Boston agency OKs affordable housing, school projects

Printed from:

BOSTON – Plans to create 95 affordable housing units won approval Thursday from the Boston Redevelopment Authority, along with an expansion of Dorchester’s Epiphany School, a 127-room hotel in East Boston and a new Harvard Business School auditorium in Allston.

In the city’s Chinatown area, two nonprofit groups received the planning agency’s permission to transform the historic Boston Young Men’s Christian Union building on Boylston Street near Tremont Street into 46 all-affordable housing units, the BRA said in a statement released Friday. It will also contain office space for one of the developers, St. Francis House, which operates a homeless shelter across Boylston Street from the building.

The project at at 48 Boylston St., which is currently vacant, is expected to cost about $22.9 million, according to the agency.

In Jamaica Plain, a pair of community development companies received approval for their plan to build 47 units of affordable one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments on General Heath Square, near the Jackson Square Orange Line subway stop. The project is expected to cost about $17.4 million, the BRA said.

Dorchester’s Epiphany School on Centre Street got the go-ahead to construct an $8.8 million building that will house administrative offices, post-graduate support functions, classrooms for younger children and living space for teaching fellows at the private middle school. The new building, also on Centre Street, will be within walking distance of the current classroom building, the BRA said.

Founded in 1997, Epiphany describes itself as an Episcopal school that offers fifth- through eighth-grade education tuition free to children of economically disadvantaged families in Boston. Students can take advantage of 12-hour school days and are served three meals daily. Almost a third of its class slots are reserved for kids involved with the state Department of Children and Families because of abuse or neglect.

A third housing project, off Taft Hill Terrace in Roslindale, will include two affordable units out of 19 condominiums planned in two buildings, the BRA said, estimating the value at $4 million.

Across Boston Harbor, a 103-year-old industrial building at 175 Orleans St. in the Jeffries Point area is slated to be converted into a hotel with loft-style rooms featuring 12-foot ceilings, exposed brick or concrete walls and large windows, the BRA said. The 127-room project carries a $20 million price tag.

Up the Charles River in Allston, Harvard University plans to replace Burden Hall on the B-school campus with two structures – Klarman Hall, a 1,000-seat auditorium, and the G2 Pavilion, providing classrooms and meeting space. The estimated combined cost is listed as about $171 million by the agency.