Several Eastie Projects Recommended for CPA Funding

Mayor Martin Walsh and the Community Preservation Committee (CPC) announced the latest round of Community Preservation Act (CPA) funding for several East Boston projects.

Six Eastie projects were recommended by the Mayor and the CPC to received over $3.5 million of the $34 million in total funding that was dolled out citywide.

The six Eastie projects will be submitted to the Boston City Council for approval with an anticipated vote from the Council in March.

“I am proud to recommend these proposals for funding approval, which will support our community in countless ways,” said Mayor Walsh. “Since residents voted to adopt the Community Preservation Act two years ago, we have awarded CPA funding for projects in every neighborhood. We look forward to continuing to use this revenue to build on our work related to affordable housing, historic preservation and open space.”

In Eastie, Walsh and the CPC recommended $950,000 to the Grace Apartments development, which recently received Boston Planning and Development Agency approval. Developed by the East Boston Community Development Organization (EBCDC), Grace Apartments will be a new 42 unit residential building serving low-income seniors located on 187 Sumner Street. The project will also renovate 17 income-restricted units on the site’s existing building.

According to plans submitted to the BPDA by the CDC the proposed project involves the construction of a new 39,067 square foot,  42-unit, seven-story building and the renovation of an existing 26,800 square foot building currently on the same site in Maverick Square.

The new building will include all low-income elderly housing.The existing building, which includes 17 elderly/disabled subsidized units, as well as approximately 3,000 square feet of ground floor commercial, will be converted to workforce housing units, including two affordable units.

The property consists of a 16,266-square foot parcel of land with 26,800-square foot of mixed use, residential and commercial building.

There will be no changes to the footprint of the existing building and the proposed new building will be situated behind the existing building.

The 3,798 square foot first floor will consist of a community room, kitchen, lobby, mail room, office, and mechanical space. The lot size will accommodate five parking spaces, one of which will be handicapped accessible.

The second through seventh floors will have seven units per floor, for a total of 42 units. There will be no changes to the footprint of the existing building.

The tenants in the existing building will be given the option to move to a new unit upon completion of the first phase of the project.

A recommendation of $735,200 will go to the proposed Aileron development to build seven housing units, including four affordable units. Overall the East Boston Neighborhood of Affordable Housing, NOAH’s architect, Eastie based Joy St Design, and the CDC has joined forces to create a 41-unit project that includes a mixed-usemixed-income, ownership/rental housing and gallery spaces for Eastie artist community and community at­ large.

NOAH’s project, dubbed ‘Aileron’ will include eight ownership units, half workforce and half market, in one building with 33-units occupying a larger building next door. Of the 33 units in the larger building 17 will be set aside for artist work/living space.

NOAH is also proposing two large common spaces, a Gallery and Workbar, that will be available for the other residents in the building. These are communal spaces and are not be strictly artist work space. Giffee said the ‘workbar’ space will be on the ground floor of the 33-unit rental building.

Eastie could also get $600,000 for a new playground at the East Boston Early Education Center. The new playground for ELC includes integrated classrooms for students with disabilities in K0 and first grade.

The Nantucket Lightship, Boston’s only floating museum docked at the Boston Shipyard and Marina on Marginal Street could get $575,000 to restore the historic ship’s rusted hull.

There is $500,000 recommend to create a new park to connect the renovated Boston Housing Authority Orient Heights development to the surrounding neighborhood.

Finally $300,000 could come through to build a fully accessible dock and dock house at LoPresti Park. This dock will create access to the waterfront for youth and an adaptive sailing program at LoPresti Park across from the Boston Housing Authority’s Jeffries Point development for those with handicaps.

“Thank you to the many civic and cultural leaders who made today’s Community Preservation Act investments happen,” said Councilor Lydia Edwards. “This funding round expands educational, housing and recreational opportunities for children, seniors, persons with disabilities and promotes investments in open space and historic preservation that will serve all of Eastie, and all of Boston, well.”

By adopting the CPA in November 2016, the City has created a Community Preservation Fund. This fund is capitalized primarily by a one percent property tax-based surcharge on residential and business property tax bills that began in July 2017. The City will use this revenue to fund initiatives consistent with CPA guidelines: affordable housing, historic preservation, open space and public recreation.

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