By Stephen Quigley
After several years of community meetings, re-drawings, and delays because of pandemic-related challenges, several sections of the old Bunker Hill Housing Project will start to be razed in December.
The housing project that was built in the late 1930s served as home to tens of thousands of residents over the past 82 years. The funding for the original Bunker Hill Housing Projects came into existence through the passage of the federal Housing Act of 1937, which helped fund what was called “slum clearance.” This nationwide program cleared out dilapidated housing to create new affordable public housing. The first units of the Bunker Hill Housing Project were ready for occupancy in 1940.
The buildings to be demolished are located on Medford Street, Tufts Street, Walford Way, Corey Street, Moulton Street, Decatur Street, and Sam Morse Way. The developer, the Bunker Hill Housing Redevelopment, is a public-private partnership of the Boston Housing Authority (BHA) in conjunction with the Charlestown Resident Alliance (CRA), Leggat McCall Properties, the Joseph J. Corcoran Company, and Declaration Partners.
“The Bunker Hill community has waited a long time for this moment,” said BHA Administrator Kate Bennett.
“Between the countless meetings, negotiations, a pandemic, and inflation, Bunker Hill residents have been incredibly engaged and patient. We are so happy that their patience has been answered and that we finally are able to start construction.”
Phase One of the project includes site preparation and demolition of 126 units in six, currently-vacant buildings. A total of 110 development households have already been relocated (62 on-site; 48 off-site). Phase One also includes construction of 350 new units in two buildings located on the eastern half of the site.
When site preparation and demolition are completed, construction (projected to begin this spring) will begin on the first building that will deliver the most affordable housing units.
In total, the Bunker Hill Housing Redevelopment project encompasses 26 acres. The redevelopment master site plan includes the demolition of 42 buildings, consisting presently of 1,100 BHA units, and the construction of 2,699 new residential units in 15 buildings ranging from 4-10 stories high.
All units will be built to the same quality standards. The project will include up to 50,000 square feet of retail space and a community center of up to 14,000 square feet.
The project will have off-street parking and seven acres of open space. It is projected that the total build-out will take 8-10 years.
Residents are encouraged to visit www.bunkerhillhousing.com for the latest project updates and additional information. In addition, as work begins, residents can also reach out to the project team directly with any questions as follows:
General Questions: [email protected] or 617-422-7023
Construction Questions: [email protected] or 617-422-7083
Current Resident Relocation Questions: 617-337-5878 (HOU) or 617-988-4316 (BHA)