Mission Hill Neighborhood Housing Services, Boston, MA
Community planning leads to an elderly housing complex and revitalizes an urban neighborhood
Mission Hill Neighborhood Housing Services (MHNHS), a community development corporation, hired Goody Clancy to lead a community-planning process ahead of their purchase of a vacant 2.5-acre parcel located across the street from the Roxbury Crossing transit station. The plan for the site includes elderly housing, mixed-income housing, and retail. The first phase of the project, 40 apartments for elderly residents, is scheduled to be completed in the spring of 2015.
The Roxbury Crossing Senior Building is the first phase of MHNHS’ plan to redevelop 2.5 acres of blighted land into a walkable, transit-oriented neighborhood center. The area was originally demolished by the Federal Government in the 1960s for a never-built expansion of I-95.
- The MHNHS team brought together a diverse coalition in support of the project, from neighborhood groups and business interests to HUD, Boston’s Department of Neighborhood Development, and the Boston Redevelopment Authority.
- In addition to the apartments, the compact, efficiently planned building provides community space for residents to meet, dine, and socialize, and for events that also involve neighbors and community outreach.
- Other social spaces on the upper floors provide space for smaller groups. An upper floor roof terrace and a patio outside the ground floor community room provide outdoor social space.
- Four-story brick bays make gracious living rooms for residents and relate to the historic brick bow-fronts and three-deckers in the surrounding neighborhood. The richly detailed brick expresses the quality and permanence of the project to the community, and conveys the dignity of the residents who live there.
- The design team navigated a number of challenges in meeting strict HUD and DND requirements for materials and finishes, square footage and amenities, while preserving a tight pro forma and maintaining the design as an “as-of-right” building within the area’s zoning.