For Immediate Release
August 27, 2009
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First City Nationwide to Report Six Month Job Creation, Business Development and Infrastructure Improvement Data
Three developments receive $720,000 in Brownfields funds to redevelop vacant sites into 64 new units of workforce housing, neighborhood retail stores and 137 jobs citywide
Today, at an event announcing that the Boston Redevelopment Authority (BRA) will receive $720,000 in Brownfields funds from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Mayor Thomas M. Menino released the city's mid-year report on American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) funding for Boston. The Brownfields funding was a sampling of what the mid-year report highlights as a major success for job creation and community development. With $172.6 million in total funding thus far, the City of Boston has been able to launch 41 projects unlocking a further $162.2 million for a total economic investment of over $334.8 million citywide.
According to the report, which can be viewed at www.cityofboston.gov, these 41 projects represent a total of 1,666 jobs that have either been saved or created as well as the summer employment of 850 students and job training for 232 disadvantaged and dislocated adults. The report also highlights:
- That the City is investing $42.5 million in transportation enhancements including the reconstruction of Dorchester Avenue, an investment in improved technology for intelligent transportation systems and the resurfacing of over 75 streets citywide.
- That $30.1 million has been dedicated to public housing modernization, most notably at Washington Beech in Roslindale.
- That the City recently issued a Request for Proposals on how best to spend $8.2 million Homelessness Prevention and Rapid Re-Housing Program (HPRP) funds to fight homelessness by significantly expanding prevention services.
- That the City will use $15.6 million of Title I and IDEA funding to save the jobs of 180 teachers and buy additional books and classroom materials.
- That a $6.5 million Energy Efficiency Block Grant will fund Renew Boston – the City's largest effort to help businesses and homeowners save money by cutting expenses though weatherization and energy efficiency upgrades.
- That $2.3 million of Community Development Block Grant funding will jumpstart $8.9 million worth of stalled housing and economic development projects citywide.
- That the City will stabilize small businesses throughout the City with over $1.075 million in funding for capital improvements and short term rental assistance – more than 40 businesses can be helped.
The BRA applied for the ARRA Brownfields funding in April 2009 on behalf of the Codman Square Neighborhood Development Corporation (NDC) and Urban Edge. The Codman Square NDC has purchased two Brownfields redevelopment sites in Dorchester – the former Levedo Motors site and the AB&W Building/157 Washington Street – and Urban Edge is part of the team redeveloping Jackson Square.
The $720,000 in EPA funding is actually expected to prepare three shovel-ready hazardous substances projects in Codman Square and Jackson Square for $16 million worth of new development. These projects are expected to create 137 jobs and involve the creation of 64 new affordable housing units and approximately 4,500 square feet of new neighborhood retail space.
"We are proud of the additional funding for Brownfields work in Dorchester and Jackson Square," said Ira Leighton, acting regional administrator of EPA's New England office. "This Recovery Act grant will help to jump start local economies, put people to work, and create a cleaner and healthier environment."
Levedo Motors & AB&W/157 Washington Street
Located at the corner of Mallard Avenue and Talbot Avenue in Dorchester, the former Levedo Motors site is an underutilized former auto dealer site. The Codman Square NDC has cleaned up several hot spots and is transforming it into a transit-oriented mixed-use building with 24 low-income rental units and 700 square feet of first floor commercial space. This redevelopment will breathe life into the Codman Square commercial district around the proposed Talbot Avenue station of the Fairmount Commuter Rail line. An estimated 2,200 tons of contaminated soil must be removed. Architectural plans have been developed, construction financing is secured, and remediation can proceed now that the ARRA funding is available.
The Codman Square NDC also received $1.2 million in funding for the project from the City's Department of Neighborhood Development (DND). Their plans for the site grew out of a successful and well attended three-month community planning process for the Talbot Norfolk Triangle area, held with neighborhood partners such as the Codman Square Neighborhood Council and Talbot Norfolk Triangle Neighbors United.
The AB&W Building at 157 Washington St. will be redeveloped into a transit-oriented village as it is located one block from the soon-to-be built Four Corners Fairmount Line commuter rail stop. The historic façade of the current industrial building will be saved and a 3 ½ story mixed use development with 24 limited equity co-op units and 3,700 square feet of commercial space will be built. Codman Square NDC already owns the property and can proceed very quickly with cleanup activities. They are also putting special emphasis on "greening" the building as a model for future sustainable development. Codman received $1.75 million in DND funding for the project.
Urban Edge is a member of the Jackson Square Partners (JSP LLC) which has been designated by the BRA to develop 11-acres of vacant and underutilized public and private parcels adjacent to the Jackson Square MBTA station that will knit back together the two neighborhoods of Jamaica Plain and Roxbury after they were torn apart by the State's land taking to make way for the Southeast Expressway. The Jackson Square development is a mixed-use, mixed-income, mixed-tenure, transit-oriented development that includes more than 400 units of housing, 60,000 square feet of ground floor retail and two major community facilities. EPA has already provided a $200,000 Brownfields Cleanup Grant to Urban Edge for another parcel that is part of the Jackson Square redevelopment.