For Immediate Release - July 24, 2014


Public Infrastructure, Housing Investments Supported by Patrick Administration Have Created Growth, Economic Development Opportunities in Boston

Jackson Square Tour
Governor Patrick tours public infrastructure and housing investments supported by the Administration that have created growth and economic development opportunities in the Jackson Square neighborhood. (Photo: Kenshin Okubo / Governor’s Office)

ROXBURY – Thursday, July 24, 2014 – Governor Deval Patrick today joined local officials for a walking tour of the Jackson Square neighborhood on the border of Roxbury and Jamaica Plain in Boston. Strategic investments in housing and infrastructure made by the Patrick Administration and local partners have helped transform vacant lots in this neighborhood into over 200 units of market-rate and affordable housing and retail space.

“Thanks to our growth strategy of investing in education, innovation and infrastructure we have been able to help revitalize the Jackson Square neighborhood,” said Governor Patrick. “Through these types of collaborative efforts, we are making our communities great places to live, work and play.”

The redevelopment of Jackson Square is a prime example of effective partnerships between the Commonwealth, City of Boston, neighborhood groups and developers. The Jackson Square Plan, the strategic vision for this multi-phase, mixed-use redevelopment, has been implemented by the City and developers, with substantial investment from the Commonwealth. All together, the project has received approximately $7 million in MassWorks Infrastructure Program resources and approximately $30 million in tax credit equity and affordable housing funding through state and federal Low Income Housing Tax Credits and state bond funds.

“Growth requires investment,” said Housing and Economic Development Secretary Greg Bialecki. “Public investment has already triggered tremendous changes and private investment in Jackson Square, leading to further private development in the future.”

“Investing in permanent affordable housing and infrastructure is a key ingredient in helping to enhance neighborhoods,” said Aaron Gornstein, Undersecretary for the Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD). “DHCD has been pleased to be a partner in Jackson Square with the City of Boston, community-based organizations, neighborhood residents, and many others to help transform this area.”

Thursday’s tour began at the Jackson Commons housing development to view the progress of a 37-unit, mixed-use development that includes the adaptive reuse and renovation of the existing three-story Webb building, and the addition of a newly constructed four-story building. In 2012 the Jackson Commons development was awarded $1.6 million in MassWorks funding for roadway and parking improvements along Centre Street and Columbus Avenue. Additionally, in 2013 DHCD awarded funding for Urban Edge’s Jackson Commons development.

Governor Patrick also stopped at 225 Centre Street, a mixed-use building with 103 units of market and affordable family housing and approximately 16,000 square feet of retail space. The housing was built with the help of DHCD housing subsidies, federal and state Low Income Housing Tax Credits, while the retail element was supported by new market tax credits.

The Centre Street development also received two rounds of public infrastructure funding that were critical in supporting early phases development. In 2009, MassWorks (formerly the MORE Jobs Grant Program) awarded $3.1 million in funding for the reconfiguration of the MBTA busway and sidewalks to provide for shared driveway entrance to 225 Centre Street and other infrastructure improvements. Additionally, in 2010 the development was awarded a $2.3 million MassWorks grants to create public parking on the site. The funding also contributed to streetscape improvements around the 225 Centre Street building.

At 270 Centre Street, 37 affordable apartments were built with support from DHCD housing subsidies and federal and state Low Income Housing Tax Credits. The Governor’s tour concluded with the future site of 75 Amory Avenue, which will offer 39 affordable housing units for families. DHCD awarded the project Federal Low Income Housing Tax Credits, federal HOME funds and state bond subsidies earlier this month.

“These developments in Jackson Square are a great example of progress that can be brought to a neighborhood when the State, City and local development groups come together to bring essential resources, such as affordable housing and retail, to a community”, said Representative Jeffrey Sanchez. “I look forward to working with my colleagues and neighbors on future projects to make our Boston neighborhoods an even better place to live and raise a family.”

In November 2012, Governor Patrick announced the Commonwealth’s goal of creating 10,000 multi-family housing units per year. The Jackson Square redevelopment represents an example of multi-family housing production that supports the Commonwealth’s goal. By creating this type of housing, which is attractive to young families and individuals, Massachusetts is better prepared to keep in state the skilled, young workforce which employers are seeking. 

Last fall, Housing and Economic Development Secretary Greg Bialecki accepted a national “workforce housing” award from the Urban Land Institute, recognizing the Patrick Administration’s leadership in pursuing a strategy to increase the supply of housing needed, and in the places needed, for its workforce.

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