JPNDC to file Jackson Sq. project

December 21, 2012
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JACKSON SQ.—In another big step forward for the redevelopment of Jackson Square, the Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Development Corporation (JPNDC) was slated this week to file plans for a new low-income apartment building at 75 Amory Ave.

The JPNDC expects the Boston Redevelopment Authority (BRA) to hold a community meeting about the 37-unit building plan next month, according to spokesperson Sally Swenson. Also in January, JPNDC will start seeking a master architect to guide a roughly six-month community process to plan the redevelopment of the lots at the southwestern corner of Columbus Avenue and Centre Street. Plans there call for mixed-use buildings.

JPNDC, a nonprofit community development corporation (CDC), is part of Jackson Square Partners, a coalition of companies redeveloping about 11 acres of land in the area in a coordinated plan.

The first piece of the puzzle, a housing and retail building at 225 Centre St. next to the Jackson Square T Station, is under construction by Mitchell Properties and The Community Builders. Set to open next summer, that building will contain 103 apartments, 35 of them affordable and the rest market-rate, according to project manager Noah Sawyer. It also will have 15,000 square feet of ground-floor retail space.

Urban Edge, another CDC based right in Jackson Square, has plans for a mixed-use building and a large recreation center on the northeastern corner of the intersection.

The Jackson Square redevelopment has been in the works for about 15 years and plans have changed significantly over the years, largely due to funding sources drying up or appearing.

A youth and family center to be run by the Hyde Square Task Force went off the table years ago. More recently, some of the housing plans have shrunken the number of units and done away with proposed affordable condo units, according to Rodney Singleton, chair of a citizens advisory committee (CAC) advising the BRA on the overall Jackson Square redevelopment.

“We always said we didn’t want to have this chasm in classes” between low-income renters and market-rate renters, Singleton said. “My sense is, [the CAC is] going to have some issues with that.”

Corrected version: Due to a reporting error, an earlier version of this story gave the project’s address as Amory Street rather than Amory Avenue.

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