News & Updates

Mayor Wu celebrates MassWorks funding for community-focused economic development and affordable housing in Nubian Square, Jamaica Plain, and Charlestown

Feb 15, 2022

Mayor Michelle Wu joined Secretary of Housing and Economic Development Mike Kennealy, local elected officials, the Boston Planning & Development Agency (BPDA), the Boston Housing Authority (BHA), and the Nubian Ascends development team and other grant awardees at the Blair Lot in Roxbury to celebrate nearly $9 million in MassWorks funding for economic development and housing projects in Roxbury, Jamaica Plain, and Charlestown.

“These MassWorks grants will provide critical funding to redevelop affordable housing, and create local economic development that supports good jobs for our residents,” said Mayor Michelle Wu. “This year’s MassWorks awards will help us move forward with providing housing in neighborhoods throughout the city. Boston’s residents and families deserve safe, clean, quality affordable housing, and this funding will help support the renovations and revitalization of thousands of units of deeply affordable housing.”

The MassWorks Infrastructure Program, administered by the Commonwealth’s Executive Office for Housing and Economic Development (EOHED) is a competitive program that offers cities and towns flexible capital funding to support and accelerate housing production and job growth.  MassWorks is the largest program in Community One Stop for Growth, a single application portal and collaborative review process for grant programs launched in January 2021 to make targeted investments based on a development continuum.
“This combination of awards through the MassWorks program will provide critical support for Boston’s plans for major commercial development in Nubian Square, as well as significant investments in mixed-income housing in Charlestown and Jamaica Plain,” said Housing and Economic Development Secretary Mike Kennealy.  “Through partnerships like this one with the city of Boston, we can continue to foster economic growth while ensuring the positive impacts of these investments are felt in all neighborhoods in Boston and across Massachusetts.”

Nubian Ascends 

The Nubian Square Ascends Project will create a new regional destination that celebrates the rich diversity of Nubian Square with a marketplace to support neighborhood businesses and local artisans, a food hall with an on-site culinary program, and a multipurpose cultural hall and theater. The project is receiving $1.5 million in MassWorks funding to go towards design and permitting. The project, located on the BPDA-owned Blair Lot parking lot in Roxbury’s Nubian Square, responds to the community vision laid out through the BPDA’s planning initiative for the neighborhood, PLAN: Nubian Square, and includes a comprehensive wealth-creation plan creating approximately 900 permanent jobs and contract opportunities for Minority and Women-Owned Business Enterprises (M/WBE) during all phases of the project.

The proposal meets the BPDA and City of Boston’s diversity and inclusion requirements for publicly-owned land to create increased opportunities for people of color, women, and for the participation of Minority Business Enterprises (M/BEs). 

"By responding to the community's vision and prioritizing good jobs and wealth creation opportunities for local residents, the Nubian Ascends project is an example of the BPDA's commitment to using public land for public good," said BPDA Director Brian Golden. "These three MassWorks grants will allow transformational projects that will result in hundreds of units of affordable housing and community-centered economic development the ability to move forward." 

BHA’s Mildred Hailey and Bunker Hill Housing Redevelopment

The other two projects that were awarded Massworks funding are the restoration and redevelopments of Boston Housing Authority complexes in Jamaica Plain and Charlestown.
“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. “These grants will help us to create the vital supporting infrastructure that ensures that these new communities will thrive into the future.”
The redevelopment of the Mildred Hailey Apartments in Jamaica Plain will replace 253 existing public housing units and construct 420 new income-restricted rental units at a range of income-levels. The MassWorks grant funding will provide $4 million for street and utility upgrades required for the project. Specific improvements include a new roadway, utility extensions, an expansion of multi-modal accommodations and public green space. These improvements will enhance transportation safety and neighborhood connectivity, including pedestrian connections to the MBTA’s Jackson Square Station and Southwest Corridor Park. Tenants of the 253 public housing units slated for replacement will have a right to return and live in new units once the project is completed. The project will also construct a new Anna Mae Cole Community Center and Anna Mae Cole Outdoor Plaza to provide prominent gathering spaces for all residents of Mildred Hailey. Ground floor space along Heath Street and Centre Street will be allocated for community programming and neighborhood retail. These spaces will activate the streetscape and connect residents of Mildred Hailey Apartments and residents of the surrounding neighborhood.

In Charlestown, following a nearly five-year community process and with support of local elected officials and the Charlestown Resident Alliance,  over 1,000 income-restricted public housing units will be preserved as part of the Bunker Hill Housing Redevelopment. The $3.5 million awarded by MassWorks will fund utility upgrades on site that will trigger the start of the redevelopment project’s first phase, which calls for the demolition of six residential buildings that date back to the early 1940s and construction of two new buildings. Existing residents will be provided with replacement housing during the construction process, and will be allowed to return to a BHA replacement housing unit following the completion of construction.

The project will construct a new, multi-phase, mixed-use development that will include 15 residential buildings. Once complete, the total project will consist of 2,699 residential units, 1,010 of which will be deeply affordable, BHA replacement units and 1,689 of which will be market-rate. An additional 100 BHA units will be relocated off-site in Charlestown.

The project will also create approximately 2.7 acres of publicly-accessible open space, approximately 50,000 square feet of commercial space, and a community center.

Share This Article:

Subscribe to our News & Updates

*indicates required
First Name : Last Name :
Zip Code : *Email: