BOSTON – Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh, Mission Hill Neighborhood Housing Services (MHNHS), Boston Children’s Hospital together announced that construction has started on the second of three phases in the redevelopment of Parcel 25, part of the Mission Hill Community’s plan to revitalize the Roxbury Crossing gateway to the neighborhood.
This once vacant, former MBTA property will create 46 new units of transit-oriented affordable family housing, underground parking, and a pedestrian plaza and walkway at One Halleck Street.
“Today we celebrate a significant milestone as we break ground on the next round of a project that will bring 46 new housing units that are affordable to residents to the Mission Hill neighborhood,” said Mayor Walsh. “I’m proud of the work that all partners have done to create dozens of affordable homes for working families, older Bostonians, formerly homeless individuals, and persons with disabilities on this once vacant land. This eco-friendly, affordable housing development will keep this neighborhood strong and vibrant for generations to come.”
Phase one of the project included two buildings. The Maria Sanchez House, located on Gurney Street, was the first of the two buildings developed as part of the community’s vision to reclaim the area. It was completed in 2015 and offers 40 units of affordable housing for seniors. One Gurney Street, the second of the two buildings, opened in late 2017 and is a transit-oriented, mixed-use development that offers 40 units of affordable family housing, contains the new office headquarters for Metro Housing Boston, and four community-oriented retail storefronts including a new Eastern Bank branch. Phase two of the redevelopment represents the culmination of more than a decade of planning and hard work by Mission Hill Neighborhood Housing Services and the Mission Hill community to restore the land formerly owned by the MBTA.
“We are thrilled to announce the start of construction on the Parcel 25 Phase 2 Project,” said Patricia Flaherty, Executive Director of MHNHS, and longtime resident of Mission Hill. “We are grateful to all of our partners who continue to support this community’s desire for affordable housing in Roxbury Crossing, led by Mayor Walsh, and including the City’s Department of Neighborhood Development, the Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development, Boston Children’s Hospital, as well as the strong commitment to the project by equity investor MHIC and the collaboration of Eastern Bank and Boston Private Bank & Trust, who will be providing construction and permanent financing. We are amazed that despite the difficult times we are in, everyone came together and did what was necessary to move this project into construction.”
Parcel 25 Phase 2 involves new construction of 46 affordable rental units located across the street from the Roxbury Crossing MBTA station. When completed, the building will provide family housing to the neighborhood, including 15 one-bedroom units, 18 two-bedroom units (including 6 duplex units with private entrances and stoops along Halleck Street), and 13 three-bedroom units. Five of the two and three-bedroom units will be set aside for formerly homeless families at 30% of AMI (Area Median Income). An additional three one-bedroom fully-accessible units will be set aside for families with significant disabilities under the Community Based Housing program at 30% of AMI or below. Three 1-bedroom units will be affordable to individuals and or families at or below 30% of AMI. One 2-bedroom unit will be made affordable to families at between 31% and 50% of AMI. The remaining 34 units will be available for families making at or below 60% of AMI. All 46 units will be made affordable in perpetuity.
“I am so excited that One Halleck Street has closed and is in construction!”, added Mission Hill NHS Board Member Cindy Walling. “As a Mission Hill homeowner, I am pleased to see the development of more affordable housing in our neighborhood. As a professional in the affordable housing industry working with families, I know first hand the need for housing that is close to the City’s core. This location provides tremendous access to public transportation as well as bike paths. The importance of easy access to employment opportunities for the residents of this development cannot be overstated.”
When completed the building will be LEED Silver certifiable and will include many green features for long-term operations and sustainability, as well as several public space improvements such as new sidewalks, handicap accessible ramps, benches, lighting, bike racks, and an extended pedestrian plaza and walkway that allows residents and visitors to move through the site to their points of destination. Designed by Goody Clancy Architects, the building will be constructed by NEI General Contracting and managed by Maloney Properties.
“Boston Children’s Hospital was proud to play a role in financing Phase 1 of Mission Hill NHS’s Roxbury Crossing project. We are very pleased to also be contributing to the financing for Phase 2 this year,” said Sandra L. Fenwick, Chief Executive Officer, Boston Children’s Hospital. “We know that homeless children and those living in unstable housing tend to have worse health, more behavioral health problems, and lower school performance. During the COVID-19 crisis, it’s even more essential that children have stable housing. We applaud Mission Hill NHS for making this much-needed housing available to children and families who will soon call Roxbury Crossing home.”
The Parcel 25 Phase 2 development has been made possible in part by more than $2.55 million in funding from the City of Boston, including $1.3 million from City HOME and $1.25 million from the Neighborhood Housing Trust from Boston’s Children’s Hospital Housing Creation Linkage commitment. The development also received $1.7 million in State and Federal Low Income Housing tax credits from the Commonwealth’s Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD), $550,000 from DHCD HOME, $750,000 from DHCD HSF, $660,667 from DHCD CATNP, $722,850 from DHCD Community Based Housing, and $1 million from Mass Affordable Housing Trust Fund.
The Department of Neighborhood Development is responsible for housing the homeless, developing affordable housing, and ensuring that renters and homeowners can find, maintain, and stay in their homes. As part of the ongoing coronavirus response, the Office of Housing Stability is also conducting tenant’s rights workshops to educate residents about the eviction moratorium and their rights. The Boston Home Center continues to provide down payment assistance to first-time homebuyers and home repairs for seniors and low-income residents. The Supportive Housing Division is working with various partners around the city to rapidly house individuals who are experiencing homelessness.
The developer of Parcel 25 is Mission Hill Neighborhood Housing Services, the 46-year old community-based organization, which serves Mission Hill. MHNHS is a non-profit community development corporation committed to the revitalization and stabilization of the Mission Hill neighborhood for all those who live and work there. The community organization’s recent focus has been the planning and development of Parcel 25 and Roxbury Crossing area. MHNHS is implementing the community’s vision which resulted from a multi-year community planning process. The organization’s most recent projects include The Maria Sanchez House (40 units/seniors) and the mixed-use Parcel 25 Phase 1A (now One Gurney Street).
Boston Children’s Hospital is ranked the #1 children’s hospital in the nation by U.S. News & World Report and is the primary pediatric teaching affiliate of Harvard Medical School. Home to the world’s largest research enterprise based at a pediatric medical center, its discoveries have benefited both children and adults since 1869. Today, 3,000 researchers and scientific staff, including 8 members of the National Academy of Sciences, 21 members of the National Academy of Medicine and 12 Howard Hughes Medical Investigators comprise Boston Children’s research community. Founded as a 20-bed hospital for children, Boston Children’s is now a 415-bed comprehensive center for pediatric and adolescent health care.