A Cambridge community development corporation is tapping into some of its underutilized and valuable real estate in Alewife to create program space for its job training programs and new affordable housing.

Just-a-Start Corp. will seek approval under Chapter 40B for Rindge Commons, a two-phase project built on part of its 3.5-acre property at 402 Rindge Ave. which contains a 273-unit housing tower that it’s owned since the 1990s.

“The real estate market is such that the low-hanging fruit is few and far between,” said Carl Nagy-Koechlin, Just-a-Start’s executive director. “This property in particular was an untapped opportunity.”

The first phase of the $69 million project would include 24 affordable housing units for households earning 60 percent or less of the area median income, along with ground-floor program space, in a 6-story, 65,000-square-foot building.

The second phase would include 75 affordable units in a 7-story, 83,000-square-foot building.

Both would be built at the corner of Rindge Avenue and Alewife Brook Parkway, replacing excess surface parking for 402 Rindge.

Biomedical and information technology job training programs are currently held at Just-a-Start’s 1035 Cambridge St. headquarters and Bunker Hill Community College, which is a partner on the biomedical training program. The program serves low- and moderate-income adults from Cambridge and surrounding communities and seeks to place them in entry-level positions at local life science companies.

“The big advantage is having lab space that we can control, in terms of growing the program and having more control over the curriculum,” Nagy-Koechlin said.

Just-a-Start will finance the project with a mix of low-income and New Market tax credits and funding from the city of Cambridge and state Department of Housing and Economic Development, Nagy-Koechlin said.

$69M Alewife Project Would Combine Affordable Housing, Biomedical Training

by Steve Adams time to read: 1 min