NOAH Receives State Grant for Aileron Project

After a delay in construction due to the COVID pandemic, East Boston’s Neighborhood of Affordable Housing (NOAH) broke ground last year on Phase I of its Condor Street project.

The Boston Planning and Development Agency (BPDA) approved development project dubbed the “Aileron” will eventually bring 40 mixed-use, mixed-income, ownership/rental housing units to Eastie along with gallery spaces for the neighborhood’s artist community.

Phase I of the project will construct the first 7 mixed-income condo units at the Condor Street parcel.

This week funding for further phases of the project got a boost from the Baker-Polito Administration.

It was announced NOAH will share in nearly $50 million in direct funding and $89 million in state and federal housing tax credits to support the preservation and development of 1,474 affordable housing units. NOAH’s Aileron was one of 26 projects picked for funding by the administration.

“We are grateful to Governor Baker and the Wu administration for their support of this unique artist-themed rental housing development on Condor Street,” said NOAH’s Executive Director Phil Giffee. “We worked through the details of this project with the Eagle Hill Civic Association with strong support of Rep Adrian Madaro and our now City Councilor, Gabriela Coletta. Aileron will include artist work spaces for community residents as well as the residents of the building itself. There will also be a community meeting space on the first floor.”

Giffee said NOAH will now move to the challenge of securing all the needed financing in these arduous days of inflation and supply-chain delays.

“We will then bid the project to a General Contractor, probably in late winter all of which means a construction start late spring/early summer of 2023,” he said. “Construction usually takes 14-16 months so occupancy will begin in late 2024. We are proud to be creating much-needed affordable housing in our wonderful neighborhood which is beset by increasingly high prices.”

Giffee said NOAH named the project Aileron because it will help the area take flight economically and culturally.

The proposed gallery and workbar will be available for residents in the building and are designed as communal spaces–not strictly artist work spaces.

The proposed gallery space will have wireless internet access, mirrored walls and perhaps a gas-fed fireplace. NOAH envisions a comfortable, neatly appointed space where there can be conversion, communication and community for artists. Giffee said neighborhood residents who are interested in having a space to work can access this space as well. Also, there will be an open streetscape concept in the rental building that will highlight public studio and gallery spaces on the ground floor.

The vacant land was previously owned by BPDA and was transferred to the Department of Neighborhood Development (DND) in 2017 for disposition in support of affordable housing. Last month, Mayor Walsh announced that the project has received Community Preservation Act (CPA) funding to support affordable housing.

“Housing remains a top priority for our administration and we are proud of the amounts of funding we have committed to affordable housing production as well as the work we have done with our partners in the Legislature to pass major zoning reform and dedicate federal recovery dollars to housing production of all kinds,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “As we combat the housing crisis, we will continue to champion production of affordable rental, homeownership, transit-oriented housing, and market-rate housing units in every corner of the Commonwealth so that across Massachusetts, more residents can access housing they can afford.”

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