For Immediate Release
October 24, 2013
For More Information Contact:
Mayor's Press Office
Mayor Thomas M. Menino today joined U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Shaun Donovan and the Dorchester community to celebrate the start of a massive revitalization of Dorchester’s Quincy Corridor. The $20.5 million grant is part of HUD’s Choice Neighborhoods Initiative.
In 2011, Boston was one of just five cities nationwide to receive the first-ever Implementation Grants awarded under HUD’s Choice Neighborhoods Initiative. The $122 million in grants, also awarded to Chicago, New Orleans, San Francisco and Seattle, are being used to transform distressed neighborhoods into communities with affordable housing, safe streets, and access to quality educational opportunities. Boston is the first of these five cities to begin implementing its share of the grant.
“These funds will help create homes, provide good jobs, and help our kids thrive and succeed in school,” Mayor Menino said. “Working with our community partners, we will together make Quincy Street more than just a street in our city – it will become an avenue for an entire community to reach economic prosperity.”
“HUD’s Choice Neighborhoods program was created to help heal entire communities,” said HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan. “Working with a wide variety of local and federal partners, we’ve been proud to help shape a brighter future for the Dorchester neighborhood that includes more quality housing, new jobs and successful community revitalization. This project is proof that incredible outcomes are possible when stakeholders come together to work towards shared goals for the common good.”
The City’s Department of Neighborhood Development (DND) was the applicant on behalf of the City for the $20.5 million grant from HUD. The allocation of the grant includes:
- $12.3 million to re-develop and transform the Woodledge/Morrant Bay HUD-assisted scattered site housing development. Now renamed Quincy Heights, the project includes the rehabilitation of nine buildings, the demolition of two buildings, and 49 newly-constructed units. Upon completion, Quincy Heights will include a total of 129 units, all of which will have project-based Section 8 subsidies.
- $3.075 million will be used for supportive services for residents of Quincy Heights and the surrounding Quincy corridor.
- $3.075 million will be used for economic development and community improvements such as community facilities, parks, gardens, and the revitalization of the former Pearl Meat Factory.
“Strong schools and safe, affordable housing are critical for providing people the opportunity to fulfill the American dream,” said Department of Housing and Community Development Undersecretary Aaron Gornstein. “DHCD is honored to be a part of the revitalization and transformation of this community and we thank the Obama Administration for their commitment to the City of Boston.”
As part of the transformation of Quincy Street, the Dorchester Bay Economic Development Corporation is working in partnership with CropCircle Kitchen to renovate the former Pearl Meat Factory into a 35,000-square-foot, multi-tenant, food production facility, known as the Bornstein & Pearl Food Production Small Business Center. The development will support more than 50 food production businesses and is expected to create more than 80 new jobs within the first three years of operation.
“This whole corridor, from 129 units of completely redeveloped family housing to a new jobs center at the Crop Circle/Pearl plant and a new digital fabrication maker place, is a dream come true,” said Jeanne Dubois, Executive Director of DBEDC. “It shows how powerful partnerships between the public partners like HUD, EPA, and DOT, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and the City of Boston's DND & BRA worked with the private sector, community development lenders, and local partners like Dorchester Bay EDC, Quincy Geneva HDC, Project RIGHT, and DSNI to advance the equity and sustainability agenda for Dorchester & Boston. Thanks to all!"
Michael Rubinger, President and CEO of The Local Initiatives Support Corporation, which provided additional funding to both Pearl and Quincy Heights, said, "LISC is proud to have partnered with Mayor Tom Menino, Secretary Donovan, and the Dorchester Bay EDC in this important Choice Neighborhood Revitalization effort, bringing private capital for both the Choice housing and for the Pearl & Bornstein Food Production Small Business Center.”
The Quincy Corridor neighborhood is a one-half square area centered on Quincy Street and bounded by Blue Hill Avenue on the west, East and West Cottage Streets on the north, the Fairmount Commuter Rail Line and Columbia Road on the east and Washington Street on the south.
The neighborhood is home to approximately 8,900 people, about 38 percent of whom have incomes below the poverty line or make less than 30 percent of the area median income.
HUD created the Choice Neighborhoods Initiative to transform neighborhoods and link housing improvements with appropriate services, schools, public assets, transportation and access to jobs. To meet these goals, the City of Boston tied its application to the City’s Circle of Promise Initiative, a community integration plan to transform public education in Boston.