BPDA votes to extend Jackson Square Partners as tentative designated developer for Jackson Square Master Plan Phase III

By John Lynds

       Last week the Boston Planning and Development Agency voted to extend Jackson Square Partners, LLC status as tentative designated developer for the Jackson Square Master Plan Phase III–a mixed use development in Jackson Square involving 11.2 acres of largely vacant public and privately owned land where the Jamaica Plain and Roxbury
communities meet. The extension of Jackson Square Partners, LLC, a collaboration led by Urban Edge and the Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Development Corporation (JPNDC), as tentative designated developer will expire on December 31, 2019.

       Since the BPDA’s plan to revitalize this area of Jackson Square began over a decade ago several milestones have been completed by Jackson Square Partners, LLC.

       Already the development team has completed Jackson Commons. This project cost more than $21 million and is comprised of a 37 unit, mixed-use and mixed income housing development near the Jackson Square MBTA stop. The development is more than 10,000 square feet of ground floor retail, as well as 2,000 square feet of retail and commercial space. The redevelopment consisted of the adaptive re-use and renovation of the 100 year old, three story, 23,600 square foot Webb Building. The residential unit mix includes 25 two-bedrooms, 7 one bedrooms and 5 three-bedrooms.  Eight units are reserved for homeless/formerly homeless residents while the remaining 29 units are affordable units.

       The city and developer recently celebrated the groundbreaking of 75 Amory Ave. This development kicked off the third phase of a $16 million development that will create 39 units of affordable housing for families. The project also secured $200,000 from the EPA in the form of brownfields grant for the remediation of the former industrial sites next to Jackson Commons at 1542 Columbus Avenue in Roxbury. This land will be transformed into a recreation center for the neighborhood.

       However, the development team was forced to make some project changes that were approved by the BPDA. Due to loss of site control, Jackson Square Partners, LLC cannot proceed with one of the proposed buildings that was a proposed mixed use structure including 16 residential units connected to a 223 space structured parking facility intended to serve the project as well as provide overflow parking for other Jackson Square.
The building at 15 Jackson St. has been modified to be a 100 percent affordable, multi-family, green, and transit-oriented project that will include 44 rental apartments to meet the affordable housing needs of various sized households in the neighborhood. The building also includes 22 parking spaces to accommodate the loss of structured parking on the scratched building mentioned earlier. 

       The building at 250 Centre St. has been modified to be a mixed-income, mixed-use multifamily building that will include approximately 100 affordable and market-rate units to provide quality housing options to families of all incomes. This building will also include approximately 2,400 square feet of neighborhood focused retail. Approximately eighty parking spaces, both structured and at grade, have been added this part of the project to again accommodate for the loss of parking from the building eliminated from the project.                   When complete, the $250 million Jackson Square Redevelopment Master Plan will include more than 400 units of housing, 60,000 square feet of ground floor retail,  two major community facilities,10,000 square feet of office space,  and will have generated an estimated 276 construction jobs. Among other funding sources, Urban Edge has received more than $4 million in funding assistance from the City of Boston and more than $2 million from the State’s Department of Housing and Community Development.

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