One Charlestown Hopes to Bring in New, Local Partner

The Boston Housing Authority (BHA) announced this week that the Corcoran/Sun Cal development team for One Charlestown has proposed to bring in Boston-based Leggat McCall as a new partner.

BHA Director Bill McGonagle told the Patriot-Bridge this week that the development team has proposed that Leggat McCall join in on the project, that coming about one month after it was revealed that the financial partner on the project had left.

“Corcoran has come in with a new proposed partner and that is Leggat McCall,” said McGonagle. “They are a well-known Boston-based firm. Joe Corcoran and Sun Cal did respond to our letter in the appropriate timeframe. They have submitted the new partner and we are now analyzing that and asking for additional information…We would like more details from (Corcoran) and Leggat McCall.”

McGonagle said that process would take about 30 days as they gather information. Also within that timeframe, he said they would likely have a meeting with the Charlestown Residents Alliance (CRA) – which represents the tenants of the Bunker Hill housing development.

“I’m happy to hear there is a new partner for the Bunker Hill housing development,” said State Rep. Dan Ryan. “I think we are all in agreement that work needs to be done to modernize the existing living space. I believe the community has had a chance to digest everything thrown at us over the past two years and also make suggestions on how to move forward. I’m eager to get these conversations started again.”

Councilor Lydia Edwards said it’s good news to begin work again, but she will look to hold them to a high standard.

“I look forward to getting to know Leggatt McCall as a partner in the One Charlestown redevelopment and holding them to a high standard in order to protect Charlestown,” she said.

The One Charlestown project has been in the making for more than two years, and after several starts and stops, it hit a snag last month when it was revealed that the financial partner had left the project.

Corcoran believed it could find another partner by the end of January, and now that partner has been identified.

The project looks to develop a mixed-income development on the current Bunker Hill development that would include the replacement of all 1,110 public housing units within the development. It would also include a mix of market-rate units alongside the replacement units. What that number would be is now under consideration by the BHA and the developers.

A previous plan from last year included a total of more than 3,000 units of market rate and public housing on a brand new grid-patterned block. It was wildly unpopular amongst the greater community, and went back to the drawing board in June 2017. No new plan, however, ever emerged from that re-design.

A new plan, however, is expected this spring if Leggat McCall does indeed become the new partner.

Leggat McCall has decades of experience in the Boston market – most recently getting approval and starting construction on the huge Harrison Albany Block in the South End. That project entails the mixed-use development of an entire city block near Boston Medical Center, and includes development of more than 700 units in highrises.

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