Novogradac 2020 Historic Rehabilitation Award – St. Regis House


St. Regis House is located in Berlin, NH which is New Hampshire’s northernmost city sitting at the edge of the White Mountains.  The availability of safe, high-quality and affordable housing for the senior and disabled population is limited.  Chesapeake Community Advisors (“CCA”) and the Berlin Housing Authority (“BHA”) were able to make a substantial impact on the community and preserve this much need housing through the acquisition and rehabilitation of St. Regis.  

St. Regis is a unique building with great historic significance for the surrounding community. The former school, St. Regis Academy, is a large three-story, flat-roofed, Romanesque-style, brick building. In 1981 the building was converted to affordable housing with few alterations to the historic footprint including the addition of a stair tower.  The project had not received any type of renovation in 40 years leaving the building in great disrepair. Taking a structure that was built in 1910 and modernizing it along with converting it to include an energy efficient, Enterprise Green-compliant building was a large undertaking all while meeting the SHPO’s and NPS’s requirements.     

The financing structure was complicated.  The primary sources of financing included a 9% LIHTC allocation, historic tax credits, construction financing provided by New Hampshire Housing Finance Authority (“NHHFA”) and a permanent loan from by Mercy Loan Fund (“MLF”).  This project received MLF’s first long-term loan.  All of the existing, restructured HUD debt was assumed by the new ownership while BHA, the qualified non-profit sponsor, became the noteholder of that debt.  The project received a CDBG award, assumed an existing HOME loan and received a new 20-year HAP contract.

Although there were many challenges during the project from working through the HUD financing to addressing significant structural issues that were well-beyond the original scope of work to having a completion and lease-up impacted by a pandemic-induced shutdown, St. Regis has been beautifully restored and has made a tremendous impact on the community and provided the residents with safe, sanitary and modernized housing.  The project is well-positioned for successful operations for at least the next 20 years and has served as an excellent addition to the BHA’s portfolio.

Remembering Ben


It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Ben Etheridge, our dear friend and colleague. Ben suffered a cardiac event on Saturday, June 30 while cycling near Poland Springs, Maine. Those of us who have been fortunate enough to know and work with Ben understand he was a kind, caring and selfless human-being.

For Ben, it was always family first. He and his beloved wife Connie, whom he had known since middle school, just celebrated their 35th wedding anniversary with a cycling trip through Vermont. Ben was an extraordinary and dedicated father to his three children, Marisa, Megan and Trevor. He was always actively involved in their lives, whether he was coaching their sports teams, skiing with them or moving them into their first apartment.

Ben was a passionate humanitarian. He cared deeply about improving the lives of those less fortunate and making the world a better place. Those values shone through his commitment to affordable housing and his philanthropy.

In his 30-year career, Ben was responsible for the creation of tens of thousands of housing units for low-income families and seniors around the country. As a principal of Chesapeake Community Advisors since 2001, Ben helped grow CCA into a leading developer of affordable housing. He brought to his work tenacity, creativity, integrity and a great sense of humor.

Ben’s philanthropy was enormously important to him. With an unwavering commitment to finding a cure for juvenile diabetes, Ben became the leading fundraiser for JDRF in Maryland. In 2009, he started CCA’s annual golf tournament as a way to raise money for JDRF while bringing business associates together for a day of fun and good-natured competition. Ben participated in JDRF’s Ride for the Cure, a 100-mile bike ride, for the past 10 years and proudly wore the green jersey designating him as the largest fundraiser of that ride.

Should you like to share your thoughts, memories and condolences in the interim, you may email

There are no words to adequately express our sorrow at losing Ben, and what he meant to us as a colleague and a friend. He was an integral part of our lives, an inspiring mentor, and an accomplished businessman who demonstrated doing well by doing good. Ben will be sorely missed. We will honor his memory by dedicating ourselves to continuing the work that meant so much to him, and to our community.