For Immediate Release
March 26, 2003
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Walk Highlights Revitalization,
Mayor Thomas M. Menino today led a walking tour of Blue Hill Avenue, from Grove Hall to Quincy Street, to view the sites of several upcoming developments and see the revitalization that has emerged over the past decade. When he first became mayor in 1993, Mayor Menino committed to bringing new investment and development to the Blue Hill Avenue corridor. Since then the corridor has seen approximately $90 million in public and private business development, new housing, and infrastructure improvements.
"The revitalization of the Blue Hill Avenue corridor and the Grove Hall neighborhood has been one of my administrations top priorities," Mayor Menino said. "By working together with our invaluable partner - the Blue Hill Avenue Initiative Task Force - we have come a long way and made substantial progress. But our work is not finished. We still have a lot to do and high hopes for the future."
Mayor Menino was joined by writer and author James Carroll, Blue Hill Avenue Initiative Task Force Chairman David Lopes and Vice Chair Eva Mitchell, Department of Neighborhood Development Director Charlotte Richie, Robert Patton-Spruill (Film Shack Inc.), John Judge (Executive Director, Habitat for Humanity), Amy McDonald (Heritage Flag Company), Evelyn Friedman (Director, Nuestra Comunidad Development Corporation), Ken Guscott (General Partner, Long Bay Management Company), Minister Don Muhammed (Owner, Nu Life Development), business owners, community leaders, and residents.
In Mayor Menino's first inaugural address in 1994, he committed to making the redevelopment of Blue Hill Avenue a top priority and later that year announced the Blue Hill Avenue Initiative and appointed its task force, made up of community members, non-profit leaders, and business owners. Among the objectives of the Blue Hill Avenue Initiative Task Force is working with the City of Boston and its Department of Neighborhood Development to optimize development along the corridor.
"I'd like to thank all the members of the Blue Hill Avenue Initiative Task force for their tenacity, fortitude, and stamina supporting the first 10 years of revitalization," said Task Force Chairman David Lopes. "Mayor Menino has lived up to his promise that the city would partner with the community in making decisions to get the job done."
This city-community partnership has led to substantial private and public investment in the Blue Hill Avenue corridor over the past decade - approximately $90 million between Grove Hall and Dudley Street. This investment has produced more than 200 units of affordable housing, created or improved more than 30 businesses, and created or retained more than 550 jobs. Recent developments include the Blue Hill Avenue Early Education Center (opened in September 1999), the Dudley Town Common (opened in June 1996), Grove Hall's Mecca (opened in March 2001), and many infrastructure improvements, including sidewalks, lights, and streets.
"Today's tour demonstrates Mayor Menino's strong commitment to bringing back Blue Hill Avenue," said Charlotte Golar Richie, Department of Neighborhood Development director. "Partnerships between the public and private sector are helping to build and rebuild our neighborhoods. And there is no place where that is more apparent than on Blue Hill Avenue."
Upcoming projects highlighted
by Mayor Menino on today's tour of
· Silva Building (447-451 Blue Hill Avenue), which will be redeveloped into commercial office and ground floor retail space;
· Heritage Flag Company (376-384 Blue Hill Avenue), which will be building new facilities on city-owned land to relocate from South Boston. Heritage Flag will occupy the first floor of the building and four artists' live/work spaces will be located on the upper floor;
· Habitat for Humanity (344-356, 364 Blue Hill Avenue and 32 Intervale Street) will be new construction of 22 units of affordable housing and one commercial space on city-owned land;
· Film Shack Inc. (324- 326 Blue Hill Avenue) will renovate this building for its office space on the first floor and artist/loft space on the second and third floors;
· Roxbury Development Corporation (Rear of 278 Blue Hill Avenue and 92-98 Quincy Street) will develop this site into approximately four storefront commercial businesses with added parking on city and privately owned land.