Eligible Builders. Any builder licensed to build in Boston is free to compete for these development opportunities. You should be able to demonstrate that you have successfully built homes in the recent past that are comparable to the homes you are proposing here.
Land Pricing. To encourage builders to invest more in quality design and workmanship, the City will accept offers as low as 50% of the current assessed value of the land, provided there is superior design and high quality construction. To ensure that homes are built as planned, even when there are unanticipated costs such as environmental issues, the City may also consider further reductions in the sale price to offset the additional costs.
Development Guidelines. The development objectives that the Community and DND agreed to for each site will be clearly specified so that you will know exactly what the community’s expectations will be for each site. DND is offering its properties at half of the current assessed value primarily to enable builders to invest less in land costs and more in good design and quality materials. Summary guidance on what DND means by “good design” and “quality materials” can be found by following this link to Design & Construction Guidance For MIHI Builders.
Builders Workshops. Periodically, DND will offer a Builders Workshop to answer questions and help builders put together more competitive proposals. Follow this Builders Workshop link to find out if there is an upcoming workshop that you would like to attend.
Proposal Process. State law requires the City to go through an open and competitive process to select a builder. It does not, however, require that the City select the highest bidder. It only requires that the City select the most qualified bidder based on both price and non-price (e.g. quality of design) selection criteria.
Selection Criteria. While each development package will have some selection criteria that are unique to specific properties, most packages will have the following key selection criteria in additional to the price criteria:
- Builder’s Financial Capacity: show that you have access to the capital necessary to build in a timely manner
- Development Plan: Is your proposed development plan consistent with the objectives that were established with the community?
- Financial Feasibility: show that your plan is feasible with reasonable costs and reasonable projected sale prices
- Design: Is the design of the building and the surrounding yardspace contextual with other homes in the neighborhood and does it enhance the visual aesthetic of the area?
- Construction Quality: Do the proposed homes include higher quality construction elements (above code) that will that will contribute to the durability and reduced operating/energy costs for the end homebuyer?
DND will also simplify its proposal requirements for this initiative to make it easier and less costly for smaller firms to participate. Applications will require only basic elevations and site plan information for the proposed structures of sufficient quality that neighborhood residents can reasonably visualize what is being proposed. DND will organize a resident meeting at which those plans will be presented to the community before DND makes a final developer designation decision. It will not be necessary to expend funds on floorplans and working drawings unless you are chosen as the recommended developer.
Restrictions & Requirements. The City has some limited restrictions and requirements.
- To honor the City’s commitments to local residents, finished homes must first be offered to owner-occupants and the selling price must be as originally proposed in the builder’s submission, unless otherwise authorized by DND. These homes may not be operated as a rental property unless no homebuyer can be found in a reasonable marketing period.
- On most sites, there will be no income restrictions on the end homebuyers. Income restrictions apply only to homebuyers who are seeking down payment and closing cost assistance from DND.
- Condominium proposals of fewer than six units are not encouraged.
- To promote construction employment, manufactured housing proposals are prohibited
Additional Support from DND. In addition to offering land at below-market prices, DND will also provide the following support to participating builders:
- DND will hold off transferring the land and receiving payment until after all permits are in place to reduce predevelopment carrying costs and risk
- DND will help simplify/streamline the City’s permitting and design review processes
- DND will provide pre-marketing assistance by notifying its pool of pre-qualified homebuyers at the Boston Home Center about the upcoming availability of the new homes.