, we manage affordable housing, we administer section 8 vouchers. We do home buyer education, financial literacy. We are your first resource for any housing needs.
Denise: This is going to be a mixed use building, isn't it? Some housing and some retail.
Michelle: It's mixed use, and mixed income. We have several tiers of income. People who are doctors at the local hospital can come live here, the nurses can. But, it's also for individuals who are maybe a little lower income. Your early childhood educators, your veterinarian assistant, your waiters, your waitresses, the people in the community who are working and serving people. As well as, we have a few units that are subsidized for the very low income.
Bob: We're live at Sylvester's on Pleasant Street. Our breakfast club with Bob and Denise. They legendary breakfast, lunch, and brunch place on Pleasant Street. Our guests, by the way, that we've been talking to just a little bit early, are with us from Way Finders, Michelle McAdaragh and Faith Williams. Boy, they're excited Denise. They're jumping the gun here, right. This is a vibrant crew here. The noise that you hear down the street, by the way, banging away, you got a whole crew that's building the Live at 155, and that was the former Northampton Lodging. It's now this great place that ... By the way, before we get going here, Faith, HAPHousing was what you used to be known as Way Finders.
Faith: Way Finders is formerly known as HAPHousing.
Bob: That was very well known.
Faith: Yes it was, in the region. The regions largest nonprofit housing organization. We are still doing the same great work we were always doing. We changed our name to incorporate, to really express the fact that we do more than just section 8 housing vouchers. We really have developed housing centers throughout Western Mass, and Springfield, and Holyoke, and here in Northampton, to really help address everybody's housing needs. You walk in our door, and we will find a way to help you with whatever your housing situation is.
Denise: How many housing units are going up here at Live 155 on Pleasant Street in downtown Northampton?
Faith: There are going to be 70 units here.
Denise: How many?
Faith: 70. There will also be this, as Michelle said early, it's really truly a mixed income, mixed use property. Because, there will also be in addition to the Way Finders office on the first floor, and the property management office, there is 2,600 square feet of commercial space.
Denise: Are you accepting applications for tenancy right now, or do you have it all booked up?
Faith: No, we don't. Oh, if only.
Bob: You're looking to move a little bit closer to work, are you?
Faith: Hey, Denise, we can get you an application. We actually, if you contact us at, we can send out an application. We're in the very early stages of marketing the property. We certainly have a list of people who are interested, and we're looking to having occupancy sometime around March 1st of 2018. You'll really see us jump in feet first around September, October, in marketing the property more aggressively.
Denise: I can imagine that there's going to be a lot of interest, a lot of demand, because downtown Northampton is quite a desirable location.
Faith: It is right next to the bike path, it is right across the street from the train station. There's going to be a bus stop out front, and so it will be part of this really thriving, vibrant community, and we're so happy to be here.
Bob: It would seem that you're going to get people from around. It's not going to be just people from this are. I would assume you're going to attract people from far away.
Michelle: I think we will.
Bob: Since it's such a great location.
Michelle: It's walking distance to downtown, it's where people want to live. I think we'll attract a lot of individuals from all over the region.
Denise: What about the retail space?
Faith: It's half a block from Sylvester's.
Denise: Right. Right next to Sylvester's, exactly.
Faith: Who wouldn't want to have a house a walk from Sylvester's?
Bob: Right.
Denise: Who's going in the retail space, do you know yet?
Michelle: We do not know. There, like we said, there's approximately 1600 square foot. It can be divided into three spaces, or it can be one. It's also being outfitted so that if we want, if a restaurant wants to come in, it will have all the proper venting and everything for a restaurant. At this time, we are marketing the commercial space through Goggins Real Estate.
Bob: Was there any horror shows connected with tearing down the old place, the Northampton housing? Was there unexpected things?
Faith: No, not really. We were working with Western Builders, and they're ... When you're taking down the building, there's a really prescribed set of things that you're supposed to do. Western Builders did a phenomenal job, and it is amazing how quickly that building came down. One of the things that I'm very happy about, and proud of, is that we have, we're working with a photographer to do a photo documentary of the people who were living there, and the take down of the building, and the building of the new building. There will be a display of all of his work in the new building when it opens up. It will take you through the process. I think it'll be pretty cool.
Denise: It's called, Live 155, how did you come up with that name?
Michelle: We wanted something young and youthful, new and alive.
Bob: Notice how she was looking at you, not me, when the young and youthful part. Did you notice that?
Denise: I don't know why they would do that.
Michelle: It just came. The street address has changed to 155, and like I said, we wanted something alive, and new, and bring rebirth to the area.
Bob: Exciting project ...
Michelle: It is.
Bob: With Michelle McAdaragh and Faith Williams from Way Finders. When are you going to take Bob and Denise on a tour?
Faith: I would say as soon as we can possible get you in the building, when it's close to being finished. I would say, probably some time in January or February.
Bob: I've got a hard hat, oh wait, that's a batting helmet. That doesn't count, does it?
Faith: We have hardhats we can lend.
Denise: Once again, if we can give the email address for people who are interested in applying to become tenants or residents.
Faith: Sure, it's, and that's W-A-Y-F-I-N-D-E-R-S-M-A.O-R-G.
Bob: Very good. Way Finders, Michelle McAdaragh and Faith Williams have been with us. Thank you guys for coming in.
Michelle: Thank you so much.
Faith: Thank you for having us.
Michelle: We look forward to touring the building with you.
Denise: Definitely.
Michelle: Hey, I can get you an application, Denise.
Denise: That would cut down on my commute considerably.
Bob: Thank you folks for coming in.
Michelle: Thank you.