Boston Affordable Development Secures Financing

Columbia Crossing will serve residents earning between 30 and 80 percent of the area median income.

Columbia Crossing rendering

Columbia Crossing rendering. Image courtesy of Preservation of Affordable Housing

Preservation of Affordable Housing and Dorchester Bay Economic Development Corp. have received financing for the development of Columbia Crossing, a 48-unit mixed-use project in Boston.

The adaptive reuse project will transform the historic Dorchester Savings Bank building into a mixed-use, mixed-income community serving residents earning between 30 and 80 percent of the area median income. Approximately 20 percent of the apartments will be allocated to artists under the City of Boston’s Artist Housing Certification program.

The development will also comprise 4,500 square feet of commercial space, with 2,000 square feet used as an arts amenity space. The rehabilitation project will support Upham’s Corner’s emergence as an Arts & Innovation District. The Columbia Crossing project will include the addition of Glow Box, a premier display space used as a neighborhood amenity.

Stull Lee Inc. and Moody Nolan will design the project, which will incorporate Passive House standards in support of Boston’s sustainability, resiliency and carbon neutral goals.

The owner of the land, Dudley Neighbors Inc., will remain the ground lease holder of the land the project is built on. The development site is located at 572 Columbia Road, in the Mid Dorchester submarket. The site is near Interstate 93, which provides easy access across the Greater Boston area.

Boston’s $67M investment in affordable housing

The Life Initiative will loan the predevelopment funds, while the City of Boston will provide $3.9 million in financing for the project. Columbia Crossing and 16 other projects will receive $67 million from the City of Boston for the creation and preservation of affordable housing. All projects will meet the Mayor’s Office of Housing standards for zero-emissions buildings.

The financing includes $13.9 million from the city’s Linkage policy and $32.5 million in municipal and federal dollars administered by the Mayor’s Office of Housing, as reported by WGBH. Mayor Michelle Wu announced that approximately 20 percent of the units will be income-restricted housing for seniors.

Financing was recently provided for another adaptive reuse project north of Boston. MassHousing provided $12.4 million for the preservation and refinancing of a 99-unit age-restricted and fully affordable community in Lynn, Mass.

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