Senior housing project to start this year

May 17, 2013
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An affordable senior housing project planned for Roxbury Crossing is fully funded after three years in development. Construction is expected to begin in the late fall or early winter.

The development of the 40-unit Mission Hill Neighborhood Housing Services (MHNHS) Roxbury Crossing project was delayed because of a lack of funding. MHNHS Senior Project Manager Pat Flaherty told the Gazette that the project has finally secured $2,883,000 in “very competitive” state funding, which has finally allowed the project to be put out for bid.

“It was because [this project] was so community-prioritized that resulted in us getting funding,” Flaherty said. “We’re very happy and pleased that we got [this] funding.”

The five-story Roxbury Crossing Senior Building would be located on the vacant “Parcel 29,” behind AK’s Takeout on Tremont Street at Gurney Street and Gurney Street, a quirky intersection where both streets have the same name. It is a transit-oriented project that aims to keep its elderly residents self-sufficient. All of the 540-square-foot units can be made wheelchair-accessible on demand.

The project will include 39 affordable housing units. The project also will include a manager’s unit, 8 rear parking spaces, and a community room. Residents are expected to start moving in 14 to 15 months after the start of construction.

Parcel 25, another part of the Roxbury Crossing project, located across the street from Parcel 29 and the Roxbury Crossing MBTA stop, has been under development by MHNHS since 2004, though it is also waiting for funding to break ground. The mixed-use project is proposed to create eight to 12 retail spaces for local businesses and affordable housing.

According to Flaherty, the first phase of the Parcel 25 project is expected to start undergoing the City’s various approval processes for construction by the end of the summer. Flaherty said that the much larger Parcel 25 project will have to be done in stages because of funding. What parts of the larger project will constitute the first phase has not been decided yet, she added.

Parcels 25 and 29 have been vacant since the 1960s, when the federal government proposed to extend I-95 through the area and began buying up and demolishing houses before community organizers halted the expansion.

The project has previously been awarded funding from the City and from the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

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