The city has designated a developer for the former Charlestown Armory. Mayor Thomas Menino and the Director of the Department of Neighborhood Development Sheila Dillon made the announced last week.
According to officials C-Town Ventures has been granted tentative designation as developer for the $22 million redevelopment of the historic building into housing on Bunker Hill Street in Charlestown.
DND staff made the formal recommendation to the City’s Public Facilities Commission at a meeting last Wednesday.
“We are one step closer to turning an eyesore into a great development for the neighborhood,” said City Councilor Sal LaMattina. “I look forward to working with the developer and neighbors as the project moves forward.”
C-Town Ventures plans to renovate the 46,530 square-foot Georgian Revival structure into 40 new units of housing. The redevelopment will be LEED Silver Certifiable and will incorporate green building technology to help conserve energy and reduce operating costs. The conservation elements include a partial green roof, the replacement of all exterior windows, and a heating and cooling system with programmable thermostats. The developer’s plans also call for two parking spaces per unit and include the maintenance of all the historic elements of the building, including restoration of the partial mansard slate roof.
Built in 1907, the Armory provided drill space for four local military companies, including the 192nd Infantry Regiment – the oldest combat regiment in the United States army. In 1968, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Commission deeded the Armory to the Trustees of the Boston Public Library, which used the armory as a book depository — most recently housing the Jordan Collection, the largest collection of children’s books in the world.
The Trustees of the Boston Public Library transferred the property to DND in the spring of 2010, and, following an extensive community process, DND issued a Request for Proposals seeking proposals to redevelop the vacant parcel. On September 11, 2013, neighborhood residents gave feedback on three proposals, with C-Town Ventures’ proposal receiving the highest ranking.
The tentative designation approval triggers a 12-month period during which C-Town Ventures will continue to work with the City to finalize the design, apply for permits and secure funding. Following this 12-month period, the Public Facilities Commission will vote to convey the property to the developer, at which point DND will close the sale of the property, and the developer will begin construction. “The Armory occupies a large tract of property in the neighborhood and for years there was uncertainty as to its development and finally we have resolution and a developer that will bring a vision to the area” said Representative Eugene L. O’Flaherty, House Judiciary Chairman.