Three Boston projects were recently awarded MassWorks grants totaling about $9 million: The Nubian Square Ascends Project in Roxbury, the Mildred Hailey Apartments in Jamaica Plain, and the Bunker Hill Housing Redevelopment in Charlestown.
Mayor Michelle Wu was joined by Massachusetts Secretary of Housing and Economic Development Mike Kennealy, the Boston Planning and Development Agency (BPDA), the Boston Housing Authority (BHA), and elected officials at a press conference at the Blair Lot in Roxbury on Feb. 15 to make the announcement.
The Mildred Hailey redevelopment project will receive a $4 million MassWorks grant, Kennealy said.
“MassWorks is the largest and most flexible, and therefore probably the most powerful, tool in the economic development toolbox,” he said. The grants fund infrastructure projects such as streets, lighting, and utilities, Kennealy said.
“What it really funds at the end of the day is collaboration at the local level,” he added.
Wu said at the press conference that this $4 million grant “will go to the current phase of ensuring that we are renovating and preserving that critical affordable housing stock managed by the Boston Housing Authority.”
State Rep. Nika Elugardo said “Our residents have invested in that land for decades and decades, and they deserve a return on that investment. I’m very grateful to the mayor and to the governor for stepping forward to say, ‘you know what, we’re not just going to start the job, we’re going to finish the job.’”
According to a press release from the city, the Mildred Hailey redevelopment project includes the replacement of 253 existing units of public housing along with the creation of 420 additional income-restricted apartments.
The MassWorks grant will help fund a new roadway, as well as utility upgrades and expansion of public green space and multi-modal accommodations.
“These improvements will enhance transportation safety and neighborhood connectivity, including pedestrian connections to the MBTA’s Jackson Square Station and Southwest Corridor Park,” the release states.
Residents who currently live in the 253 units of public housing will be invited to return once the new units are finished. A new Anna Mae Cole Community Center is also slated for the project with an outdoor plaza for residents of the housing complex. On Heath and Centre Streets, space on the ground floor will be used for retail and community programming.
“We’re building new homes for public housing residents in Charlestown and Jamaica Plain, and that requires more than just buildings,” BHA Administrator Kate Bennett said in a statement. “These grants will help us to create the vital supporting infrastructure that ensures that these new communities will thrive into the future.”