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City seeks $30-million grant to re-do Whittier Street project as mixed-income development

The Bay State Banner reports on the proposal, by the BHA, Preservation of Affordable Housing and Madison Park Development Corp. to raze the current 200-unit project off Tremont Street in Roxbury and replace it with 210 low-income apartments, 136 affordable units and 81 to be rented at market rates.

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Why is the project cost one billion? Seems vastly inflated.

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thats rediculous. market rate? why would someone spend 2k+ a month to live in the same hallway as someone paying 25$ a month?

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Look at Harbor Point. Look at Washington-Beech in Roslindale. Look at what's happening at Bunker Hill. It can and does work. Just because it's not your cup of tea, and poor people make you break out in hives doesn't mean it's not something somebody else wouldn't be interested in.

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This location is significantly different & far more dangerous than Rozzi, Charlestown, & Harbor Point though. I imagine landlords are going to have a difficult time renting out market-rate apts. in this location.

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If not, you might want to read up on how Harbor Point was not always the placid place it is today.

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But you're forgetting UMass Boston's on that peninsula. There were obviously going to be housing changes made to Harbor Point eventually. You've clearly never been to the neighborhood surrounding the Whittier St projects.

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Please, before you pontificate on issues, make a modicum of effort to learn about the things on which you write. To whit, the Columbia Point projects were rehabbed in the 1980s.

But hey, some day your descendants might be similarly ill informed about Whittier Street, Godcwilling.

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Welcome to Boston kiddo.

But hey, if, after you've been here a few years, you decide to stay and learn about the city, pop by your local library and check out a copy of "A Decent Place to Live". Fire fighters wouldn't answer calls without police escort. The administrators at B.C. High wouldn't let the students make the short walk to the train station alone.

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Thread jack - how bad was crime in Roslindale back in the 70s-80s? I ask because a lot of the older commercial spaces have the roll down shutters (Rosi Hardware block for example) but then places on Birch St and other newer renos don't have them as much. I noticed this specifically at the new Tony's space where the old ugly rolling shutters have been replaced with nice glass windows.

Were there lots of smash and grab burglaries or vandalism back in the day here? I understand the security shutters in a downtown or less visible spot but it seems more surprising here so I am wondering if these are mostly leftovers from the days before cheaper burglar alarms and lower crime rates.

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I'm too young for a clear view of the 70s (paging dmk) but no one associated with crime, so the grates were more shop owners being sold fear of crime viz a viz Blue Hill Ave rather than actual crime. I mean, crimes happened- someone can correct me if I'm wrong, but the block that had Brighams (now B o A) was torched, and our house was broken into and my Star Wars action figures were rifled through- but as a sign of safety, the population was fairly stable.

There was more fear on the part of some regulars in the early 90s when the, um, demographic of the area started changing, but those who "fled" ended up looking penny foolish in addition to being kind of racist.

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im not saying it doesnt work. people are naive enough to pay. im saying i wish i was a poor minority and could live with rich people for nothing

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Maybe their class and good taste would rub off? What is the inherent benefit of "living with rich people?" And while I agree that it's become a reality that one needs to be rich to afford market rate in this city, that's not exactly what the term implies.

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Statistically areas with a large mix of incomes have much less crime and are safer places to live than areas where it's a high concentration of poverty.

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But they ain't rich because they're stupid. So maybe the intelligence rubs off. The poor can't be like the winners if they don't know what the winners are like.

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They do exactly that at Harbor Point. It's beautiful and residents live in peace

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If you build it, they will come. Otherwise, why would anyone want to build them?

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These are really expensive low income/affordable housing development. At $1 billion for 427 units, it will come to over $2 million per unit. Over 80% of the units are subsidized in some form. Why are we building luxury units costing $2 million/unit to provide subsidized housing to a few hundred lucky low and moderate income families? I hope taxpayers are not paying for this.

If it will cost $1 billion, they should build at least a thousand or so market rate units to pay for the affordable and low income housing at this site.This location is right across from Ruggles T-station and the residents will be able to get to Backbay in less than 10 minutes and downtown in 20 minutes.

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I would imagine that estimate includes relocating the current residents through the build out

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EDIT: Unfortunately, the article is incomplete on the details.

Based on how it was written then, yes, it's $2 million per unit, but that's not what's being proposed.

Based on the documents I've read, the total cost of the housing portion of the redevelopment will be between $265 million and $300 million, with the rest spent on other parts of the project.

And, there may be as many as 576 units of housing built / rebuilt.

So, $265,000,000 divided by 576 = $460,069 per unit, which is just about what it costs to build a new unit of housing in Boston, MA these days.

Details (warning, PDF): https://www.bostonhousing.org/BHA/media/Documents/Departments/Real%20Est...

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Demo costs, possible abatement needs depending upon the age of the original structures, etc. This is a big undertaking.

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Why not sell the lot the a developer and build public housing some place where it doesn't cost a billion to build 200 housing units? Housing is a privilege, not a right - not everyone deserves to live in a $2M condo on someone else's dime.

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You want a mulligan on that one?

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A. Not all units will be low income housing.
B. Whether the costs are spent by the City or a private developer, there are requirements for low income housing. Granted the developer could elect to pay monies into the pot set aside for building low income housing elsewhere.
C. It is possible the grant being applied for can't get used elsewhere but for this type of redevelopment.
D. The city already owns this land. It's more cost effective to keep it and rework the housing. As has been previously commented here on UHub, the City might not be the best negotiator when it comes to selling its property.

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