Nonprofit developers to bid on Heath St. parcels

November 14, 2014
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Two nonprofit developers specializing in affordable housing—the Back of the Hill Community Development Corporation and the Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Development Corporation—will bid on City-owned parcels on Heath Street. They were slated to hold a meeting Nov. 12, after the Gazette deadline, to “brainstorm” redevelopment ideas.

The two organizations—which previously co-developed the Back of the Hill housing—will submit a bid “for sure,” JPNDC spokesperson Sally Swenson told the Gazette.

A follow-up meeting is scheduled for Dec. 2 at a time and place to be determined.

A request for proposals (RFP) was issued by the City Oct. 6, with a preference for “affordable rental housing or mixed use development” clearly expressed.

The RFP applications are due Dec. 22.

“At the first meeting [on Nov. 12], we will discuss the opportunities and limitations for this land,” JPNDC Senior Community Organizer Giovanny Valencia told the Gazette. There will also be a brainstorming session “to discuss different elements that might help with the concept and design of the proposal.”

“With the information that we gather from this meeting, our team will work on the concept, and will present some ideas for the proposal on the second meeting on Dec. 2,” he said.

Eligible contractors will present their plans to the community in January before the City makes a final choice.

The City’s Department of Neighborhood Development 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 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.

The site’s corner at Parker and Heath streets are close to smaller residential buildings, while the corner at New Heath and Bromley streets are close to the Pickle Factory condos and other taller buildings. Community members previously stated that the future development should take that into consideration, possibly stepping a future building down from a taller end to a shorter, residential-scale end.

For more information about the JPNDC/BOTH process, contact the JPNDC at 617-522-2424 ext. 279 or see jpndc.org.

Information on the project and meeting minutes are available at bit.ly/BOSdndNewHeath. The complete RFP package is available at cityofboston.gov/dnd/rfp.

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