Three non-profit groups have filed plans with the BPDA to replace roughly half the Mildred Hailey public-housing complex in Jamaica Plain with a new mixed-income community over eight to ten years.
The BHA had selected a consortium of the Community Builders, Inc., the Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Development Corporation and Urban Edge to replace seven current large Mildred Hailey buildings, with 253 apartments, along the Southwest Corridor and Centre Street. The consortium's proposal calls for construction of seven new buildings that would include replacements for those units as well 437 additional apartments aimed at people from low income to upper middle income - and a new community center.
The proposal is technically phase 1 of the BHA's long-term plans to completely replace all of Mildred Hailey, which has a total of 804 subsidized apartments in 29 buildings, with new housing. However, the BHA has yet to request proposals for the remaining sections of the apartment complex.
Construction will take so long in part because of a phased approach in which the BHA will attempt to move residents from a building about to be torn down into an apartment elsewhere in Mildred Hailey.
In addition to new apartments, the proposal calls for a complete re-alignment of buildings on the 7-acre site to better fit in with the surrounding streets and neighborhood, in an attempt to make it less forbidding looking from the outside and to make it easier for residents to walk and bike through the site. The proposal would also eliminate the numerous zig-zag pockets that have proven difficult to monitor for potential criminal activity.
The existing Mildred C. Hailey apartment complex is a series of angular roadways that often go through, or end in surface parking lots. The Project team has worked to design an alternative layout that provides critical connections to the surrounding street grid at existing intersections. This includes both an extension to Lamartine Street, creating a new four-way intersection that will allow vehicles to cross Centre Street from the south onto the Project Site and through to Heath Street and Bromley Street on the north side of the Project Site, and a pedestrian passage linking Parker Street to Centre Street. The Lamartine Street extension is the first step in reconnecting the Project Site to the larger surrounding neighborhood. When completed, residents and visitors will no longer have to walk, bike, or drive completely around the Mildred C. Hailey apartment complex to reach neighborhoods to the north. There will also be wide, tree-lined, ADA-compliant sidewalks on both sides of the street with two, raised pedestrian crossings to slow traffic. Buildings 1A, 1B, and 2 will have entrances on Lamartine Street extension that will enliven the street and have access to open spaces that link Lamartine Street extension to the Southwest Corridor Park and surrounding amenities.
The creation of these new open spaces along with the new street connections and pedestrian pathways through the Project Site will create the feel of an urban village and will strengthen the Project Site’s integration with the surrounding community.
The proposal calls for 233 parking spaces in new garages and 76 spaces on streets on the site.
The consortium hopes to begin construction in 2022, starting with two buildings off Heath Street that would include a new Anna Mae Cole Community Center.
Mildred Hailey Phase 1 project-notification form (33.5M PDF).
View from the Southwest Corridor: