What if housing were combined with public assets like libraries, municipal buildings and lots, fire stations and other city-owned properties? That was a question the city asked of communities and developers while seeking ideas in January. More than 25 very early stage concepts were submitted with one developer selecting a site in Jamaica Plain.
The Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Development Corporation (JPNDC) submitted two different concepts for the municipal lot at 490-498 Centre St. across from the Curley K-8 School.
Both of JPNDC's ideas include creating roughly 30 permanently affordable apartments for low-income seniors. "We focused on senior housing because it allows for the greatest possible preservation of open space and public parking spots," wrote by Richard Thal, JPNDC's executive director in an email to the community. Thal also wanted to make it clear that the concepts are "initial ideas, not official proposals" and are "very early-stage" notions.
One concept consists of four floors with 30 parking spaces on the first floor and 37 one-bedroom units distributed through the four floors. The other concept is also four floors with 27 parking spaces on the first floor and 33 one-bedroom units dispersed through the top three floors. Both plans would include some trees and a path behind the building.
The city had a showcase of the proposals on April 26. The city's Housing Innovation Lab webpage said the call for responses were to "inform conversations about how our public assets can be redeveloped for the public good" and it "does not replace or interrupt the normal community process." If the city were to pursue and of the specific development ideas there would be a public process with residents and the community. Click here to see the proposals submitted for all of Boston.