Former Massachusetts Governor Michael Dukakis recently delivered a letter to Governor Charlie Baker calling for leadership and a coordinated vision as it relates to the redevelopment of the Shattuck Hospital site in Franklin Park. In the letter, he outlined how the Commonwealth’s decision to redevelop the site contradicts the Baker administration’s stated priorities “for open space, climate resilience, and natural resource conservation.”
Governor Dukakis states that, “rather than engaging community members and thinking holistically for the neighborhood and Greater Boston’s needs, the Commonwealth has decided to move forward with a plan to demolish the outdated building, which sits on parkland, and lease the land to a private developer.”
Shattuck Hospital, now slated for demolition, currently occupies 13 acres of parkland, a site that was taken from the community in 1949 and, over the years, has joined other sites that reduced Franklin Park’s free and public green space by roughly 200 acres. Now, the Commonwealth proposes a new plan: a 99-year lease for a private developer to build housing for the formerly homeless. Housing for the formerly homeless is extremely important; however, the Commonwealth did not evaluate alternative sites, conduct a feasibility study, involve the many of the communities around the park, nor provide any state funding for the new facilities. This new plan requires numerous legal waivers, and the housing, if all goes according to plan, may take five years to build and does not include supportive services in the latest proposal.
We are a group of concerned Boston residents and housing, homeless, public health, climate justice, faith-based leaders and activists writing to urge you to support the Commonwealth’s Preliminary Project Proposal for the redevelopment of the Shattuck Campus as presented in April 2021. When the state conducted a comprehensive planning process in 2019, stakeholders from the surrounding neighborhoods, community groups, greenspace advocates, housing, and health care groups came to consensus on a Vision Plan. The Vision Plan includes behavioral health services, the shelter, and 75-100 units of supportive housing. The Plan also includes integrating the campus with Franklin Park and including components that will be accessible to the community, such as a public restroom, community garden or a child care center. In the six months since the Shattuck Campus Redevelopment was approved by the state, the city’s desperate need for supportive housing has only become more dire.
The state has proposed redeveloping the 13 acres of the Shattuck Hospital campus site into an integrated health care, behavioral health and supportive housing. A virtual meeting was held on Tuesday night in which numerous people testified, including former Governor William Weld and former Governor Michael Dukakis. Both preferred the MBTA Arborway Yard Bus Facility site on Washington Street for the services instead of redeveloping the Shattuck Hospital campus. Click here to review the proposed Shattuck Hospital campus redevelopment. The following statement is from Karen Mauney-Brodek is the President of the Emerald Necklace Conservancy
The Division of Capital Asset Management and Maintenance (DCAMM) hosted a virtual public hearing yesterday evening to present the draft request for proposals for the aging Shattuck Hospital site at Franklin Park. Approximately half of the members of public who spoke at the hearing felt that the proposed alternative 18-acre MBTA Arborway Yard Bus Facility site nearby would be the best location for the supportive housing and services needed, whereas many others agreed it would be great, but they didn’t think the Commonwealth was capable of working in the community’s best interest.
Jamaica Plain residents are invited to a public meeting to discuss the future of the Shattuck Hospital Campus redevelopment process on Oct. 24. The meeting is being led by the newly-formed Parks + Committee of the Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Council. There have been three previous public meetings led by the state with the last one being in June 2019. This community led meeting will provide an update on the most recent plans, the history of the site, future possibilities, and more.
I am writing in support of the development of the Shattuck campus as supportive housing and services. I am a 12-year resident of Forest Hills and remember well the number of unhoused people camped under the Casey Overpass. Three years ago I lost my eldest son to an overdose. For many years he received treatment at the Shattuck Hospital and attended support groups there. With the current epidemic of heroin addiction and the large number of people with dual diagnoses I am strongly in favor of continuing to provide these desperately needed services in my neighborhood.