Jackson rec center approved

June 24, 2011
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Other Jackson projects stalled

WEB EXCLUSIVE

JACKSON SQ.—Plans for a new recreation center received Boston Redevelopment Authority approval last week and two residential developments are moving forward, but other pieces of the elaborate Jackson Square redevelopment plan appear stalled with little or no explanation.

Nonprofit developer Urban Edge won BRA board approval June 16 to construct a 38,500-square-foot multi-use facility that will function a skating rink and an indoor turf field.

Under the name Jackson Square Partners, Urban Edge, the Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Development Corporation (JPNDC) private developer Mitchell Properties and others are working on a massive neighborhood redevelopment project in the square.

As the Gazette previously reported, Mitchell Properties planned to start this spring on construction on a 103-unit mixed income residential development.

But work has not yet begun on that development planned for the corner of Centre Street and Columbus Avenue near the Jackson Square T Station. Mitchell did not respond to Gazette requests for comment by press time.

Urban Edge staffer Noah Maslan told the Gazette the nonprofit still hopes to get about a quarter of the estimated $16 million the rec. center project will cost from bond funding by the state. If that works out, Urban Edge will begin a capital campaign in the fall with the hopes of raising the rest of the money in time for a fall 2012 construction start, he said.

Next door to the proposed site of the new recreation facility at the corner of Columbus Avenue and Ritchie Street, Urban Edge is also trying to secure funding to build Jackson Commons, a mixed-use residential and commercial development.

That project—a dramatic expansion of the Urban Edge-owned Webb building at 1542 Columbus Ave.—will have 38 mixed-income apartments and 12,000 square feet of community and commercial space.

Maslan said that project is waiting on the approval of state funds, and, if they are awarded, construction could begin by spring of 2012.

JPNDC spokesperson Sally Swenson told the Gazette the JPNDC recently received $100,000 in pre-development funds from the Community Economic Development Assistance Corporation. That funding will help the JPNDC finalize plans for a residential development at 75 Jackson St., a new street Jackson Square Partners plans to add to the neighborhood between Amory Street and the Southwest Corridor Park.

The JPNDC is also partnered with the local nonprofit the Hyde Square Task Force to develop a Youth and Families Center on the T station side of Columbus Avenue, but that project “has been postponed indefinitely” because of economic downturn-related fund-raising constraints, Swenson told the Gazette.

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