Bunker Hill Public Housing Re-do Readies for Launch

This article originally appeared in the Boston Globe on August 17, 2016. 

 CRAIG F. WALKER/GLOBE STAFF

CRAIG F. WALKER/GLOBE STAFF

The Bunker Hill public housing complex would be completely redeveloped into a new mixed-income community with 3,200 apartments and condos.

By Tim Logan GLOBE STAFF  AUGUST 17, 2016

The billion-dollar overhaul of one of Boston’s biggest public housing projects took another step forward Tuesday.

Developers Corcoran Jennison Associates and SunCal filed preliminary plans with the Boston Redevelopment Authority to turn Charlestown’s Bunker Hill public housing development into a mixed-income neighborhood of 3,200 apartments and condos, retail and open space across 28 acres. It would be renamed, One Charlestown.

More details are expected within a month, at which point the project will undergo formal BRA review.

Last fall, Corcoran and SunCal beat out three other big-name developers for the right to redevelop Bunker Hill, one of several housing developments where the Boston Housing Authority is partnering with private builders to rehab and upgrade its aging stock of apartments. They’re planning an ambitious re-do of the 27.6-acre site, and have been meeting with residents in recent months to refine their plan.

“This new community will provide something for everyone, honoring the rich history of the neighborhood while looking to the future for residents,” said Corcoran president Joseph Corcoran in a statement.

One of the BHA’s conditions for the deal is that residents of all 1,100 units in the complex have the right to return, and officials are working with the developers to minimize temporary displacement during construction, which is expected to happen in phases over several years. The BHA hopes the Bunker Hill redevelopment can provide a road map for using Boston’s housing boom to benefit many of the city’s poorest renters.

“The One Charlestown model — a robust partnership with residents combined with the introduction of mixed income units — is the single best way for public housing to be preserved across the entire City of Boston,” said BHA Administrator Bill McGonagle.

Tim Logan can be reached at tim.logan@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter at @bytimlogan.