Five Boston Communities to Be Revitalized

By Veronica Grecu, Associate Editor Five dense urban communities have been chosen to take part in the Great Neighborhoods program, a complex regional and community planning initiative run by the Massachusetts Smart Growth Alliance that aims to change the lives of [...]

Five dense urban communities have been chosen to take part in the Great Neighborhoods program, a complex regional and community planning initiative run by the Massachusetts Smart Growth Alliance that aims to change the lives of more than 100,000 residents by increasing the amount of low-income housing. According to the Boston Business Journal, the plan focuses on Somerville, Lawrence, Winchester, Roxbury and the Fairmount Indigo Line, which includes the neighborhoods of Dorchester, Mattapan and Hyde Park in Boston. Reportedly, the program will help reduce the carbon print and mitigate the climate change in these communities, while strengthening economic and housing development. The program is expected to revitalize these communities by creating thousands of new jobs and affordable housing.

The $1.5 million grant received by the Massachusetts Smart Growth Alliance from the Ford and Barr Foundations will be used to revitalize these communities by creating thousands of new jobs and developing affordable housing complexes. The Roxbury community will benefit from almost 1,000 new homes, more than 100 new or improved local businesses, as well as reduced commuting time along Warren Street. Two hundred new low-income homes will be constructed in Lawrence, and several new jobs will be created in the North Canal Mill District. Somerville aims at increasing the amount of affordable units from 9 to 15 percent, while promoting local jobs and economic development. Apart from creating new homes and developing its town center, Winchester will focus on identifying new land use options, updating zoning policies and improving walking and biking access to the town center and the commuter rail station.

In other real estate news, BU Today reports that Boston University’s Sleeper Hall is undergoing a complete renovation this summer. The project includes painting each of the dorm’s 316 rooms and replacing closet wardrobes, furniture and carpets. The building will be equipped with energy-efficient lighting and occupancy sensors.

The dorm renovation is one of the 38 summer renovation projects expected to be completed in early August. According to Thomas Daley, associate vice president of BU’s Facilities Management and Planning department, the $50 million construction plan will impact the university’s buildings and infrastructure. Apart from the Sleeper Hall rehab, nine faculty apartments are expected to open at 85-87 St. Mary’s St. after one year of renovation works.