By Eva Erlich – VP, Development
On a rainy and overcast December morning, community members, local and state officials alike gathered together on the side of a hill in East Boston. Through the clear-roofed tent you could fully take in your surroundings: the weathered brick buildings of the Orient Heights community, 331 units of state-funded public housing in dire need of maintenance and modernization terraced into the hillside. Looking around, it was clear that there was work to do, but warming up in that tent was a community ready to reshape their home on the hill with the groundbreaking of Orient Heights.
Phase One of the Orient Heights redevelopment will result in the demolition of four existing buildings containing 90 dwelling units and the central boiler plant, and the new construction of 120 affordable housing units in a series of clustered townhouses and a mid rise building along Waldemar Avenue. The reconstruction of these units will serve as a way to bring safe, improved housing to the current residents of Orient Heights.
In the photo from left to right: Eva Erlich (Trinity Financial), Senator Joseph Boncore, Al Caldarelli (East Boston Community Development Corporation), Chrystal Kornegay (Department of Housing and Community Development), Carol Johnson (Orient Heights Local Tenant Organization), Mayor Martin J. Walsh, William McGonagle (Boston Housing Authority), Boston City Councilor Sal LaMattina, State Representative Adrian Madaro, Noel Henderson-James (Raymond James Tax Credit Funds, Inc.), Karen Kelleher (MassHousing), and Michael Koessel (Citi).
Among the groundbreaking attendees were residents of the existing development and surrounding neighborhood, construction workers, elected officials and financing partners, joined together to celebrate the groundbreaking of Phase One of the redevelopment of Orient Heights, which for many symbolized the renewal of a great East Boston neighborhood. The event included a series of speakers, including remarks from Boston Mayor Marty Walsh on the importance of developing affordable units and revitalizing units for families who have lived there for decades. Carol Johnson, President of the Orient Heights Local Tenant Organization, spoke of the importance of the development, and explained just how much the project means for the community at large. Other speakers included Al Caldarelli of the East Boston Community Development Corporation, Chrystal Kornegay from the Department of Housing and Community Development, William McGonagle from the Boston Housing Authority, Noel Henderson-James from Raymond James Tax Credit Funds, Inc., Karen Kelleher from MassHousing, and Michael Koessel from Citi.
Orient Heights is currently under construction and Phase One is expected to be completed in 2018. For more information, visit www.TrinityFinancial.com. For more updates from Trinity Financial, contact us via Twitter and LinkedIn.