The following is a press release from the Nuestra Comunidad Development Corporation
The Boston Redevelopment Authority voted unanimously last night to approve Bartlett Place, an innovative proposed mixed housing and commercial development to be developed by a unique partnership between local developers Nuestra Comunidad Development Corporation and Windale Developers, Inc. The Bartlett Place project is located on the site of the abandoned MBTA Bartlett bus yard on Washington Street adjoining Dudley Square at the base of Fort Hill.
Windale and Nuestra plan to build 323 new homes, with 129 of them to be sold to new homeowners. Bartlett Place will be economically diverse, with 148 homes to be rented or sold at market rates, 70 to be sold or rented to moderate-income residents and the balance to low-income households. This would make Bartlett Place both the largest homeownership development and largest market-rate rental development in Roxbury’s history.
At the hearing, Donna Cramer, a Harold Street homeowner and Nuestra board member, testified that “Bartlett Place is important to me because I care about promoting homeownership opportunities in Roxbury. It creates wealth over time, and helps stabilize our neighborhoods.”
Tricia Adams, the owner of the Marla’s Obsession women’s clothing and accessories store in Roslindale Square, testified that “I am on the board of Nuestra because I am a strong believer in both affordable housing and small business.” Adams indicated that the planned retail space will create over 150 new permanent jobs, starting with a grocery store to be located in the first building.
Nuestra’s board President, Rev. Francisco A. Tolentino, addressed concerns over gentrification, stating that “Nuestra is committed to providing affordable rental and homeownership opportunities for long-term residents with low- and moderate-incomes, so they can stay in Roxbury as development transforms the community in the coming years.”
Also speaking in support of Bartlett Place were David Lopes, Vice President of the Mass. Minority Contractors Association; Minnie Clark, Humboldt Avenue resident and President of the Marksdale Cooperative Association; Michael Miles, Roxbury resident and chair of the Project Review Committee for Bartlett Place; and Roxbury Resident Greg Duarte. Venette Taylor, owner of a fire protection company, praised Windale Developers because they “have nurtured my business and helped me grow.” City Councilor Tito Jackson spoke in support, emphasizing as a framework for all new development in Roxbury the goal of mixed-income housing, with a third market-rate, a third moderate-income and a third low-income.
The Bartlett Place team combines a for-profit developer, Windale Developers, with a local nonprofit, Nuestra. Windale brings to the project a track record of building and selling over 100 high-quality homes in Roxbury over the last decade, for both market-rate and moderate-income buyers. According to Nuestra Executive Director David Price, Nuestra brings its own experience in providing homeownership housing, having built and sold over 150 homes in that same period in Roxbury and Dorchester. Over the past 15 years, Windale and Nuestra each have exceeded 60% for MBE contracting dollars and 60% for employing workers of color in our projects, according to Price.
The first building at Bartlett Place could start construction as early as the end of 2014, according to Windale Developers President Arnold Johnson.