The Boston Planning & Development Agency (BPDA) board approved new plans for a proposed Jackson Square Recreational Center that vastly increases the size of the center and adds an additional floor. The BPDA board approved plans on March 17 that call for a 75,000 square foot recreation center at the intersection of Columbus Avenue and Ritchie Street across the street from the Jackson Square MBTA Station in Jamaica Plain. Earlier plans had the project at 34,000 square feet, said BPDA spokesperson Bonnie McGilpin. The size increase is due to an the addition of another floor to the project. The recreation center would be a three-story multi-use indoor space with an ice rink on the first floor 10 months of the year, with a mezzanine level (regarded as the second floor) that includes bleacher seating for the ice rink.
State Rep. Liz Malia was proud to recognize Urban Edge Housing Corporation for their recent receipt of state and federally funded housing tax credits that will enable them to build 49 new units of affordable family housing in the Egleston Square neighborhood. The Walker Park Apartments is a new construction project sponsored by Urban Edge that the Massachusetts Department of Housing & Community Development will support with federal and state funds. The City of Boston also is providing funds to the project, according to a press release from Malia (D-Jamaica Plain). Of the 49 units, eight will be reserved for households earning less than 30% of area median income.
Frank Shea began work as Urban Edge's fourth director in its new office space on Columbus Avenue on November 3. It is the fourth office space for Urban Edge. He is also the first director who did not come out of senior staff at the agency in its 41-year history. Proudly he said, "I am the first director born and raised in Jamaica Plain." Born in 1961 as a small boy living in the St.
Egleston Square residents were given a choice on Wednesday for an empty city-owned six family house at 52 Montebello Road: Affordable home ownership for six first-time homebuyers by a team "who really knows ownership"; or a $1.3 million "gift" as part of the development of 3200 Washington Street for six permanently affordable rental units by another team who will "take no profit." John Feuerbach, senior development officer for the Department of Neighborhood Development, opened the meeting by saying "we are looking at 52 Montebello Road separately" from the 3200 Washington St. project. There were three main criteria he said were heard at the first community meeting last December:
100 percent affordability
Thoughtful landscaping of the adjacent wooded slope
Feuerbach said there were two eligible applicants who would "present for 15 minutes each tonight." He said that there would be a two-week comment period closing on July 15 after which the Department of Neighborhood Development would make its choice in one or two months. First Pitch: Affordable Homeownership Units
Chrystal Kornegay, CEO of Urban Edge, has been appointed to lead the Department of Housing and Community Development in the administration of Gov.-Elect Charlie Baker, according to the Boston Globe. Urban Edge, a low-income housing development agency, is based just north of Jackson Square. The landscape of Jamaica Plain is dotted with developments owned by Urban Edge. For more on the appointment, please visit the Boston Globe (metered paywall).