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Jamaica Plain Gets $6.2 Million in City Funds for Affordable Housing

Last updated on March 29, 2016

The 5 story apartment building planned by the Community Builders at Hyde Park Ave and Ukraine Way. It received $3milion in city funds on March 22
The five-story apartment building planned by The Community Builders at Hyde Park Avenue and Ukraine Way. On March 22, the city announced it had allocated $3 million toward the project.

Mayor Martin Walsh announced funding for 12 affordable housing developments in Boston last week, from Chinatown to Codman Square. Two of these developments are at opposite ends of Jamaica Plain, both near Orange Line stations: Parcel U at Forest Hills, and the General Heath Square Apartments at Jackson Square.

Of the $28 million in funding announced by Walsh March 22, $21 million will come from federal and state funds through the Department of Neighborhood Development, and $7 million will come from Neighborhood Housing Trust Fund linkage funds.

At Forest Hills, $3 million was awarded to The Community Builders (TCB), which is planning to build a 76-unit midrise apartment building at 93-95 Hyde Park Ave. at Ukraine Way, within sight of the Forest Hills terminal. The building will be five stories high with ground-floor retail, a community room and underground parking.

According the mayor’s office, the total development costs for the building is $30,342,399; the city will contribute about 10 percent of that cost. TCB project manager James Madden told Jamaica Plain News that the total development cost is still being determined.

The midrise building is part of a larger development of 124 units on a sloping, 2.9-acre parcel that was once home to repair shops and a car barn for elevated trains. The development will include nine three- to four-story rowhouse clusters at 119-159 Hyde Park Ave. abutting Tollgate Cemetery.

A substantial number of the midrise’s apartments — 38 of them — will be made available to middle-income families, and four of them will be set aside for homeless families. According to Madden, the area median income (AMI) for middle-income renters is being determined. The city’s new Inclusionary Development Policy (IDP), signed by Mayor Walsh Dec. 9, 2015, defines affordable as “less or equal to 70 percent area median income.” However, the new IDP does not apply to 93-95 Hyde Park Ave. because the project was approved by the Boston Redevelopment Authority (BRA) in February 2015.

The development is a joint venture between The Community Builders and Urbanica Inc. (which will design and build the townhouse clusters) under the name JPParcel U LLC. The total development costs for the midrise building and townhouses was estimated at $63 million in 2014. The midrise is a collaboration between The Architectural Team and Steven Chung AIA. Madden told Jamaica Plain News he expects to break ground this year.

Parcel U at Walk Hill St. The 2-9 acre Parcel U. was nce was long brick elevated train repair shop.
Parcel U at Walk Hill Street. The 2.9-acre parcel was once an elevated brick train-repair shop.

General Heath Square Apartments

The Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Development Council and Back of the Hill Housing Corp. also received $3,245,000 in funding toward the General Heath Square Apartments at Heath and Bromley streets outside Jackson Square station. The project was approved by the BRA board on Dec. 10, 2015.

The $17 million complex will feature a four-story, 47-unit U-shaped building on a long-vacant lot. The apartments will be 100 percent affordable to various income ranges. Ten units will be for families earning at or below 30 percent AMI; 30 apartments will be for families earning 60 percent AMI, and 7 units will be for families in the 80% AMI range.

Four sources of funding must be assembled to meet the planned construction start of December 2017. The city funds awarded by the mayor this past week equal about 19% percent of the budget.

The architects are Prellwitz Chilinski, with Mark Eclipse as the principal architect.

Sit of General Heath Square Apartments. Heath Street view.
Site of the General Heath Square Apartments, as they will be viewed from Heath Street.
Proposed Heath Square Apartments
The General Heath Square Apartments.