Chestnut Hill Square Feasibility & Public Infrastructure Financing Study
Chestnut Hill Square is a retail and commercial office mixed-use development in the Chestnut Hill neighborhood of Newton, MA, about one mile from Boston College and five from Downtown Boston. RKG was retained by the developer, New England Development, to provide financial feasibility analysis related to a public infrastructure financing program that NED wished to pursue.
Massachusetts offers partial public-sector financing ("I-Cubed Funding") for needed infrastructure improvements as means of offsetting private development costs on certain projects that are deemed to be in the public interest. In order to qualify for this funding, a proposed development must provide a significant incremental increase in net new employment and tax receipts - these receipts are then used to retire the public debt taken out for the infrastructure improvements. As part of this process, any private-sector applicant for funding must demonstrate that their project is financially feasible, and results in the creation of new jobs, payroll taxes and sales taxes that would otherwise not have occurred.
RKG performed an analysis of the expected employment and tax revenues associated with the proposal. The report took into account relevant market trends, local supply and demand conditions, and the proposed mix of tenants, resulting in a forecast of full-time job creation, associated wages, and payroll income tax receipts. RKG forecasted the project's potential retail sales, taxable sales, and resulting sales tax receipts, dependent on each proposed retail type. These estimates all flowed into a project "bottom line": a measurement of the net new employment and tax impacts that would affect the project's eligibility to retire required public bond debt. .
The developer's application for $10 million in I-Cubed financing assistance was approved by the Commonwealth. Chestnut Hill Square, at 240,000 SF and anchored by a Wegman’s Market and other high-end retailers, is now open.
Photo Source: New England Development, Ed Wonsek ArtWorks