ServiceNet to build headquarters at Village Hill Northampton

NORTHAMPTON — ServiceNet Inc., the human services agency with offices on King Street and in Florence, will consolidate its corporate headquarters in a new building at Village Hill scheduled to open next spring.

MassDevelopment, the state’s economic development and finance agency, on Monday announced that it has issued a $4.1 million tax-exempt bond and a mortgage guarantee for the ServiceNet project, which will feature a 17,600-square-foot building on a lot next to Fazzi Associates off Village Hill Road.

ServiceNet used bond proceeds to buy 2.3 acres of land at Village Hill from MassDevelopment, where the corporate headquarters and administrative offices will be housed. TD Bank purchased the bond.

“We’re grateful that MassDevelopment and TD Bank are making it possible for us to own this new building,” Susan Stubbs, president and CEO of ServiceNet, said in a statement. “By unifying our support departments under one roof, several of which are now located in leased office spaces, we will be able to work together more efficiently while achieving significant cost-savings over time.”

ServiceNet spokeswoman Amy Swisher said employees at the offices at 131 King St., a building ServiceNet owns, and the Nonotuck Mill in Florence, which it rents, will be among those moving to Village Hill, along with those who work at two other leased sites in the city.

ServiceNet intends to continue using the King Street site in some capacity.

“We’re planning to move some programs in leased space elsewhere in the Valley to 131 King St.,” Swisher said.

She said it’s not yet certain how many employees with ServiceNet will be at the new site when it opens next May or June.

MassDevelopment has issued a total of five tax-exempt bonds for ServiceNet, including one two years ago that allowed the organization to buy, renovate and furnish five office condominiums in Greenfield to house behavioral outpatient clinics, and residences for individuals with disabilities in Agawam and Chicopee.

Meggie Quackenbush, spokeswoman for MassDevelopment, said in an email that the agency works with nonprofits and others eligible for its funding.

“ServiceNet came to us through MassDevelopment’s real estate department,” Quackenbush said. “We manage Village Hill Northampton, so ServiceNet bought the land from us, and we then worked with ServiceNet’s bank to structure the financing.”

MassDevelopment President and CEO Lauren Liss said in a statement that it is a pleasure to help the organization centralize its offices at Village Hill.

“ServiceNet enhances quality of life for so many Pioneer Valley individuals who experience disabilities, mental illness, substance abuse issues and homelessness,” Liss said.

ServiceNet, founded in 1965 as the Hampshire Association for Mental Health, provides a wide range of human services to people in the Pioneer Valley, including outpatient behavioral health services, adolescent support programs, early intervention for young children, home health care, residential mental health programs and shelter services for the homeless.

At Village Hill Northampton, MassDevelopment has overhauled the former state hospital campus into a community featuring office, retail and manufacturing, market-rate and affordable homes and apartments and open space and recreation areas. There are 191 housing units, including single-family and multifamily homes, townhouses and duplexes, and more than 400 employees in several businesses.

Scott Merzbach can be reached at smerzbach@gazettenet.com

Published in Hampshire Gazette

Monday, October 23, 2017