Boston’s New Chief of Planning Arthur Jemison Tours 250 Centre in Jackson Square

In his first public address as the Boston’s Chief of Housing, Arthur Jemison joined The Community Builders (TCB) for a hard hat tour of 250 Centre, a 110-unit affordable and mixed-income housing development for residents in Jackson Square. On June 1, the hard hat tour was part of a larger celebration honoring three housing development milestones for TCB, Urban Edge and Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Development Corporation in Jackson Square. Following the tour, Jemison and Housing Chief Sheila Dillon provided remarks during the event’s speaking program. Appointed by Mayor Michelle Wu as the city’s first planning chief, Jemison has 28 years of planning and affordable housing expertise, that included working with community members of Boston’s Jackson Square two decades ago to plan the redevelopment culminating with the completion of The Community Builders’ 250 Centre site in 2023. Jemison previously served as Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), where he led the Office of Community Planning and Development (CPD) and served as the policy lead and HUD partner for American cities, counties, states, and other local units of government.

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Centre Street Going Car-Free for One Day in July

Jamaica Plain's Centre Street will be car-free for one day in July as part of the city's Open Streets events initiative. Centre Street from Lamartine Street (Jackson Square) to the Soldier's Monument (Centre and South streets) will be closed to vehicles from 9 am to 3 pm on Sunday, July 10. That's a 1.4 mile stretch. As part of the half-day event, there will be programming that could include music, games, face-painting, business and community group tabling, fitness classes, bicycle repairs, and more, according to a press release. There will also be a block party in collaboration with SEED in Hyde Square.

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A scene from the South Street Parade at Wake Up The Earth 2015

Wake Up The Earth Festival & Parades on May 7

The beloved Wake Up The Earth Festival & Parade will be on May 7, and you'll have three places to join a parade, as they come together at Stony Brook. Parades will gather at 10:30 am. If you're interested in joining the parade, and everyone is welcome, please email Zafiro at wute22parade@gmail.com.  The trio of parades will start at Curtis Hall, the Curley K-8 School, and the Egleston Square YMCA. Parades will meet at Jackson Square and then continue together down Lamartine Street to begin the festival at Stony Brook, which starts officially at noon, and goes to 6 pm. The festival includes musical performances, food vendors, a local farm selling seedlings, lots of local organizations with information tables, a kids musical play area, and more.

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Looks Like Il Panino Cafe & Grill Closed

It's been a bad few weeks for Jamaica Plain restaurants. First Carrot Flower's owner said they were closing in May, then we learned that Old Havana closed, and now it looks like Il Panino Cafe & Grill is also closed. From looking into the space there is only tables and chairs left. There's no sandwich boards on the wall, no food, and no drink refrigerators. The signage remains outside of the site at 268 Centre St.

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Old Havana Restaurant Permanently Closed

The Old Havana restaurant has closed its doors for the last time. Located between Hyde Square and Jackson Square at 349 Centre St., the restaurant was noticeably not open for lunch on Tuesday and Wednesday. A source who spoke with the restaurant's owner told Jamaica Plain News that their lease was not renewed. The owners said there was no plan to move the restaurant to another location. Open since 2013, Old Havana offered traditional Cuban cuisine.

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