The Boston Planning and Development Agency (BPDA) held a public hearing on October 21, regarding the proposed renovation of all 535 units at the Mission Main Apartments “to significantly improve living conditions for the current residents while upgrading aspects of the project site,” according to the BPDA.
Neisha Colon of WinnCompanies explained that “Mission Main has a long history with the community. Over 25 years ago, the Tenant Task Force and Winn Development worked together to redevelop what was the Mission Main projects into the community we all know today,” which is the Mission Main Apartments.
Colon explained that the Mission Main Tenant Task Force is the majority owner in a partnership with WinnCompanies, and the Boston Housing Authority (BHA) will remain as the holder of a long term ground lease.
“Together, we’ll ensure that Mission Main Apartments will remain as affordable housing for the long term,” she said.
The proposed renovations are expected to begin early next year pending several variables, and will last for 30 months.
According to a slide presented, the renovations will “improve quality of life for all residents with major interior improvements, site improvements, and AC upgrades,” and will also include “RAD conversion preserving affordability for the long term and protecting all existing residents.”
Safety and security features will also be upgraded and other features wil be made more environmentally friendly.
This proposal does not include any demolition, new construction, or “significant changes to building architecture or site,” the slide read. “Instead, we will really be focusing on improving and enhancing the living conditions of the residents at Mission Main,” Colon said.
Architect Phil Renzi provided a rundown of all of the proposed upgrades to the units and outside spaces.
“The dwelling unit finishes have reached or exceeded their useful life expectancy and require replacement at this time,” he said.
In the kitchen, all appliances will be upgraded and new sinks and faucets will be installed. Additionally. Kitchens will feature new flooring and base flooring, new cabinetry and hardware, countertops, ceramic tile backsplashes, and LED lighting.
All bathrooms will receive new flooring, cabinetry with integrated sinks, water conserving toilets, medicine cabinets, mirrors, new tubs and surrounds, and energy efficient lighting.
Renzi also spoke about improvements to the development’s Community Building, which include improving accessibility in the restrooms, upgrades to the elevators, a new audio-visual system, a new roof, and a new HVAC system.
For the green space and seating area improvements, Renzi said that existing sidewalks will be repaired throughout the development, “specifically addressing areas of cracked concrete” and “removing trip hazards.” Also, accessible curb cuts will be constructed at crossing areas.
Mission Main currently has 10 playgrounds, all of which will also be receiving upgrades, including new rubber surfacing and all new equipment, as well as accessible features, Renzi said.
All benches throughout the development will also be replaced with wood slat benches thst feature armrests, unlike the existing benches. Renzi said that “any damaged concrete pads will also be replaced as well.”
The existing trash enclosures are worn out, and will be upgraded with a brown composite material with decorative posts, still in the three sided model that exists today. Renzi said that this is the easiest way to shield trash from view while still making it easy for trash to be loaded into and out of the dumpsters within the enclosure.
“We’re hopeful that these will stand the test of time more so than the wooded barricaded elements,” he said.
He also spoke about improvements to the seating area for the mid-rise building.
Phil Cohen of WinnCompanies said that while some of the outside improvements can be seen by the community, “really the main benefit [of this renovation] is to the residents of the Mission Main community.”
He added that all units, regardless of affordability level, will be “treated the same” and “will go through the same level of renovation.”
Colon said that nothing about the affordability of the units will change, either. She said that right now, 81 percent of the units are affordable, which is 445 of them, and the remaining 90 units are market rate and are not separated from the affordable units.
The comment period for this proposal closed on October 27, but for more information on the proposal, visit bostonplans.org/projects/development-projects/mission-main-redevelopment.