About New SeasonS Development
New Seasons Development’s President Wendy Cohen is a well-respected, Boston-area housing professional with a strong background in real estate development, real estate finance, non-profit finance, multi-family residential lending and state-sponsored affordable housing development.
Since launching New Seasons Development, LLC in 2014, Wendy has focused her development consulting work on helping both non-profit and for-profit developer clients in the preservation and production of both family and elderly housing projects located in several neighborhoods of Boston, and in Brockton, Fall River, Lawrence, Merrimac, Peabody, Salem, Salisbury, Scituate, and Taunton, among other communities. In addition, Wendy performed financial peer reviews for the Town of Sudbury and the Town of Shrewsbury in relation to two separate proposed new construction projects. At the conclusion of her research and analysis, she rendered an opinion on the economic feasibility of a change in scope and size of the project, proposed by the ZBA.
Wendy has assembled an exceptional and knowledgeable team – including Consultants Meg Kiely Close and Toni Coyne Hall – who understand the realities, constraints and opportunities of the Massachusetts housing market.
Wendy Hanna Cohen – President and Managing Member
A Boston native, Wendy Cohen is a graduate of Oberlin College with a B.A. in Economics and Women’s Studies. She earned a Master of Public Policy degree from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government.
After graduating from the Kennedy School, Wendy was a housing development project manager at CASCAP, Inc. in Cambridge. Wendy moved on to be a lender at the Massachusetts Housing Partnership Fund (MHP), a quasi-public state agency that funds affordable and mixed income housing projects, including Chapter 40B projects. MHP is an issuer of project eligibility letters. Including her work at MHP prior to graduate school, she was a member of MHP’s lending team for over 11 years, in a progression of roles that lead to her role as Deputy Director of Lending. After leaving MHP, she became Director of Housing Development for the Allston Brighton CDC.
Approximately 10 years ago, Wendy assumed the position of Director of the Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts’ Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD), where she was responsible for the allocation of 9% and 4% LIHTCs. She oversaw program compliance for over 40,000 tax credit units in the MA tax credit portfolio. Wendy also managed the allocation and disbursement of funds under the Tax Credit Assistance Program and the Section 1602/”Tax Credit Exchange” Program and oversaw the asset management of the 32 projects that were assisted under these American Recovery and Reinvestment Act programs. She remained in this position and underwrote and assisted hundreds of affordable housing projects.
While at DHCD, Wendy also participated as a representative of DHCD on the interagency committee in which many Chapter 40B policy matters faced by one or all of the state subsidizing agencies are discussed. She is familiar with the Chapter 40B rental housing cost certification guidelines (LIHTC and non-LIHTC) as well as the Chapter 40B Comprehensive Permit Guidelines and standards for economic feasibility. In addition to site eligibility application review, she has reviewed final approval requests and 40B cost certifications in her capacity as LIHTC Director.
Wendy left DHCD in 2014 to launch New Seasons Development, LLC.
Wendy is a member of CREW and her firm, New Seasons, is a WBE certified by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Supplier Diversity Office. In her spare time, Wendy enjoys time with her family, as well as biking, hiking, and cross-country skiing.
Meg Kiely Close – Consultant
Meg Kiely Close has more than 20 years of experience working with public officials, real estate developers, contractors and community groups. Her work has primarily focused on community development, with an emphasis on affordable housing policy and development. She has worked both as a municipal employee where she oversaw a staff of 10 as the Deputy Director of housing and community development. As a project manager for a 501©3 non-profit organization, she managed all aspects of real estate development, including pre-development site assessment and feasibility through construction completion and permanent loan closing.
Meg’s role, whether in the public sector or private sector has included community engagement, project management and inter-agency coordination.
As a project manager at the Boston Redevelopment Authority, Meg worked with developers to comply with regulatory requirements of the design and development review of their projects. This involved the facilitation of multi-agency review as well as the coordination and facilitation of community meetings and engagement. Subsequently, as the Deputy Director of Community Development and Housing, she was a member of the Mayor’s multi-agency housing team. In partnership with the Boston Housing Authority and the Department of Neighborhood Development, she worked to create and carry out the City’s Housing Plan.
As a project manager for many affordable and mixed-income housing developments, Meg has worked with various funding agencies, both public and private, to create financially feasible housing developments. She coordinated the project team, including architect, contractor, engineers, and consultants to bring each project from conception to completion. Her role also involved the coordination and participation in community meetings, as well as the public review and permitting process.
She joined CDW Consultants, Inc. in 2013 to provide outreach to local elected officials, city agencies and media regarding a $200,000 EPA funded Brownfields remediation project. Her position has evolved to include working closely with Administration and the Environmental Division to establish project controls, manage project budgets, and facilitate project status communication between project managers and department heads.
In 2017, Meg joined New Seasons Development LLC as a consultant to provide proposal-writing services, project feasibility analysis, and office operational support services to the New Seasons team for the development of affordable and mixed income housing.
Meg earned her Bachelor of Arts in American Studies at Fordham University and her Master of Arts in Spanish and Latin American Studies at American University. She currently serves as the Governor’s Appointee for the Natick Housing Authority (Vice Chair) and as a Board Member for the Natick Soccer Club.
Meg is originally from Connecticut and currently resides in Natick with her husband and two young daughters. She is a soccer coach, a runner, skier and tennis player, and enjoys relaxing in the Adirondacks at her family camp.
Toni Coyne Hall – Consultant
Toni Coyne Hall was the Local Initiative Program (LIP) program manager for the Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development from 2007 through 2015. She was responsible for providing oversight of the comprehensive permit process with LIP including technical assistance on affordable housing for municipalities, non-profit agencies and developers.
Toni’s previous professional responsibilities within the Massachusetts Department included policy development and implementation of smart growth development, management and delivery of federal Community Development Block Grant programs. She has provided training and technical assistance to municipalities, state agencies and other entities in community development and housing predevelopment.
With New Seasons since 2017, Toni is responsible for working with government agencies on Chapter 40B projects, preparing project eligibility letter applications as well as financial and feasibility analysis. Toni holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Geography/Urban Affairs from Bridgewater State College, a Masters in Community Planning from the University of Rhode Island and a Masters in Business Administration from Bentley University.
A Boston native, Toni is an experienced downhill skier and hiker. She and her husband Greg have two grown children.