Officials, including Boston Mayor Marty Walsh, center, celebrate groundbreaking on an affordable housing project in Jamaica Plain in March 2019. Photo courtesy of the city of Boston.

Dignitaries gathered Wednesday to celebrate the start of renovations to Boston’s Armory Street Apartments in Jamaica Plain and the groundbreaking for a 349-unit housing development being built on adjacent city land.

The project is being built by Amory Partners, a joint venture of three local nonprofits – The Community Builders, Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Development Corporation and Urban Edge – will renovate and preserve 199 public housing units and repurpose Boston Housing Authority administrative offices into 12 new affordable units at 125 Amory St. They will also develop an additional 134 units of affordable housing and 215 market rate apartments in three new buildings that will be constructed adjacent to the BHA property. Construction on the first of the new buildings is expected to begin within a year.

“This is an exciting milestone in our efforts to preserve and expand affordable housing for residents in Jamaica Plain and all over the city of Boston,” Boston Mayor Marty Walsh said in a statement. “This project will add hundreds of new affordable units to our city’s housing stock and make critically important upgrades that will preserve the affordability of the BHA’s existing building for our Amory Street residents for many decades.”

The 199 existing units and 12 new units at 125 Amory Street will be preserved as deeply affordable through Section 8 project-based vouchers which will be provided by the Boston Housing Authority. The three new adjacent buildings will include 21 deeply affordable project-based voucher units provided through Urban Edge, 41 additional affordable units supported with Low Income Housing Tax Credits, and 72 affordable units funded through inclusionary housing programs. There will also be 215 market-rate apartments.

The renovations will include improvements to all existing apartment units within the 105-year-old building. Most units require comprehensive renovations and will receive full kitchen and bathroom upgrades, the city said. All units will receive new windows, new high efficiency central heating and cooling, and repaired ventilation systems. In addition, common areas will receive accessibility and code improvements, along with new ceilings and flooring. Renovations are expected to be completed by December 2020.

“The Community Builders is one of the nation’s largest developers and owners of affordable and mixed-income housing, but Boston will always be our home,” Bev Bates, senior vice president of development at TCB, said in a statement. “We look forward to working with our trusted partners at the Boston Housing Authority, Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Development Corporation and Urban Edge, to provide current residents at Amory Street Apartments with an even better place to live, while adding additional affordable apartment homes for elderly and disabled community members.”

The Amory Street Apartments renovation is being funded with $37.15 million in tax-exempt bonds issued by MassDevelopment, construction and permanent financing from Eastern Bank, and $25.61 million in funding from the federal low-income housing tax credit program with AEGON as investor.

Boston Breaks Ground on 349-Unit Expansion of JP Housing Project

by Banker & Tradesman time to read: 2 min