State awards Boston State Hospital development to minority-owned business

New Developments News Mattapan

The state has selected a plan to develop the final 10 acres of the former Boston State Hospital property in Mattapan, and the developer is a minority-owned business.

Primary Corp., in conjunction with Toll Brothers, will turn the parcel into a mixed-use project that will include 367 residential units, Governor Charlie Baker announced Tuesday. Of those, 121 are slated to be affordable homes, with 42 restricted to seniors. 

Other facets of the project include a day care, eateries, a “farming initiative” with Clark/Cooper Community Gardens, and a shuttle bus that will run to the Forest Hills MBTA station, a news release from the Baker administration said.

“The site will be a truly great place to live and raise a family, with easy access to the T and open space to support a healthy lifestyle and outdoor activities,” Baker said during a news conference Tuesday.

The site is adjacent to the American Legion Highway and Harvard, Morton, and Walk Hill streets. Construction is slated to begin in 2021, and is planned to wrapup in the spring of 2024, the release said.

“Governor Baker and the Commonwealth are leveraging state assets to create economic development and innovation in our community,” Kirk Sykes, president of Primary Investments and co-managing partner of Accordia Partners, said in the release. “That opportunity comes with an obligation to be inclusive of the local community in all aspects of the campus, including businesses, jobs, training, and housing.

The site will include local business such as Ripple Cafe, a Dorchester-based business, and Brazo Fuerte, a Black- and woman-owned brewery, reported.

In an interview with the Boston Business Journal, state Representative Russell Holmes, whose district includes parts of Mattapan, Dorchester, Roslindale, Hyde Park, and Jamaica Plain, said he’s wanted real estate projects to have more diversity.

“When you have a neighborhood you’re building in that’s 90-95 percent people of color, and you’re walking by a project that is 80 percent white, that is still unacceptable,” Holmes said. “We should not have hundreds of millions of dollars of development happening in our neighborhood and we’re not participating.”

The hospital closed in 1979, and various parts of the property have been redeveloped. Of the projects that are completed, in the works, or are planned, there will be 200 homeownership units, more than 50 affordable homes for seniors, 300 rental homes, and 45 cooperative town houses, the release said. The site also includes Mass Audubon’s Boston Nature Center and Wildlife Sanctuary, plus Mass Biologics and Brooke Charter High School facilities and open space.

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