January 23, 2023 – BOSTON – Mayor Michelle Wu announced the City of Boston’s support today for Columbia Crossing, an Upham’s Corner development that proposes to transform the historic Dorchester Savings Bank building and adjacent parking lot into an approximately 86,000 square foot mixed-use, mixed-income residential, commercial, and retail complex.
The project, which will be developed by the Preservation of Affordable Housing (POAH) in partnership with the Dorchester Bay Economic Development Corporation (DBEDC), a nonprofit MBE based in Upham’s Corner, will consist of new construction of a six-story building addition to the back of the existing Dorchester Savings Bank as well as adaptive reuse of the bank building.
Dudley Neighbors Inc. (DNI), an affiliate of Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative (DSNI), a local community land trust, is the landowner and will remain the ground lease holder of the land the project is built on. DNI selected the POAH-DBEDC team through a competitive, community-driven RFP process. Predevelopment funds are being loaned by The Life Initiative.
The new construction and bank building rehabilitation will contain up to 48 units of income-restricted affordable rental housing, designated between 30% and 80% Area Median Income. Approximately 20% of the units will be reserved for artists under the City of Boston’s Artist Housing Certification program, and there will be 2,000 square feet of arts amenity space for resident use.
The development will also include 4,500 square feet of commercial space, with a preference for community-centered arts and innovation entities in furtherance of Upham’s Corner as an Arts & Innovation District. The rehabilitation of the bank building will include the creation of a premier display space referred to as the Glow Box, which can be converted to an indoor-outdoor space.
The building design will include an all-electric heating and cooling system and will incorporate Passive House standards in support of Boston’s resiliency, sustainability, and carbon neutral 2050 goals. Stull & Lee, Inc. and Moody Nolan have partnered on the architecture.
“POAH is proud to partner with Dorchester Bay Economic Development Corporation, DSNI, and the Upham’s Corner Community on this outstanding opportunity to create new, affordable rental housing in the neighborhood and advance the goals of the Upham’s Arts & Cultural District,” said POAH President and CEO Aaron Gornstein.
“I am truly happy that the City has provided funding for this project that helps give Dorchester Bay and POAH the ability to move forward in developing one of the first new buildings central to the emerging Upham’s Corner Arts and Innovation District,” said John Smith, Executive Director of the Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative.
“This vibrant, mixed-use, mixed-income, and transit-oriented development will preserve and adaptively reuse the historic Dorchester Savings Bank building,” said DBEDC CEO Kimberly R. Lyle. “It will serve as a catalyst for future investment and development in the Upham’s Corner neighborhood, and provide critically-needed affordable rental housing.”
Dorchester Bay Economic Development Corporation (DBEDC)
Dorchester Bay Economic Development Corporation (DBEDC) is a community development corporation founded by local civic associations in 1979 to address the problems of economic disinvestment, unemployment, crime, community tensions, and the shortage of quality affordable housing undermining Boston’s Dorchester neighborhoods. Over the last 44 years, we have worked in partnership with local leaders and stakeholders to build and preserve 1,200 units of affordable housing and over 200,000 square feet of commercial space, to engage residents in community life, and to support a robust economy through small business support and economic development.
The structures we have built are physical manifestations of our work, but at its core, our work is about strengthening the community, which is made up of the people who live and work in our neighborhood. For more information, visit the DBEDC website at www.dbedc.org, follow us on Twitter and Instagram, like us on Facebook, connect with us on LinkedIn, and subscribe to our email list.
Preservation of Affordable Housing (POAH)
Preservation of Affordable Housing (POAH) is a nonprofit organization that preserves, creates, and restores affordable rental homes for low- and moderate-income individuals, seniors and families totaling more than 13,000 apartments in 11 states and the District of Columbia, including three affordable properties in Boston’s South End, West End and Kenmore Square neighborhoods with another redevelopment planned for the Mattapan Station MBTA parking lot. www.poah.org @poahcommunities