Heath St. parcel RFP due soon

A request for proposals (RFP) to redevelop 10 City-owned parcels along Heath Street will likely be issued next week, an adjustment of the originally announced deadline for the end of August, John Feuerbach, City’s Department of Neighborhood Development senior development officer for housing, told the Gazette.

The project’s development guidelines, however, have been completed.

DND has held three community meetings and a site tour about the contiguous parcels at 9-21 Bromley St., 894-908 Parker St., 58-62 New Heath St. and the parcel at Ward 10, number 02457000.

The development guidelines, informed by the community input received at those meetings, have been finalized and are expected to be available online soon at bit.ly/BOSdndNewHeath.

The guidelines state that “a core goal of the community vision is to connect new site uses with existing neighborhood uses, to innovatively address building placement and height, open and green space, and parking in the context of the neighborhood fabric.”

It explicitly states that multi-unit residential housing should be the site’s primary use. The emphasis is on family-sized units and “deep affordability”—meaning affordable to families making 30, 50 or 60 percent of the area’s median income.

The guidelines also allow for commercial space on the ground floor of the future development. They also outline massing, building height, landscaping and other features.

The 10 DND parcels in question total almost 29,000 square feet. The City acquired them through tax foreclosures and is planning their development as the last stage of the 15-year-old Heath Street Planning Initiative.

Feuerbach said he expects that RFPs will be due in November and that the City will choose a developer by early 2015. A follow-up community meeting, expected to be scheduled for December or January, will reveal the City’s final applicants for developer and allow the community to ask them questions that will inform DND’s decision.

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