Council Will Hold Hearing in Charlestown on Bunker Hill Re-Development

October 4, 2018
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Councilor Lydia Edwards will get the ball rolling on the community review of the re-started Bunker Hill redevelopment plan at a hearing in the Town on Oct. 18.

Edwards said this week that the meeting will be a follow-up to the hearing she held on One Charlestown – the former name of the redevelopment – in March. Since that time, the Boston Housing Authority announced that Leggat McCall has officially been brought on as a development partner with Corcoran to unveil a revised plan.

Edwards said she hopes that the hearing can be the beginning of getting answers to questions that weren’t ready to be answered in March, shortly after Leggat had applied to be brought on.

“There are a lot of unanswered questions,” she said. “Leggat McCall was not yet designated at the March meeting, so they couldn’t answer questions.”

She said they would like to pin down a timeline for the development, and discuss when decisions will be made. She also said that while it’s early, she would like the community to know whether there are plans on paper.

“I think we need to know a realistic timeline going forward with shovels in the ground and what that looks like,” she said. “The question for many of us is the process of relocating and bringing back the current residents and stakeholders. How long is this going to be? Ten years or 20 years?… We don’t want to lose our existing population there in the process of them leaving and coming back.”

The major question that Edwards said she wants to know is how the project will be paid for. A previous funder, SunCal, is seemingly no longer with the project, and that leaves a gap in regard to the funding.

“I want to know how they are going to pay for it,” she said. “Will it be the Neighborhood Housing Trust, the Community Preservation money or future tax credits? If it’s future tax credits, we need to protect ourselves in case there is a bubble that bursts on the market.”

Overall, she said she believes it will be a good time to start getting to know and trusting Leggat McCall.

“This is a good time to build a relationship with Leggat McCall,” she said. “It’s going to be many years that we’ll be working with them.”