Lena New Boston Breaks Ground on 41 Mixed-Income Units

The $200 million redevelopment of the former Boston State Hospital site entered a new phase, which will include 22 affordable units. The project is part of Olmsted Green, a 42-acre development in the heart of the city.

By Laura Calugar

Lena New Boston LLC, a partnership between New Boston Fund Inc. and Lena Park Community Development Corp., celebrated a milestone in the $200 million redevelopment of the old Boston State Hospital. The company broke ground on 41 units of mixed-income townhomes at Olmsted Green, the first workforce housing, homeownership project in Boston funded by MassHousing’s Opportunity Fund, the Department of Neighborhood Development and the Neighborhood Housing Trust. NEI is the general contractor of this phase of the project and ICON Architecture is the designer.  

Located in the Mattapan section of Boston, the townhomes will extend over 20 acres of green space, adjoining the Massachusetts Audubon Boston Nature Center and within walking distance of Franklin Park, Boston’s largest park. The development will include 22 income-restricted condos, with two- and three-bedroom floorplans.

Condominium amenities include:

  • generous living spaces
  • community center with fitness center and entertainment meeting room
  • washer and dryer in every home
  • private outdoor patio/decks
  • dedicated parking space for each unit
  • open concept living
Aerial view of the Olmsted Green in Boston

Aerial view of the Olmsted Green in Boston

Designed as a transit-oriented and energy-efficient asset, the community will feature seven two-story buildings with Energy Star-rated mechanical systems and appliances, triple-paned windows and continuous fresh air circulation. The apartments will be marketed and sold through a lottery process managed by Maloney Properties Inc. 

The completion of the 22 units is expected in phases, starting this late summer and finishing in spring 2018. Half of the units will be priced at $210,000 for first-time homebuyers making at or below 80 percent of the area median income and the other half will be priced at $267,500 for first-time homebuyers making at or below 100 percent of the area median income. The remaining 19 units will be sold as market-rate apartments, at prices between $320,000 and $360,000.

Construction funds

The project is funded by an $8.3 million loan from a bank consortium of Eastern Bank and Boston Private Bank, as well as $2.3 million of public funding from the City of Boston and $1 million from MassHousing’s recently established Workforce Housing Opportunity Fund. All units will be built to LEED Gold standards.

The new units are part of an overall master plan, which calls for 514 mixed-income rental and homeownership units, adjacent to the Massachusetts Audubon Society’s 65-acre Boston Nature Center and Wildlife Sanctuary. To date, Lena New Boston has completed the development of 210 affordable units and 19 units of homeownership townhouses at Olmsted Green.

“Expanding this award-winning development will allow Olmsted Green to become a vibrant community within Mattapan. Plans are already in the works to add a public art installation, visible to homeowners and passersby. Residents will have access to all of the programs and services of the Lena Park Community Center, located only a few blocks away,” said Rev. David Wright, chair of Lena Park Commercial Development, in prepared remarks.

Preserving Boston’s affordability

In addition to the 22 affordable units that will be built at Olmsted Green, Governor Charlie Baker announced $72 million in housing subsidy funds and additional state and federal tax credits for 25 projects in 17 communities for the creation, rehabilitation and preservation of 1,970 units across the Commonwealth, including 402 units reserved for very low-income families and families making the transition out of homelessness.

Recently, the Boston Housing Authority tapped WinnDevelopment to redevelop the first and largest public housing project in New England. The $1.6 billion redevelopment will feature 3,000 new units. The Mary Ellen McCormack site, which currently features 1,016 subsidized apartments and row houses, will be transformed into a mixed-income community.

Image courtesy of Maloney Properties Inc.

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