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Dorchester developer chosen to rebuild Charlestown public-housing project

The Boston Housing Authority said today it's chosen Corcoran Jennison of Dorchester to completely rebuild and expand the Bunker Hill development into a mixed-income community.

Corcoran Jennison, which will work with SunCal, a California developer, will tear down the development's current 1,100 apartments and replace them with up to 2,400 new apartments - 1,100 subsidized units for residents who meet BHA income requirements and the rest rented at market rates.

Under the contract, the subsidized units have to be built to the same standards as the market-rate units. Demolition will be done in phases; current residents will be offered units in other BHA developments or Section 8 certificates.

In a statement, the BHA said:

The goal of the project is to offer residents a more livable, healthier, and more sustainable community within a truly mixed-income Charlestown neighborhood that responds to the needs and aspirations of all its residents. ...

The BHA has focused on the Charlestown site in particular due to current market conditions and the potential opportunity for the preservation or replacement of all of the existing 1,100 low-income units in the development with little or no public subsidy. The potential for adding additional units to create a mixed-income development would add both affordable workforce and market rate apartments, which BHA hopes would generate additional income to help sustain the low-income units over the long term.

Corcoran Jennison is headquartered next to Columbia Point, which underwent a similar reconstruction from the old Harbor Point project.

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Comments

Where do the po' folks they push out going to go?

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Then they get to move back when the new apartments are built.

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built....usually as long as they are in "good standing" (rent is up to date or accounted for, no convictions, etc.): which is a definition that has some wiggle room to clear the development of "problem people" and start fresh. The definitions are not typically universally accepted, as one may imagine.

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Sounds reasonable.

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I was answering what seemed like a question that assumed everybody would just be kicked out. But maybe I'm just sensitive to that because when they did the same thing to the housing project near me (Washington-Beech), there were some pretty stupid rumors going around - especially in Dedham, where people somehow convinced themselves that all the residents would be dumped in their town.

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They get offered Section 8 vouchers if in "good standing" (or if they are friends with someone important). If they are not in "good standing" they remain BHA public housing tenants and get shuffled to vacant units which have been set aside by the BHA for that specific purpose.

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...existing subsidized units (this is why 2400 are coming back on site); relocation of existing residents for demo and construction usually means about 50% will never return to C-Town since they get established somewhere else while they are waiting for a new unit. Other BHA-eligible folks will move in. Dense project.

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Just curious....

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The BHA website says it was last renovated in 1992, but it doesn't say when it was built. I would have guessed older, from the way it looks on the outside. I like this plan. Hopefully shaking things up and making it mixed-income will reduce the crime and gang problems. If you ever hear of a murder in Charlestown, odds are very good it's in this project; the rest of Charlestown is quite safe.

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This story was in the Globe last week and I remember it as 41 or 42.

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Much of what was built in 1941-1942 around shipyard areas was never intended to be there for more than a decade.

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