PARKSIDE—The long-awaited homeless care development at 461 Walnut Ave. will officially open tomorrow, April 30, according to a press release.
The project, which was developed by Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Development Corporation (JPNDC) and Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program (BHCHP), faced a lively community process and a two-year lawsuit before breaking ground more than a year ago.
The development has a respite care facility with 20 beds on the ground floor and 30 studio apartments for medically frail and elderly formerly homeless people on the upper two floors. Pine Street Inn will manage the studio apartments, while BHCHP will manage the respite care facility.
A group of 11 residents filed a lawsuit against the Boston Redevelopment Authority (BRA) and the developers in hopes of halting the project soon after a November 2010 BRA decision allowing the redevelopment. The suit claimed that the BRA and the developers wrongly classified the property as “blighted, decadent or decayed” to ease zoning approval of the project.
That lawsuit was rejected by a lower court judge and finally ended in December 2012, after the state Supreme Judicial Court denied further appeal.
BHCHP housed its 90-bed respite care McInnis House at the 461 Walnut Ave. site until it moved to larger quarters in the South End in 2008.
Before BHCHP opened McInnis house in 1993, 461 Walnut Ave. was the Stadium Manor Nursing Home, which operated on the site as far back as 1980.
Medical respite care is the term used for short-term medical and recuperative services for homeless people too sick to stay in shelters, but not sick enough for a hospital stay.