City Kids, a youth education nonprofit program developed by City Realty, recently donated a full computer lab to the Italian Home for Children in Jamaica Plain. The Italian Home for Children provides an integrated network of powerful and effective programs to help children and families with emotional, behavioral and educational challenges thrive in their communities. The kids will use the new computer lab to aid in school work and research. City Realty Managing Partner Steve Whalen discovered the need for new computer equipment during a recent visit to the facility. Whalen worked with City Realty’s Chief Technology Officer Jerry Wycoco to select the desktops, design the space and install the entire telecommunications infrastructure.
Developer City Realty is proposing combining two lots into one at 197-201 Green St., razing a vacant professionally-graffitied house and constructing a 4-story mixed-use building. City Realty's proposal is two combine two lots into one and construct the building, which would be rental residential units, include one retail space and six off-street parking spaces. The current proposed unit breakdown is for: 4 studios, 4 live/artist work units, 12 1-bed units, and 3 2-bed units. A City Realty rep said the current plan is to make the live/artist work units into affordable Inclusionary Development Policy units, but that will be determined by the Boston Planning & Development Agency (BPDA). One lot at 197 Green Street has the "Little House on Green Street," which was professionally graffitied by local artists.
On Saturday there will be an open house to see a Green Street house that had its outside graffitied by Boston artists with full support of the building's owner. The vacant residential building is currently awaiting renovations so artists led by Michael Balding and Loey Lyfer let their creative talents loose at 197 Green St. “This is our neighborhood as well. And we are proud to be able to change the face of it with art," said Lyfer. The building was redecorated as part of City Realty's City Pop program, which assists and encourages artists in the community to help bring art to public spaces.
In her job as headmaster for Margarita Muñiz Academy, Dania Vázquez knew that one of the more pressing needs for her high school students was the ability to use computer technology to conduct research and complete homework. “Every single one of our school computers is in continual use every single day,“ said Vázquez. On Oct. 4th, that need was sharply reduced with the unwrapping of 20 laptop computers at the Jamaica Plain school were given as a donation from the Boston real estate firm City Realty. The Muñiz Academy, the first dual language high school in the Boston Public School system, was one of five area schools and organizations to receive a total of 100 computers.
At the end of one of the quieter streets in the heart of Jamaica Plain, the three-story building looks no different from others nearby. Well over 100 years old, it has a stone foundation, bay windows and a classic central entrance. It was recently renovated inside — including the installation of a new kitchen, tiled bathrooms, hardwood floors and central air conditioning. What makes this building different from its neighbors is that this is a safe house for runaways and homeless youth. Recently leased by the youth services organization, Bridge Over Troubled Waters, it joins other refuges that dot a Jamaica Plain community that has a tradition of extending a hand to others in need.