For Immediate Release
July 11, 2006
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Former Haffenreffer Brewery in Jamaica Plain Is Home to Businesses
City officials and local leaders today cut the ribbon for the redevelopment of the
Main Block of the former Haffenreffer Brewery in Jamaica Plain. For several years owner-developer Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Development Corporation (JPNDC) has been redeveloping blocks of the former Haffenreffer Brewery complex to create commercial, industrial, and office space. The final stage of the renovations includes 35,000 square feet of space in the area known as the “Main Block.” The project is not only expected to generate jobs and revitalize the community, but also attract further capital investment into the community.
“We all know that to make our city stronger, we must invest in our neighborhoods,” said Mayor Menino. “That’s why my administration is committed to providing the tools and support to help create jobs, support businesses, and attract capital investment.”
When JPNDC bought the complex 21 years ago, the Main Block had little or no building systems, lacked a clear circulation pattern to potential tenant spaces, and presented its blighted backside to the neighborhood. The renovation of the Main Block created a new public front for the Brewery complex, including a new grand entryway, elevator and a circulation plan, which has unlocked long unused spaces for tenant use.
“This is a wonderful achievement for JPNDC and great addition to the neighborhood,” said Department of Neighborhood Development Director Charlotte Golar Richie.
Over the past two decades, the JPNDC has been redeveloping blocks of the former Haffenreffer Brewery Complex to create a commercial, industrial and office facility that now houses 45 small businesses employing more than 200 people. Tenants include an array of industries, including woodworkers, food service companies, small contractors, an architectural firm and various non-profits. The project has supported and nurtured community businesses; rents are kept low; and business owners are encouraged to collaborate. Since the early 1980s JPNDC has renovated 105,000 of the 150,000 total
square feet of the space in the complex.
The Main Block portion of the project has maintained the mixed-use nature of the complex while increasing the public use of the space. The anchor tenant for this final stage of the development is Mike’s Fitness, formally located in the South End. The gym occupies just over 9,000 square feet. Combined with the Tony Williams School of Dance (3,000 square feet), the Ula café, Boomerangs, Women in the Building Trades, Bikes not Bombs and City School (Vida Urbana), the public profile has significantly increased.
This $10 million project has been financed with New Market Tax Credits through the partnership of MassHousing Investment Corporation, the City of Boston’s Department of Neighborhood Development through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, and the Life Initiative. This project could not have moved forward without MHIC’s New Markets financing because the project could not have achieved financial feasibility without the gap financing provided by this relatively new program. This project specifically fulfills the proposed criteria and reasoning behind the New Market Tax Credit program, some of which are: creating or retaining jobs for low-income persons or residents of low-income communities, financing a minority-owned business venture, and/or financing a real estate project that provides goods and services to low-income persons or residents of low-income communities.
Today’s event was attended by Charlotte Golar Richie, Director, Department of Neighborhood Development and chief of housing; Taylor Caswell, Regional Director, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development; Joseph Flatley, President, Massachusetts Housing Investment Corporation; Richard Thal (Executive Director, Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Development Corporation), staff from Commodore Builders, staff from Jennifer Pinck & Company, and local residents.