Former Sox slugger steps up for affordable housing at Forestvale

July 11, 2008
By

DAVID TABER

PARKSIDE—Mo Vaughn spent eight of his 12 seasons in the major leagues with the Boston Red Sox. Between 1991 and 2003, he hit 328 homeruns and had a .293 batting average.

His best years were in Boston—he was selected for the American League All Star team in 1995, 1996 and 1998, and he was the American League’s Most Valuable Player in 1995 as well.

And now the former Red Sox slugger is making a return to the city where he shone, with the apparent goal of helping Boston maintain its affordable housing stock.

The slugger-turned-real-estate-investor, through his New York-based company Omni New York, recently acquired Forestvale apartments at 129 Forest Hills St. in Jamaica Plain. According to a City of Boston press release, Omni plans to maintain 90 units of section 8 affordable housing at the 108-unit development.

As the Gazette previously reported, Forestvale’s former landlord, Francis Colanino, has threatened to opt out of the federal section 8 program on numerous occasions in recent years.

Vaughn’s company also purchased another Colanino-owned property, the 138-unit Florence Apartments development in Roslindale. That property has 125 units designated as Section 8 subsidized housing.

The two properties’ Section 8 subsidies had been maintained under separate five-year contracts.

Omni plans to maintain the Section 8 housing for at least the next 20 years, according to the press release.

“Mo Vaughn has stepped up to bat again for Boston, and his work to preserve and promote affordable housing will be as, if not more, appreciated than his playing time here,” Mayor Thomas Menino said in the press release.

Vaughn left the Red Sox in 1998, six years before the team broke an 86-year World Series drought in 2004.

Best of JP 2014