New housing completed as part of first phase of Bartlett Station development
August 15, 2019
BOSTON - Thursday, August 15, 2019 - Mayor Martin J. Walsh today joined Nuestra Comunidad Development Corporation, Windale Developers, Harvard University, elected officials and residents to celebrate the completion of the first phase of the Bartlett Station development, which will transform a vacant lot into a new mixed-use, transit-oriented development. The two buildings that were celebrated with a ribbon cutting today will offer 76 new homes, five units for homeless individuals and 13,300 square feet of community-oriented retail storefronts on a once-vacant MBTA property in Roxbury.
“Affordable housing is the key to opportunity for families and helps give our residents a good quality of life,” said Mayor Walsh. “At a time when the federal government is stepping back from investments in affordable housing, Boston and our partners are stepping up. I'm proud of the work that the City, Nuestra Communidad, Windale and all our partners have done to create these new homes and jobs that will continue to keep this a strong, vibrant place to live and work."
Today’s ribbon cutting represents the culmination of more than a decade of planning, advocacy and hard work by the community to restore an approximately 8-acre former brownfield site in Roxbury. Bartlett Station is a multiphase project which proposes approximately 383 new homes for working families, including 166 homes for purchase, 217 apartments and 30,000 square feet of commercial space upon completion. The development project is anticipated to generate approximately 100 retail jobs and 900 construction jobs, with 60 percent of the jobs going to workers of color.
The first two buildings of Bartlett Station celebrated today consist of a 60-unit mixed-income rental apartment building and a 16-unit new condominium building. The apartment building boasts 23 one-bedroom apartments, 30 two-bedroom apartments, and 7 three-bedroom apartments. Two-thirds of the new housing is affordable to workforce individuals and families, including 32 units deemed as affordable to families earning less than 60 percent of Area Median Income (AMI).
“As a life-long Bostonian, I am truly grateful for the impact Bartlett Station has on our city. This project helps to alleviate the affordability tension in our housing market by creating truly affordable homes for people who may not have had the opportunity to live in Boston,” said State Representative Chynah Tyler. “We are committed to working to create and preserve even more affordable housing for all of our families to live comfortably. This is why I am pleased to support Mayor Walsh, the City of Boston, Nuestra CDC, Harvard, and all the partners in making Boston affordable for everyone.”
“I was thrilled to celebrate the opening of Bartlett Station, which is providing much needed mixed income housing, including two-thirds affordable and workforce units in Roxbury,” said Boston City Councilor Kim Janey, who represents the neighborhood. “I want to thank the Mayor and all of the partners that helped us get here, especially Nuestra Communidad, Windale, and all of the residents who have been engaged in this process over the years. Today was a good day!”
“I am proud that Bartlett Station is a transformative, equitable development that is part of our anti displacement strategy for Dudley Square,” said Nuestra Comunidad Development Corporation Executive Director David Price. “I want to thank all of our many partners for helping to realize our vision to turn a contaminated brownfield eyesore into a new development that has real economic and health benefits for our community.”
“Bartlett Station’s unique mixed-income program was designed for working people like me. My family doesn’t qualify as low income, but at Bartlett Station I qualified for the middle group,” said Joani Torres who lives in the new apartment building. “I love that everything is where I need it. The bus stop right in front of our building can take my daughter to school each day, and drop her off at our front door. We’re closer to family and my job, and I can just walk to work each day. I want to thank the Mayor and Nuestra Comunidad for making this possible. We’re proud to call this beautiful affordable building our home.”
In addition to new housing, the apartment building has two retail storefronts located along Washington Street. Good Food Markets, slated to open later this year, plans to provide healthy food, hire people from the community, offer job training and career opportunities, and promote healthy food choices to people in Roxbury. Good Food Markets is a nonprofit grocery store dedicated to addressing issues of food access and community health by working in partnership with Nuestra Comunidad, Boston Medical Center, and the Kresge Foundation.
“Good Food Markets is proud to join the Roxbury community,” said Philip Sambol, executive director of Good Food Markets. “Good Food Markets is a collaborative effort in the community that transcends food access. The residents and community leaders that we have met over the last three years care about what we care about: a store that is by, of, and for the Roxbury community. Good Food Markets is a retail platform, but the real success is achieved by listening and taking action with our neighbors.”
Secured by the Boston Planning & Development Agency (BPDA), the project was made possible in part by $1 million in linkage funds, a payment from large commercial developments for the creation of housing and job training programs, and $1 million in Inclusionary Development Policy (IDP) funds. IDP requires that market-rate housing developments with 10 or more units and need zoning relief contribute to income-restricted housing.
Harvard University contributed more than $600,000 in pre-development financing to help develop Bartlett Station. Harvard’s initiative, formerly known as 20/20/2000, was first launched in 2000 and committed $20 million in low-interest, flexible loans. It has helped leverage more than $1.3 billion in housing developments with more than 5,500 affordable units in Boston and more than 1,600 affordable units in Cambridge. Harvard University recently announced it would recommit $20 million to an initiative aimed at increasing the amount of affordable housing in Greater Boston.
“Harvard is pleased to renew the Harvard Local Housing Collaborative. We are proud to be part of a community where partners from across Greater Boston come together to strengthen the region and address the urgent need for quality, affordable housing,” said Harvard President Larry Bacow. “We are grateful to Mayor Walsh, Chief Dillon and all of our partners for their support and their efforts to increase access to homeownership and promote fair and equitable access to housing.”
The developers of Bartlett Station have deep roots in the Roxbury community. Nuestra Comunidad has a 38-year legacy of creating communities of opportunity, building new community assets, and transforming community through economic development. Nuestra Comunidad has built more than 800 affordable apartments for working families, and built and sold nearly 200 homes that have created wealth and neighborhood stability for Roxbury residents. Windale Developers has an equally long history as a Roxbury developer and contractor, having been a leading developer of homeownership opportunities creating wealth for Roxbury families, and mentoring many local construction companies.
The new apartment building is LEED Silver Certified and has many “green” features for long- term operations and sustainability. It also provides several improvements to the neighborhood such as new sidewalks, handicap accessible ramps, benches, lighting, bike racks, and a new pedestrian plaza and walkway that allows residents and visitors to move easily through the site. The apartment building was designed by Davis Square Architects, constructed by BiltRite, and are managed by Winn Residential. The condominium building was designed by Micheal Washington Associates and built by Crosswinds Construction.
The new buildings have been made possible by a contribution from the City of Boston, the City's Neighborhood Housing Trust, the Commonwealth’s Department of Housing and Community Development, Bank of America, Eastern Bank, Local Initiatives Support Corporation, National Equity Fund, Healthy Neighborhoods Equity Fund, MassDevelopment, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Boston Medical Center, Massachusetts Housing Investment Corporation, Community Economic Development Assistance Corporation, and Enterprise Community Partners.
Today's celebration builds on the release of Housing a Changing City: Boston 2030, Boston's latest quarterly housing report, and the City's overall housing goal of 69,000 new units by 2030, to meet Boston's faster than expected population growth. These 69,000 new units include 15,820 new income-restricted units, which would elevate Boston's income-restricted inventory total to 70,000, or one in five of all housing units. In addition, the plan set a goal to preserve 85 percent of Boston's most at-risk privately-owned affordable units, and to purchase 1,000 units of rental housing stock from the speculative market and income-restrict them for perpetuity.
Mayor Walsh's 2019 housing security legislative package focuses on expanding upon the work that Boston has done to address the region's affordable housing crisis and displacement risks for tenants. The housing security bills proposed seek to help existing tenants, particularly older adults, remain in their homes, and creates additional funding for affordable housing.