Fairmont Line stops bring new housing, commercial growth to Boston
Martin Desmarais | 10/23/2013, 11:08 a.m.
“We are starting to see a lot of people interested in Codman Square as a place to live,” she said. “It is an opportunity and a challenge.
“It is a good thing. We just are really continuing to look at things to figure out how to strategize to figure out how the long-time residents are going to benefit from this,” she added.
In all its work, Codman Square NDC is also working closely with Dorchester Bay Economic Development Corp., Mattapan Community Development Corp. and South West Boston Community Development Corp. The organizations have formed a special collaborative.
In addition to its work with other community development corporations, including Codman Square NDC, on development along the Fairmont Line, South West Boston CDC is working on a development on Nott St. in Hyde Park, near the Fairmont stop, at an estimated cost of $10 million.
According to Matt Thall, interim executive director of South West Boston CDC, all the work his organization does takes into close consideration what the community wants.
“We are doing a lot of outreach to the community right now to get them educated about the project,” Thall said. “We see it as an important sparkplug for the whole revitalization of Logan Square.”
Thall emphasized that it is crucial to get some projects off the ground to show that they can be successful in the area.
“We believe, and have heard from developers, that if some development activities take place it can attract some of the transit-oriented development that can revitalize the area,” Thall said. “We see it as something that will send a signal to the whole development community that there are neighborhoods serving development opportunities in Logan Square.”
The ultimate goal, according to Thall, is to stimulate the area, bringing more vitality, more jobs, more goods and more services. He believes it can stop a trend that has local residents leaving the area for goods and services because not enough of them are available where they live.
“People go to suburbs for goods that they could get locally if there was more commercial vitality here,” he said.
Dorchester Bay Economic Development Corp. is also involved in the surge of development around the improvements on the Fairmont Line.
The organization has already finished a new project, Dudley Village, which has 50 units of affordable rental housing and about 6,200 square feet of commercial space on Dudley St. in Dorchester. Dudley Village is two blocks from the Upham’s Corner stop on the Fairmont Line, which is between the new Four Corners stop and the Newmarket stop.
Dorchester Bay EDC is also working on a massive development — with over $56 million in loans and grants already designated — between the new Four Corners stop and the Upham’s Corner stop.
The project, called Quincy Heights, will rehabilitate nine former public housing buildings and construct two new buildings to create new affordable housing units in two phases. The proposal is for 80 new affordable housing units in the first phase and about 50 new affordable housing units in the second phase.
According to Andy Waxman, director of real estate at Dorchester Bay EDC, developers of Quincy Heights have worked with community members to consider their input. The $56 million budget of the project includes $3 million for increased social services in the surrounding community and $3 million for community developments around Quincy Heights.
“There was recognition there that the housing was in very bad condition and needed to be upgraded,” Waxman said.
Dorchester Bay EDC also has another project on Quincy St. — the $14 million Pearl Small Business Food Production Center, which will help startups and small food businesses get off the ground.