Three Boston projects were awarded MassWorks grants totaling about $9 million: The Nubian Square Ascends Project in Roxbury, the Mildred Hailey Apartments in Jamaica Plain, and the Bunker Hill Housing Redevelopment in Charlestown.
Mayor Michelle Wu was joined by Massachusetts Secretary of Housing and Economic Development Mike Kennealy, the Boston Planning and Development Agency (BPDA), the Boston Housing Authority (BHA), and elected officials at a press conference at the Blair Lot in Roxbury on Feb. 15 to make the announcement.
The Bunker Hill Housing Redevelopment project will receive a $3.5 million MassWorks grant, Kennealy said.
“MassWorks is the largest and most flexible, and therefore probably the most powerful, tool in the economic development toolbox,” he said. The grants fund infrastructure projects such as streets, lighting, and utilities, Kennealy said.
“What it really funds at the end of the day is collaboration at the local level,” he added.
Wu said that the Bunker Hill housing development in Charlestown is “one of the largest developments in the entire New England region,” and the redevelopment project is set to preserve the more than 1,000 existing affordable units, as well as include “new opportunities for open space and civic space for residents there” Wu said, adding that it is “badly needed. We’re very excited and grateful for moving that forward.”
According to a press release from the city, the $3.5 MassWorks grant will help pay for upgrades to utilities at the Bunker Hill housing redevelopment, which will “trigger the start of the redevelopment project’s first phase, which calls for the demolition of six residential buildings that date back to the early 1940s and construction of two new buildings.”
Residents who live in these units will receive new housing during construction and will be offered one of the new units once they are complete.
“The project will construct a new, multi-phase, mixed-use development that will include 15 residential buildings,” the release states, and upon completion, will have 2,699 units, including 1,010 deeply affordable units. The City also said that 100 more BHA units will be located elsewhere in the neighborhood as part of this project.
“The project will also create approximately 2.7 acres of publicly-accessible open space, approximately 50,000 square feet of commercial space, and a community center,” according to the release.
“We’re building new homes for public housing residents in Charlestown and Jamaica Plain, and that requires more than just buildings,” BHA Administrator Kate Bennett said in a statement. “These grants will help us to create the vital supporting infrastructure that ensures that these new communities will thrive into the future.”