Developers have filed plans with the BRA to completely tear down the 62-year-old Whittier Street project and replace it over five years with new buildings with more apartments.
Separately, the Boston Housing Authority this week formally asked developers for plans to turn the Bunker Hill project into a mixed-income development.
In a filing with the BRA this week, Preservation of Affordable Housing and the Madison Park Development Corp. detailed a proposal to replace the 200-apartment Whittier Street development, located along Tremont Street between Whitter and Ruggles, with five new buildings housing 387 apartments. One of the buildings would be 15 stories and would also have retail space.
The developers discuss why they basically want to start from scratch on the property:
The existing Whittier Street development is currently one of the oldest and most underutilized sites in the Boston Housing Authority’s federal portfolio. Although currently home to hundreds of residents and employees, and located along important Boston Public Streets, the Project Site lacks urban vitality. The existing buildings are repetitive, uniform, and deteriorated, with aged systems. Residents are isolated in a large block that lacks connection to neighborhood and community resources. The buildings are internally oriented with minimal open space that is underutilized and disconnected. The current buildings do not engage the street in a positive way for pedestrians. The notable lack of activity and divided open space compromises the pedestrians experience significantly.
Some of the apartments would be townhouses and some would have four bedrooms.
Whittier Choice project notification form (64M PDF).
In Charlestown, the BHA is hoping developers who want to build in the hot Charlestown market will want to put market-rate units in an area that they will help rebuild to make better for the existing low-income residents - at little or no cost to the authority or the city:
The BHA has selected Bunker Hill as one of the initial candidates for which to issue an RFP due to current market conditions and the potential opportunity for the preservation or replacement of all of the existing 1100 very low income units in the development with little or no public subsidy. The potential for adding additional units to create a mixed income development would add both affordable workforce and market rate apartments, which BHA hopes would generate additional income to help sustain the low income units over the long term.