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Non-profits awarded $210,949 in grants from Avalon Exeter project

Posted by Johanna Kaiser  September 24, 2012 02:57 PM

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Eleven Boston non-profit organizations have received a total of $210,949 from AvalonBay Communities as part of the community benefits offered by the Avalon Exeter tower being built in the Prudential Center complex.

The non-profits, all of which work largely in the Back Bay or South End, received funding checks Monday for various projects at a ceremony near of the Avalon Exeter construction site at 88 Exeter Street.

"That's a pretty good number and a pretty good day for all of us," Peter Meade, director of the Boston Redevelopment Authority, said at the ceremony.

The non-profits receiving funding are: Boston Natural Area Network; Ellis Memoria and Eldridge House; The Esplanade Association; The Emerald Necklace Conservancy; Friends of Copley Square; Friends of the South End Library; Friends of Symphony Park; Kit Clark Senior Service; Project Place; United South End Settlements; and Women's Lunch Place.

Awarding the checks, Mayor Thomas M. Menino thanked the local non-profits for their work that helps improve the city on a daily basis

"Why does Boston work? Because of some of the terrific nonprofits we have in the neighborhoods of Boston doing so many different things to make life much better," he said.

Since 1990, nearly $1.4 million has been distributed to 22 area non-profits through community benefit funds provided by development at the Prudential Center.

The Prudential Project Advisory Committee (PruPAC), a citizens' advisory group appointed by the city for Prudential Center development, selected the non-profits through a competitive application process.

While the 28-story apartment building set to be complete in early 2014 fills the last residential piece of the Prudential Center complex, more funding could be provided to these non-profits and others if plans for an office building on Boylston Street move forward, according to Betsy Johnson, chairwoman of the Prudential Center Project Advisory Committee.

In addition to the community grants, the $100 million Avalon Exeter project is expected to generate $725,ooo in new taxes, and create 300 construction jobs and 15 permanent jobs, according to the city.

The non-profits that received money through this project plan to use the funding for the following projects:

Boston Natural Area Network: restoration of the Berkeley Community Gardens
Ellis Memorial and Eldridge House: Children's Early Learning Center
The Esplanade Association: Children in the Park program
The Emerald Necklace Conservancy: docent and guide program
Friends of Copley Square: restoration of the Copley Square Fountain
Friends of the South End Library: installation of a handicapped accessible automated door
Friends of Symphony Park: capital improvements to Symphony Park
Kit Clark Senior Service: Fit-4-Life on-site wellness program for Prudential residents
Project Place: air sweepers for the Clean Corners, Bright Hopes Program
United South End Settlements: restoration of the retaining wall at the Children's Art Center
Women's Lunch Place: daily meals for homeless women
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