Over 150 Roxbury residents packed the Bolling Building hearing room on Saturday, February 23d to hear Nuestra Comunidad present our vision for the redevelopment of 135 Dudley Street, a large vacant parcel in the hear t of Dudley Square, located between the Dudley Library and the new B2 precinct station. You can see the 135 Dudley Street proposal in a video recording of the February 23d session at Boston Livestream TV, available at bit.ly/2E3N2LL
To take on the challenge of this 3-acre site, Nuestra brought on Dakota Partners to be a strong co-developer, to help secure the resources for what could be a $60 million development. Dakota is a strong, experienced, community-oriented developer. Their work extends across Massachusetts and New England. Our development team also includes: Arrowstreet Architects; Beverley Johnson, our permitting consultant; Terrance Moreau, our broker; and Maloney Properties, the property management company for Dakota Partners.
Our plan for 135 Dudley sets a new standard for “Development without Displacement,” with over 90% affordability. This goal was set in response to the concerns about gentrification and displacement expressed by many residents in community meetings over the past three years. Also, the Request for Proposals for 135 Dudley says that it will reward developers who propose more than two-thirds affordability. Of the 150 housing units proposed, one-quarter is for families from zero to $50,000 incomes, and two-thirds are for family incomes from $50,000 to $100,000. 12 units are market-rate homes. Nuestra and Dakota propose to build 100 affordable apartments and 50 for-sale homes. This homeownership would provide opportunity for wealth creation and protection from displacement. The affordable sales prices range from $133,000 up to $305,000.
We also plan to use the commercial space to fight displacement by pioneering affordable retail rents in Roxbury. The retail space would include a Roxbury Design Center providing career opportunities in computer design and finish carpentry, and business incubation. To help artists faced with displacement form Roxbury, our 135 Dudley plan provide artists affordable small retail space, housing, and marketing space on a large public plaza.
Dakota and Nuestra plan over one acre of public open space, a significant amount. The largest space is “The Lawn,” a plaza next to the Dudley Library available for public events. The overall public space includes lots of outdoor seating, native Roxbury trees, space for food trucks, push carts and art performance; outdoor exercise equipment; a test kitchen garden for use by food vendors; a mounded play area and a grove of trees creating a green entry to the site from the corner of Washington Street and Dudley Street. There will be a 25,000 SF green space on stop of a garage that will serve building residents, the pubic and the Boston Police (who are losing the area behold the B2 precinct station (which they currently use for parking).
Sustainable highlights include healthy materials, a plan for healthy air circulation and Passive House; design. Passive House refers to a system with super-insulated exterior walls that greatly reduce heating and cooling costs. There will be elevated gardens/green space; native tree groves; solar ready roofs; and the green roof on the garage. The plan features a large number of trees in order to improve Roxbury’s health. Here’s why: Urban renewal in the 1960s not only demolished whole blocks here in Lower Roxbury; it destroyed our tree cover. The result was a heat island effect, which has caused high rates of respiratory disease. With the 135 Dudley tree plan, Nuestra and Dakota propose to start to undo this racial health disparity by restoring Lower Roxbury’s tree cover.
Finally, Dakota and Nuestra have set ambitious goals for jobs and contracting. Starting with a development team what includes 3 MBE companies and 4 WBE companies. Our contracting and jobs goals include 51% workers of color, 51% Boston residents and 51% MBE contracting. Nuestra has averaged more than 50% in these categories since 1995. Our goal for WBE contracting and women workers is 15%. To help local businesses succeed, Nuestra and Dakota are pioneering a program of affordable commercial rents with a focus on local businesses. Some space will go at market rents will help write down the startup spaces. Also, Nuestra will raise grant dollars to write down retail rent and help with startup equipment expenses, as they have done at Bartlett Station (with over $3m raised).
Nuestra is pursuing a second Dudley Square parcel, the public parking lot at 40 Warren St and Ziegler. Working with Mass-Design architects, we propose a small building for this small site. It will provide retail on the first floor and over 40 affordable apartments. Please come see our presentation on 40 Warren on Saturday, March 3d, at 9:00am at the Bolling Building. If you can’t be there in person, you can see it live on Boston Livestream TV, available at bit.ly/2E3N2LL