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. It will also rehabilitate the 215 apartments in the main building in a coordinated work schedule that, developers say, will insure no resident has to leave their home. The three partners will serve as co-developers and owners of the development. The Community Builders will be property manager.
The Housing Authority will mandate that the contractor schedule the rehab "in place," meaning householders will leave only for the day to stay in special set-aside units. They will return at the end of the work day and the contractors are required to leave every unit in a livable condition with heat, lights and hot water.
If work has to take longer, specific "hotel units" will be made available on site for residents to live in on a short-term, temporary basis.
The redevelopment of the 3-acre site at 125 Amory St. is being performed under the Department of Housing and Urban Development's Rental Assistance Demonstration program, which Congress authorized in 2012.
Amory Apartments opened in April 1973. It is the second of the HUD/RAD programs in Boston; Bunker Hill Homes in Charlestown is the first.
The stated goal of RAD is the preservation of public housing with decreased reliance on shrinking federal subsidies.
As Lydia Agro, the Housing Authority's chief of staff, previously told the Jamaica Plain News, "We want to optimize the value of BHA sites in high-market neighborhoods. We want to redevelop Amory Street to protect and sustain public housing in the long run."
For more context on this project, which marks a sea-change in public housing, please see our file story.