Monday, August 05, 2013

Dorchester and Mattapan’s former Boston State Hospital site transformed into mixed-use and mixed-income community with 151 affordable rental units

BOSTON – (August 5, 2013) – The Urban Strategy America ("USA") Fund, one of the funds at New Boston Fund, Inc., a private equity real estate investment, development and management firm, announced today that it has closed on the permanent financing with Massachusetts Housing Partnership (MHP) for the third affordable rental phase of the Olmsted Green development in the Dorchester and Mattapan neighborhoods of Boston. Developed by Lena New Boston, a joint-venture partnership between New Boston Fund and Lena Park Community Development Corporation (CDC), Olmsted Green is one of the largest non-institutional developments in the area over the past decade.

The development of Olmsted Green, located on the formerly abandoned Boston State Hospital campus, created new infrastructure that links the area to the surrounding community along the American Legion Highway, Morton Street and Harvard Street. To date, the approximately 40-acre Olmsted Green project has created 151 affordable rental units, 65 affordable rental units for seniors and 19 townhomes.

"We are very pleased to have successfully collaborated with the community to bring much needed quality affordable and workforce housing to the area," said Kirk Sykes, President of the USA Fund. "Additionally, the project has had a significant economic impact, creating jobs and economic development to benefit many members of the community."

The development consists of two campuses separated by Morton Street. The West Campus consists of 19 townhomes, as well as 51 affordable apartments, and the East Campus is made up of 100 affordable apartments. In addition, the East Campus features 65 affordable rental units for seniors, which was developed and is being operated by Hearth Inc., a nonprofit founded in 1991 dedicated to ending elder homelessness. The homes and apartments are constructed with sustainable materials and equipped with efficient appliances and systems to help residents save on energy costs.

"Olmsted Green is a result of all the hard work and dedication that the Division of Capital Asset Management and Maintenance and our partners have contributed over the past few years," said DCAMM Commissioner Carole Cornelison. "The project is a perfect example of the Patrick Administration’s commitment to creating affordable housing in Boston."

Olmsted Green was made possible through a significant amount of support from a number of state and local agencies, including the Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD), Division of Capital Asset Management and Maintenance (DCAMM), the City of Boston’s Department of Neighborhood Development (DND) and MassDevelopment. Additionally, New Boston Fund secured private construction financing and tax credit equity from Bank of America.

"Housing is a cornerstone of our economy and of our local communities," said Aaron Gornstein, Undersecretary for the Department of Housing and Community Development. "With these new units we have created not only jobs here in Dorchester and Mattapan but also quality apartments for our neighbors."

In total, $95 million dollars has been invested in the project, $83 million of which was to support the creation of affordable housing. Olmsted Green also supports Governor Deval Patrick’s plan to build 20,000 multifamily housing units by 2020. These achievements make Olmsted Green one of the largest construction projects in the Dorchester, Mattapan and Roxbury and communities of Boston.

The Olmsted Green project has created 600 jobs with 59 percent participation from local, minority and women craftsmen. In addition, 45 percent of the contracts were awarded to minority-owned businesses and 14 percent to women-owned businesses, many of which are from the local community. These statistics make Olmsted Green one of Boston’s most inclusive developments from a hiring, economic development and resident perspective.

"MassDevelopment was pleased to lay the groundwork for Olmstead Green with a $1.65 million Brownfields Redevelopment Fund grant to assess and clean up contamination at the site," said MassDevelopment President and CEO Marty Jones. "Many neighborhood housing developments in Boston have transformed long-vacant sites through this program. Unfortunately, the Fund is fully committed and unable to fund new requests; a situation we hope will be rectified soon."

Located in the heart of Boston, the community sits adjacent to the 65 acre Mass. Audubon Boston Nature Center and Wildlife Sanctuary and Franklin Park, and is in close proximity to the Forest Hill Station on the MBTA’s Orange Line, as well as the Morton Street Station on the newly opened MBTA Fairmont Line. Olmsted Green and the Mass. Audubon Boston Nature Center and Wildlife Sanctuary have worked collaboratively to preserve and enhance the natural environment of the site by protecting mature trees and natural wetlands. Residents of Olmsted Green are also able to enjoy open outdoor spaces within the community and the sanctuary’s walking trails, as well as immediate access to the Franklin Park parkland, golf course and zoo.

Lena Park CDC is working with the Lena Park Community Center to develop the Brooke Charter School on their former Community Center site, which is adjacent to Olmsted’s East Campus. The school will be a K-8 free, open-enrollment school for 500 students. This will be the charter school network’s third location; the other two are in Roslindale and East Boston.

New Boston’s USA Fund is committed to revitalizing Boston communities through public-private partnerships. The firm recently announced the One Greenway name for its Parcel 24 project, a planned 362-unit mixed-income development bordering Chinatown and the Rose Kennedy Greenway. One Greenway will provide much needed housing while restoring the fabric of the neighborhood that existed on Hudson Street more than 50 years ago.

About New Boston Fund
New Boston is an independent, privately owned real estate investment manager and an industry leader in providing real estate investment, development and management services with a history of strong sponsorship and oversight of its investment funds. New Boston has developed or acquired commercial and residential properties with a cumulative market value of about $3.5 billion, including 23 million square feet of commercial real estate and 7,500 residential units. Our investment vehicles cater to institutional and high-net worth investors by offering value-add and urban real estate investment funds with a focus on diversification and capital preservation. The New Boston Fund: People, Values, Returns.

About Lena Park
Lena Park’s mission is to provide integrated programs and services which will strengthen families and build healthy communities for the residents of the City of Boston. Our vision is to be the premier provider of programs and services of excellence, building a stronger, healthier, more self-reliant community transforming the way families live, learn, and relate to each other and the larger community.


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