After Two Decades of Planning, Cruz Companies Completes Build-Out of Residences at Harvard Commons

BOSTON— Cruz Companies announced the completion of the final sites for Residences at Harvard Commons, an innovative 99-home development acclaimed for creating value on a long-vacant plot of land in Boston’s Dorchester neighborhood where a defunct state hospital previously stood for decades.
After two decades of planning, development and construction, the approximately $25 million venture stands as a national model for creating wealth through homeownership and integrated affordable housing within new residential subdivisions, say public officials and independent observers. The legacy of Harvard Commons, as it is known, also shows “how one development strengthens a neighborhood’s multicultural identity,” wrote the Boston Globe when the first phases were unveiled.
According to Cruz Development and John B. Cruz Construction Co., which completed the work, Residences at Harvard Commons has created a new mixed-income community of 54 market-rate single- family homes and 45 affordable apartments located in their attractive Dorchester setting. The neighborhood plan, with its suburban feel within one of Boston’s most diverse urban districts, offers ample greenery and access to a broad array of local services and amenities. According to the Bay State Banner, the development “helped revitalize a corner of Dorchester and Mattapan that has for decades been dominated by the vast expanse of vacant lots and the decaying [hospital] buildings.”
With a design by Michael Washington Architects marked by colorful one- and two-family wood-framed homes with gabled roofs, off-street parking, and large front and back yards, Harvard Commons has drawn applause for its aesthetics and quality as much as its progressive take on urban diversity. As the Banner praised it, “The traditional New England housing design blends in with the existing single and multifamily buildings in the Dorchester and Mattapan neighborhoods, as does the income mix.”