225 Centre Street Project Wins 2012 Community Development Award
Cited As Real Estate Qualified Low-Income Community Investment of the Year
November 14, 2012
The AFL-CIO Housing Investment Trust’s (HIT) Tom O’Malley joined Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino, local and state officials, community residents, and others to celebrate the grand opening of 225 Centre Street, the first phase of the city’s $250 million redevelopment of the Jackson Square area, a transit oriented development. The HIT provided $9.9 million to help finance the project’s 103-unit, mixed-income residential component, while almost 17,000 square feet of first floor commercial space and parking was financed with help from $5.5 million of New Markets Tax Credits provided by the HIT’s subsidiary, Building America CDE.
“I’m particularly grateful to be here at the official opening of 225 Centre Street,” said O’Malley, HIT Senior Vice President and Chief Investment Officer for Building America, who lives in the immediate neighborhood. “The neighborhoods of Roxbury and Jamaica Plain have worked with the City of Boston for many years to develop a plan to restore the Jackson Square community, once slated for an extension of Interstate 95 through the city and now home to a rapid transit system with considerable surplus land that is being used to bring the two communities back together. I’m proud that the HIT and Building America were able to contribute to this effort.”
In his remarks, Mayor Menino pointed out that the city had invested more than $7 million into the redevelopment of vacant and underutilized public and private parcels adjacent to Jackson Square, adding that, “working together, we have begun the work of knitting back together these neighborhoods once torn apart by the threat of highway expansion.”
Located at the intersection of Centre Street and Columbus Avenue, the $53.2 million 225 Centre Street project was developed by a joint venture between two Boston companies – Mitchell Properties and The Community Builders, Inc. “We are thrilled to celebrate the first completed project at Jackson Square with our partners and the community,” said project developer Bart Mitchell, President and CEO of The Community Builders, calling the redevelopment “instrumental to spur economic development and help reconnect the Jamaica Plain and Roxbury neighborhoods.”
Construction of 225 Centre Street created approximately 300 jobs for members of the local building and construction trades unions. “It’s good to see union pension dollars invested in this project, putting hundreds of union workers on the job while helping turn the community around,” said Mike Monahan, Business Manager for IBEW Local 103 in Boston.
The 225 Centre Street development includes 35 affordable rental units and 68 market rate rental units. Ten of the affordable units are set aside for tenants who are formerly homeless, made possible by an award of project-based vouchers from the Boston Housing Authority.
The project has earned LEED Silver designation for its many environmentally friendly design features, including solar roof panels and its location adjacent to a rapid transit station.