Corcoran Jennison Associates Chosen to Redevelop the Charlestown Public Housing Development

 CRAIG F. WALKER/GLOBE STAFF  Corcoran Jennison Associates chosen to redevelop the Charlestown public housing development.

CRAIG F. WALKER/GLOBE STAFF

Corcoran Jennison Associates chosen to redevelop the Charlestown public housing development.

Boston, MA- Corcoran Jennison Associates has been tapped by the Boston Housing Authority as the developer to initiate the redevelopment plan for the largest public housing development in the City of Boston.  At 1,100 units, the plan for the Charlestown public housing community will be to demolish and rebuild it into a mixed-income community that preserves the existing low-income apartments.

"In order to meet the housing needs of all of our residents, we must think creatively to preserve our existing affordable housing stock, while developing new housing," said Mayor Walsh. "I thank the Corcoran team for understanding that mission and look forward to what the future holds for this development." 

The Corcoran team includes SunCal, a development company with a national reach based in Irvine California. The proposed redevelopment would replace the 1,100 existing units with 1,100 deeply subsidized affordable housing units to serve existing residents and future residents from the BHA’s public housing waiting list.  In addition, affordable and market rate units must be of the same quality as to features and finishes and distributed evenly throughout the newly constructed buildings.The plan calls for at least 2,400 units to be built on the site. Demolition and construction will be done in phases.The goal of the project is to offer residents a more livable, healthier, and more sustainable community within a truly mixed-income Charlestown neighborhood that responds to the needs and aspirations of all its residents.

“Our low-income families, elderly and disabled residents need and deserve a bright future where their housing is secure,” said BHA Administrator Bill McGonagle. “We’re very pleased with the outcome of this process and look forward to working with the Charlestown community to bring the project to completion.”

The Corcoran Jennison plan was one of four proposals that BHA received in response to a Request for Proposals for the redevelopment of Charlestown. A selection committee comprised of residents of the Charlestown public housing development and BHA staff reviewed proposals and interviewed the four teams that submitted proposals. The Corcoran/SunCal team received high points from the selection committee for its demonstrated model for strong resident partnerships and robust resident services, items which are a priority for existing residents at the site.  BHA and the developer will kick off the design process by holding a series of resident and community meetings, as well as design charrettes, this fall.

As with previous BHA redevelopment efforts, residents will be offered relocation options that will include moves to other BHA public housing sites or Housing Choice/Section 8 vouchers.  Existing residents will have the right to return to the site after redevelopment.

“The residents of the Charlestown public housing development are looking forward to working with the BHA and Corcoran/SunCal to improve and preserve our housing for the future,” said Betty Carrington, President of the Charlestown Tenant Task Force.  “We are excited to start working on designs with the community.”

BHA issued the Request for Proposals (RFP) for redevelopment of the Charlestown site as part of a wider strategy to upgrade and make sustainable its affordable housing communities in the wake of historic federal budget cuts. The BHA has focused on the Charlestown site in particular due to current market conditions and the potential opportunity for the preservation or replacement of all of the existing 1,100 low-income units in the development with little or no public subsidy.

The potential for adding additional units to create a mixed-income development would add both affordable workforce and market rate apartments, which BHA hopes would generate additional income to help sustain the low-income units over the long term.  The creation of additional market rate and workforce housing will also further Mayor Walsh’s goal of creating 53,000 new units of housing by 2030. 

Prior to issuing the Charlestown RFP, BHA issued a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) in November, 2014 asking the non-profit and for-profit development community for ideas about how to preserve public housing units with decreased reliance on federal public housing subsidy, which has been shrinking for many years.  There is a copy of the RFQ and more information on the BHA’s funding situation in our Five-Year Plan on the BHA’s website.

Date: Oct 01, 2015