For Immediate Release - May 06, 2008


151 affordable apartments added to town homes already under construction

BOSTON-Tuesday, May 06, 2008-Continuing to focus on economic development and housing opportunities Commonwealth-wide, Governor Deval Patrick today joined state and local officials, project sponsors and community activists to celebrate the economic development accomplishments and ongoing transformation of the former Boston State Hospital campus into Olmsted Green.

The long-abandoned hospital site is being transformed by Lena New Boston into a new vibrant 42-acre mixed-use, mixed-income, sustainable community. Olmsted Green is adjacent to the Mass. Audubon Boston Nature Center and Wildlife Sanctuary, Franklin Park and near public transit, offering the serenity of outdoors with the convenience of city living.

When completed, the latest phase of construction currently underway will add an additional four new buildings to a total of 151, two- and three-bedroom affordable rental apartments. The development will also include 287 town homes for sale, 83 units of affordable senior housing and a 123-bed skilled nursing and mental health facility. The first phase of affordable rentals will be ready for occupancy in late 2008. The first phase of home-ownership currently for sale will be ready for occupancy this summer.

"Olmsted Green is helping to produce new homes, jobs and business opportunities for residents of all incomes," said Governor Patrick. "This development is a major asset for this community and is consistent with the vision we have for the Commonwealth."

The project will create 400 annual full-time equivalent construction positions. So far, 50 percent of the workforce on the site has been people of color, and 30 percent of the contracts have gone to minority-owned businesses, many of them from this community. Eventually Olmsted Green will offer 400 permanent positions for those working on site in nursing, human services, property maintenance, and more.

"We have made great strides in addressing Boston's housing needs, but we still have a lot of work to do - housing is still too expensive for our working families," Mayor Menino said. "The launch of the first of Olmsted's rental housing developments means new, valuable housing opportunities for residents at this state-of-the-art development. We can all be proud of this significant milestone, and look forward to the completion of Boston's next mixed-use community."

"I am proud to stand with Governor Patrick, Mayor Menino and the USA Fund to see this project become a reality," said State Treasurer Tim Cahill who chairs the Pension Reserve Investment Management (PRIM) Board, which has invested $230 million in Economically Targeted Investments statewide. "The Olmsted Green project is one example of how PRIM's Economically Targeted Investment program has helped create thousands of jobs and affordable housing units for Massachusetts citizens."

Olmsted Green is being developed by Lena New Boston, a partnership between Lena Park Community Development Corporation and New Boston Fund. The Commonwealth of Massachusetts, through the state Department of Housing and Community Development, is financing Phase 1 of this $150 million project with funding from four programs that it administers to support affordable housing development. One million dollars was awarded from the state's Affordable Housing Trust Fund, another $750,000 from its Housing Stabilization Fund along with $600,000 from its Facilities Consolidation Fund and another $7.2 million in private investment will be leveraged through the sale of federal low-income housing tax credits. The City of Boston supported the affordable housing with $800,000 from the Neighborhood Housing Trust and $1,000,000 from Department of Neighborhood Development's Leading the Way Funds. Massachusetts Housing Partnership is the permanent lender along with HomeFunds, and Bank of America is providing both construction loans and tax credit equity. In addition, public infrastructure was financed through the City of Boston, Commonwealth Department of Housing and Community Development and Executive Office of Transportation. MassDevelopment Brownfield's Funds provided $1.65m towards environmental remediation.

"Olmsted Green is an oasis in the middle of the city that Lena New Boston feels extremely fortunate to be able to develop," said Jerome L. Rappaport, Jr., President and Chief Executive Officer at New Boston Fund and Chairman of its Urban Strategy America Fund. "It is a result of my passion and my joint-venture partner's vision along with the help of many partners including the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, the City of Boston and our USA Fund institutional investors who have worked so hard to make this project a reality."

"Lena Park has a 30-year history of building community with a holistic approach to creating housing, education, childcare, recreation, and job training opportunities," said E. Lorraine Baugh, President and CEO of Lena Park Community Development Corporation. "Olmsted Green is an unprecedented opportunity to blend this experience, and create something new for this community and we are grateful to all of the parties who have helped make this project a reality."

Olmsted Green is being developed by Lena New Boston as a sustainable community inside and out. The homes and apartments are constructed with sustainable materials and equipped with efficient appliances and systems to help residents save on energy costs. Olmsted Green and the adjacent Mass Audubon Boston Nature Center and Wildlife Sanctuary, have worked collaboratively to preserve and enhance the natural environment of the site by protecting mature trees and natural wetlands. Residents of Olmsted Green will be able to enjoy open outdoor spaces within the community, the Sanctuary's walking trails and the services of Lena Park CDC.