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PLF Details and FAQ's

Preservation Massachusetts Predevelopment Loan Fund
  • Loan Amount: Range of $15,000 to $75,000

  • Term: When loans must be repaid: Earlier of 24 months or project financial closing, with ability to extend an additional 12 months upon showing of satisfactory progress and ability to close within the additional 12 months

  • Fees: Origination fee of 1% of the loan amount to be paid at closing, plus interest of 2% annually paid as a lump sum when a loan is repaid, plus a $200 application fee to be submitted with a Letter of Interest

  • Loan Documentation: Note, Loan Agreement, Guarantee from sponsor or other acceptable source

  • Permitted Uses of Funds: All reasonable third-party pre-development costs including architectural and engineering studies, environmental assessment, historic and development consultants, application and financing fees, schematic or other drawings, option payments, legal fees. Funds may not be used for staff costs or prepayment of developer fee.


Threshold Criteria

In order to qualify for predevelopment funds, projects must be located in Massachusetts, and project sponsors must have site control. Site control includes ownership, a purchase and sale agreement, an option to purchase the property, a development agreement with a town or other governmental body that owns the property, or other similar legally binding agreements.

As further threshold, a project must on the National Register or eligible for listing on the National Register. You need not have attained this status as of this stage of development; however, you should describe why you believe your building qualifies. In very limited circumstances (e.g. buildings which have been moved), PM will consider significant buildings which are not Register-eligible. Finally, in all cases, sponsors must agree to perform rehabilitation of their building according to the standards of the Secretary of the Interior.


Application  Process

Preservation Massachusetts’ PLF Committee will review all applications seeking loan funds. Applicants are asked to contact Erin Kelly ( prior to submitting an application to discuss the project and ensure it is a proper fit for this program. Submitted applications will be screened for completeness and scored against the criteria listed below and barring any further questions or materials needed, a site visit will be scheduled.  The PLF Committee and staff will refer recommended projects to the Preservation Massachusetts Board of Directors for final approval, after which the organization will issue a Term Sheet and begin finalizing loan documents.

Project Scoring Criteria
  • Soundness of sponsor – 25 points

  • Soundness of plan – 25 points

  • Local support (financial or otherwise) – 15 points

  • Impact of Preservation Mass’s dollars on the project – 15 points

  • Other positive community impacts – 10 points

  • Adds to geographic or other diversification of awards or portfolio – 10 points

  • Bonus points: On Endangered List – 10 points

PM reserves the right to contact the applicant and request further clarification or verification of information.  We also reserve the right to deny an application at any point in the process should it prove to be within the best interests of our organization and the loan program.

How is the PLF Funded

The PM Predevelopment Loan Fund is privately financed by financial resources of Preservation Massachusetts and grants for the purpose of furthering its mission. Other than the requirements for funding described herein and periodic project status reporting to PM during the term of the predevelopment loan itself, there are no other regulatory actions or other compliance required of borrowers.

Frequently Asked Questions

These FAQ’s were solicited and submitted to PM prior to our first submission round in 2014 and generalized to help inform our applicants. As the program moves ahead we may add, edit or amend the following so we encourage you to check back regularly. Please note that PM reserves the final right to post or edit any questions received and amend or clarify any answers given.

1. What is required to show “minimal assets or financial capacity”?

Preservation Massachusetts has not set exact guidelines on this in order to encourage a range of organizations to apply.  Generally, we are looking for an organization to have real assets which could back up a $15,000-$75,000 loan and would underwrite organizations during the second stage of review.  If an applicant organization is newly-formed or has no assets, we would suggest you seek a sponsor/co-guarantor now.  If you have some assets but are unsure, we suggest you apply but be willing to find such an organization should a need be determined.


2. Does it matter if the applicant is a non-profit or for-profit?

No, PM will accept applications from both non-profit and for-profit entities.

3. Will the loans be secured?
The loan will not be secured by a mortgage, but will have a note and recourse guarantee. An applicant may do a personal guarantee if they have the assets to back up the loan and are willing to be underwritten. If there is no wherewithal for a guarantee, we suggest you find another organization to co-apply for the loan.


4. What documentation is needed to show architectural and historic significance?
At this stage, we are looking for indication that the project is on the National Register, eligible for the National Register or that there is sufficient significance that the project could get a determination of eligibility.

5. If a project receives a loan, when can costs begin to be incurred?
Approved costs can begin on the date the loan is approved by the PM and reflected on a Term Sheet.

6. In the scoring criteria, what is meant by “diversification of awards of portfolio”?
As this is our first application round, Preservation Massachusetts wants to be able to reach broadly into all types of projects and uses for historic buildings that make preservation happen.  Due to the limited number of loans we can make at this time we are seeking to maximize the impact of our dollars to the project and community.

7. If the project applicant does not own or have site control, can they still apply for a loan?
Site control is a requirement for being considered for a loan.  While it does not need to be ownership at this stage, there needs to be a firm commitment (such as a P&S or MOA) demonstrating that the applicant will be able to purchase the property to enable the project to move forward.

8. What about a lease situation, either on the property or land the building(s) occupy?
Evidence of a lease, lease term, and renewal terms would have to be submitted.  The lease will have to cover not only the term of the PM loan, but for consideration purposes, the time necessary to complete the project and have it be actively used.

9. If a project does not make it to phase 2 of the application process, is there a wait list should another project withdraw?
At this time we do not know how many applications we will receive and do not intend to keep a wait list of projects.


10. What are you looking for with regards to section 6 and “unique or important” aspects of a project?
This is the opportunity for you to relate more details of the project that tell us why it is important and help us understand why it should be prioritized for loan funding.

11. Who reviews and scores the projects according to the criteria? 

PM has a standing PLF Committee made up of members of our Board with expertise in banking, development, law, preservation and consultation, in addition to PM staff and a paid economic development consultant. The PLF Committee reviews and scores the projects and outsources to a consultant for the financial underwriting for the second part of the application.


If you have a question you do not see answered above, email Erin Kelly ( with the subject line “Loan Fund Question”. We will only accept questions submitted though email.

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