2Life Communities, formerly Jewish Community Housing for the Elderly, has filed plans with the BPDA to replace the current 64-unit J.J. Carroll complex on Chestnut Hill Avenue with a single six-story, 144-unit building that would include integration with the non-profit's existing senior programs at buildings it owns around the complex as well as space for a new program that connects seniors with health-care and at-home services, a convenience store and public open space.
All of the units would be rented to people making no more than 60% of the Boston area median income (in 2019, $49,800 for a one-person household and $56,880 for a two-person household), "with additional subsidies for many apartments to serve households up to 50% AMI." Most of the units would be restricted to residents 62 or older, except for 13 that would also be available to people with disabilities. Existing J.J. Carroll tenants would be offered units in the new building.
The BHA selected 2Life earlier this year to rebuild the 50-year-old J.J. Carroll complex earlier this year:
As is, the fiftyplus year old buildings would require significant upgrades to meet current code requirements. One significant shortcoming worth noting is that as walk up townhouses, the buildings themselves present significant mobility challenges for its population of seniors and young disabled living on both the first and second stories.
In addition to integration with existing 2Life programs and the new Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly, the building would have features to foster community among its residents:
To create a smaller scale of community within a larger, fully accessible building, the massing consists of five double-loaded corridors that create clusters of five to eight apartments. These clusters will be connected by a corridor that provides natural light and views of courtyards and opportunities for sitting areas, exercise equipment, and art galleries to be interspersed on upper floors. This approach to massing also creates a series of open spaces – some active and open to the surrounding Brighton community, and others more private for resident use only. The plaza along Chestnut Hill Avenue will feature sitting areas, walkways, and an intergenerational play area to welcome residents, visitors, and other community members into the new building. Landscape materials and plants will be selected to weave the Project site into 2Life's existing complex and further the sense of one community rather than separate properties.
Individual apartments, meanwhile, will all be designed with seniors in mind:
Threshold-free floors and lowpile carpet will extend throughout every apartment. Special focus will be on the kitchen and bathrooms where older adults often face the most challenges to remaining independent. For example, kitchens will include lower drawers instead of cabinets where possible, removable cabinets underneath the sink, D-shaped drawer pulls, and refrigerators with lower-drawer freezers. Bathrooms will have step-in showers with removable curbs, towel bars and toilet paper holders with blocking to function as grab bars, and continuous blocking for additional future grab bars. Five-foot turning radiuses in all kitchens and bathrooms will also be a key feature.
The new building would have 70 parking spaces.
2Life hopes to begin two years of construction in 2020.
J.J. Carroll redevelopment project notification form (14.5M PDF).