NUGateway's proposal includes a ground-floor food market. Image courtesy of J. Garland Enterprises

Three diverse development teams are seeking to build mixed-use projects in Roxbury’s Nubian Square, including proposals that include a public market, 14-story mass timber tower and sustainable designs that reduce urban heat island effects.

The 1.1-acre parcel 8 is envisioned as a new cultural hub replacing a vacant lot at the corner of Melnea Cass Boulevard and Harrison Avenue. It includes a pair of properties owned by the city of Boston and state Department of Conservation and Recreation.

New Urban Collaborative and Upton + Partners submitted plans by Zephyr Achitects for a ground-floor space occupied by the Museum of African American History and The King Center for Justice, two floors of office space and residential units and terraces on the upper floors of a 14-story wood tower. The group would partner with Boston-based Janey Construction Management. If built, it would be one of a handful of new mass timber buildings rising in Roxbury.

“The commercial component of Gateway Nubian will be a significant economic driver of the project, but more so, it will be a powerful economic force in contributing to the local economy and increasing opportunities for the local work force. We must encourage and attract businesses to come and grow in the area,” the group’s submission states.

Boston-based Urbanica proposed a 102-unit mixed-income housing component and a satellite museum operated by the National Center of Afro-American Artists.

NuGateway Team, led by Boston-based development firm Groma, submitted designs for a 14-story, 163,000-square-foot building including 103 housing units, office space and a food hall modeled on the Boston Public Market, including 51 percent of space leased to Black and female entrepreneurs. Another 8,000 square feet would be reserved for performance and exhibition space.

According to requirements issued by the Boston Planning & Development Agency in February, proposals were required to set aside 8,625 square feet for a public park, incorporate sustainable and healthy development designs, and favor locally-owned commercial tenants including minority-owned and women-owned enterprises.

New Urban Collaborative’s proposal is punctuated by a mass timber tower. Image courtesy of MASS Design Group

Nubian Square Proposals Include Food Market, Timber Tower

by Steve Adams time to read: 1 min