Several parcels put up for public bidding by the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) were recently purchased with affordable housing required as part of some of the purchases. MassDOT held a public meeting in June 2017 to provide an overview of seven parcels and present a draft for proposal requests. After several public meetings to solicit feedback the bid guidelines and parcels were altered. MassDOT incorporated several revisions that the Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Council (JPNC) asked for, as well as from public feedback, according to an email to Jamaica Plain News from Carolyn Royce, chair of the Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Council Housing & Economic Development Committee. The parcel at 8 Oakdale Street was not put up for bid and will remain a community garden said Royce, and four parcels ended up being sold.
Development is always big news in JP. And the Zoning Committee of the JP Neighborhood Council sees virtually every proposal of consequence. The neighborhood group meets Wednesday to consider two projects. The largest is a proposal from the JP Neighborhood Development Corp. to build 44 units of affordable rental housing at 25 Amory St.
Saturday's Porchfest coincided with another big community event -- the 10th anniversary of the Julia Martin House. The 55-unit building offers something scarce in JP: Affordable housing for the elderly. Julia Martin, the community activist the complex is named for, was guest of honor at Saturday's celebration. She's in purple in the short video below. The Julia Martin House is one of the many properties whose rents or sale prices are kept affordable by the JP Neighborhood Development Corp.
The transformation of Jackson Square would continue with development of the last major piece of the puzzle bringing some MIT-style architecture to this side of the Charles. "Great work is happening in the past year," said Richard Thal, executive director of the Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Development Corporation, Tuesday night at a public meeting to describe the final plan for Jackson Square Phase III. This is two buildings set around a courtyard at Amory and Centre streets. They will be developed by JPNDC and The Community Builders. "Eleven years ago the BRA [Boston Redevelopment Authority] designated us to put together a viable plan for new a neighborhood that had been torn apart [by I-95]," Thal said. The scattered site totals 11 acres.
The Boston Housing Authority has designated Amory Partners, a joint venture of the Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Development Corp., Urban Edge and The Community Builders, to redevelop 125 Amory St., a 215-unit public housing for elderly and disabled near Jackson Square. In a press release, the Housing Authority said, "Some of the key features and determining factors of the selection include preservation of existing public housing units and generation of up to $3 million in cross subsidy from new mixed income units. The second component is the new connection to the surrounding neighborhood to create a more integrated development. The final design will include a total of 509 units of which 185 will be market rate and 324 workforce/affordable." Amory Partners will add 214 new apartments in satellite buildings on the vacant land of the site around the main building of Amory Apartments.