State and Local Officials Celebrate Groundbreaking at the Charlesview Residences at Brighton Mills

ALLSTON, MA - May 16, 2011: Charlesview Inc., the non-profit interfaith owners of a private, subsidized apartment complex, and The Community Builders -- the nation's largest non-profit urban housing developer -- were joined today by Mayor Thomas M. Menino, Undersecretary Tina Brooks, HUD New England Regional Administrator Barbara Fields, elected officials, neighbors and Harvard University to break ground on the Charlesview Residences at Brighton Mills, phase one of the new $157 million, 260-unit housing complex.

Charlesview Residences Groundbreaking

Designed by the world class CBT Architects, the Charlesview Residences is one of the largest new multifamily developments in the region, delivering affordable apartments for 213 current Charlesview families. Using innovative public/private financing, the development will be LEED ND certifiable. The $50 million Phase II will have 80 home-ownership units, both market-rate and affordable.

“This is a wonderful development for the residents of Charlesview, the Allston Brighton neighborhood, and the City of Boston.  It will provide beautiful new homes for families, revitalize and enliven a section of our City and add much-needed jobs,” said Mayor Thomas M. Menino.  “I want to thank the Charlesview Residents, Harvard, the Allston Brighton Community, Charlesview Inc., and The Community Builders for working together to improve our City.”

“The Patrick-Murray Administration is dedicated to creating affordable housing opportunities that strengthen our communities across Massachusetts,” said Undersecretary of Housing and Community Development Tina Brooks.  “Charlesview is a perfect example of state, local and private partners working together to advance a project that results in new jobs, business growth, and a better, stronger Commonwealth.”

“This project represents a groundbreaking and innovative partnership between  HUD, the Commonwealth, City of Boston, Harvard University, the owners, and The Community Builders --  preserving  affordable housing for residents here at Charlesview while helping to build a sustainable community,” said Barbara Fields, HUD New England Regional Administrator.  “HUD is proud to be part of this effort.”

The development introduces high-quality housing to the Allston-Brighton community as well as amenities like a new community center, 14,000 square feet of retail space, and a half-acre park that will become an integral part of the fabric of the existing neighborhood.

The new complex will keep the 40-year-old Charlesview community together, moving residents just a few blocks from their current location. The new site, ready for the first occupants by mid-2014, will be much larger and, over time, will include high-quality housing for more working families. Twenty of the units in Phase One will be affordable, for-sale condominiums. Charlesview Residences will also knit together the surrounding residential blocks and introduce new streets and a landscaped boulevard leading to the Charles River. The complex includes underground parking for 243 cars.

"Forty years ago, recognizing the need for affordable housing in our Allston/Brighton neighborhood, a group of religious institutions created the vision for Charlesview," said Rev. Frank Glynn, Chair of Charlesview Inc.   “We are pleased that vision will be preserved for generations to come.”

In 1969, Father Glynn’s St. Anthony’s Church joined with the congregations of Kadimah Toras-Moshe and Community United Methodist Church to form the private non-profit corporation that developed and manages the secular, federally subsidized 213-unit Charlesview apartments.

“Public-private partnerships like this have a very real, positive impact in communities across the City,” said Christine Heenan, vice president of Public Affairs and Communications at Harvard University.  “Harvard is proud to join Mayor Menino, Governor Patrick, the Charlesview community and TCB, all who are committed, even in challenging times, to creating this much-needed new housing for Charlesview residents.”

The new mixed-use development has received support from a variety of sources.  The new Charlesview will be constructed on nearly nine acres of Harvard-owned land that the University made available in a mutually-beneficial land exchange for the current 4.5-acre Charlesview site. TCB worked with HUD to maintain Charlesview’s existing subsidies during the transfer.  TCB also worked with private investors and MassHousing to provide creative financing solutions.

“At $106 million, this represents the second largest investment that MassHousing has made in its 45-year history and underscores how important the Charlesview redevelopment will be in providing quality affordable housing in Brighton long into the future while allowing Harvard to expand its world-class educational facilities in a way that will also enhance the Allston-Brighton neighborhood,’’ said MassHousing Executive Director Thomas R. Gleason. 

At the root of the effort is Charlesview Inc., a non-profit organization that sought to safeguard this valuable affordable housing resource and ensure its legacy in the future. Its development partner TCB pulled together the financing because it, too, is dedicated to creating and preserving affordable housing.

"This is one of few porting deals in the US,” said TCB President and CEO Pat Clancy. “The new Charlesview Residences will upgrade Boston's affordable housing supply and jump start more development in Allston.”

Most residents of the new Charlesview will come from the original complex, reflecting the rich diversity of Allston-Brighton. Once the complex is completed, Charlesview Inc. will provide services to residents and the broader neighborhood. The construction of the all-union job will be managed by John Moriarity Associates.
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