Jackson Square project officially breaks ground

Sandra Larson | 5/16/2012, 7:20 a.m.





Representatives of labor, city and state government and nonprofit development and lending agencies performed a ceremonial groundbreaking at the site of 225 Centre Street in Jackson Square. Construction is underway on the building, which will hold 103 rental apartments and 16,000 square feet of commercial space. (Sandra Larson photo)

Above is an image of what Jackson Square will look like when completed. (Courtesy of the Community Builders Design by ADD, Inc.)   Charles Cofield, Carpenters Local 67 member, speaks at a ceremony to mark the official start of construction at 225 Centre Street in Jamaica Plain.  Behind Cofield are (L to R) State Secretary of Housing and Economic Development Gregory Bialecki, City of Boston Housing Chief Evelyn Friedman, State Representative Jeffrey Sánchez, Boston City Councilor Tito Jackson and MassHousing Executive Director Thomas R. Gleason. Cofield is carpenter steward on the project, the first building in a multi-phase Jackson Square development plan that will include parts of Roxbury and Jamaica Plain. (Sandra Larson photo)

The first phase of a $250 million redevelopment plan for Jackson Square is officially underway. A May 12, groundbreaking ceremony celebrated the start of 225 Centre Street, a six-story mixed-used building with 103 rental apartments and some 16,000 square feet of ground floor commercial/retail space, as well as underground parking. Additional surface parking and improved sidewalks and landscaping are also in the plans.

The ceremony culminated with the shoveling of dirt by local officials, but work had already begun at the site, at the corner of Columbus Avenue and Centre Street adjacent to the Jackson Square MBTA station. The project is expected to be complete in summer 2013.

This first site lies in Jamaica Plain. Across the street, on the Roxbury side of Columbus Avenue, the second phase of the master development plan is expected to break ground next year. That project will include a residential and office complex known as Jackson Commons and an indoor recreation center with an ice rink.

The slate of speakers included Bart Mitchell, president and CEO of The Community Builders, the nonprofit developer of 225 Centre Street; Gregory Bialecki, state secretary of housing and economic development; Evelyn Friedman, city of Boston housing chief; state Representative Jeffrey Sánchez (D-Jamaica Plain); Tito Jackson, district 7 Boston city councilor; Thomas Gleason, executive director of the nonprofit lender MassHousing; and Charles Cofield, Carpenters Union Local 67 member and carpenter steward on the 225 Centre Street site.