Archived News

Jackson Square’s Green Future Wins a Silver

First in the   Northeast and 18th in the World

On November 13, 2008, the US Green Building Council (USGBC) awarded a Silver rating to the Jackson Square Master Plan. The designation as a “LEED ND Silver Certified Plan” was made by the Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design for Neighborhood Development Program. Jackson Square is the 18th LEED ND certified project in the world and the first in the Northeastern US.

The new Jackson Square was conceived through a multi-year planning process by a collaborative of local organizations appointed by Mayor Menino in 1995. The community envisions a vibrant, mixed-use, environmentally sustainable transit-oriented development that includes housing, retail and office space and two major community facilities for youth and families. The new neighborhood will rise on 11 acres of mostly vacant and contaminated public and private land at the crossroads of Jamaica Plain and Roxbury.

The Master Plan to implement the community’s vision was prepared by the designated developer of Jackson Square, Jackson Square Partners LLC (JSP), a partnership of Urban Edge, the Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Development Corporation and the Hyde Square Task Force, working with Mitchell Properties. BlueWave Strategies LLC of Boston led the LEED ND certification process for JSP. Grants from the Jessie B. Cox Charitable Trust and USGBC funded the documentation work and registration for certification.

JSP intends to demonstrate in Jackson Square that green design is the best way to build everywhere, including dense urban neighborhoods. Green buildings improve air quality, conserve energy and water and create healthy indoor and outdoor environments for residents, workers and visitors. The Plan calls for almost two acres of “green roofs” on the new buildings, a large-scale demonstration of the power of green design to protect the environment and reduce climate change. The community vision for Jackson Square is a model to inspire and teach other cities worldwide to create greener, healthier and more sustainable built environments.

“The new Jackson Square is a project that will truly revitalize the neighborhoods of Jamaica Plain and Roxbury,” Mayor Menino said. “This is another testament to how Boston is leading by example when it comes to green development. The project will eventually be a model of green urban design that will benefit both the community and the environment.”

The LEED Silver award to Jackson Square was announced on the eve of Green Build, a conference taking place this week at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center. Mayor Menino, Jackson Square Partners and other leaders of the green building movement will be learning and sharing strategies at the conference to build a greener future everywhere. 
Learn more about: Jackson Square Green Guildelines

Governor Announces $3.1 Million MORE Grant for Jackson Square

Governor Deval Patrick, Mayor Tom Menino and other elected officials came to Jackson Square on June 30 to announce a State grant to the City of $3.1 million for infrastructure for Jackson Square development. Urban Edge President Mossik Hacobian welcomed the Governor and the Mayor on behalf of Jackson Square Partners.

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About one hundred residents, business owners, Community Advisory Committee members, funders and investors were present for this important announcement.

Jackson Square Partners consists of the Jamaica Plain NDC, the Hyde Square Task Force, Mitchell Properties and Urban Edge. Also attending were Friends of the Kelly Rink who will be collaborating in the development of one of the two major community facilities that make up key elements of the proposed $250 million development. The proposed development will include more than 430 homes and apartments, 60,000 square feet of ground floor retail, a Youth and Family Center, an Indoor Active Recreational Facility including an ice rink and up to three acres of new open space. Jackson Square promises to be a national model of neighborhood development: transit-oriented, mixed-income, mixed-use and green.

In his announcement the Governor emphasized the importance of public, private and community collaboration in building the local economy. The Mayor applauded the community for staying together to come up with a vision for Jackson Square that will stand the test of time. State Representatives Jeffrey Sanchez and Liz Malia and City Councilor John Tobin also spoke and congratulated the community and the Mayor and Governor for their commitment to the revitalization of Jackson Square.

Urban Edge has been a leader of Jackson Square development planning since the late 1980’s, and partnered with the Jamaica Plain NDC and the Hyde Square Task Force in 2004 to form Jackson Square Partners LLC. Mitchell Properties joined the team in 2005. Urban Edge and Friends of the Kelly Rink have been collaborating since 2002. Jackson Square Partners was designated developer of the $250 million project in 2005.

The new infrastructure funds will help move this important project forward to implementation. In Phase I Mitchell Properties will develop a 103-unit rental development with ground floor retail, while JPNDC and the Hyde Square Task Force will lead the development of a 30,000 square foot Youth and Family Center. Urban Edge will develop 37affordable condominium units over ground floor retail, plus a new residential facility with services.

Urban Edge Partners with WinnResidential for Property Management 
On May 1, 2008, Urban Edge contracted with WinnResidential to manage its property portfolio, both rental and commercial. The Urban Edge property portfolio is made up of 1,147 units of affordable rental and cooperative housing and 70,000 square feet of commercial space that includes 50,000 square feet of community facilities for youth and families and 20,000 square feet of neighborhood-scale retail space. The properties are located in Roxbury, Jamaica Plain, Dorchester, and Mattapan. The agreement provides Urban Edge staff the opportunity to continue to work at their current Urban Edge positions with Property Management Director Kadian Mullings as a member of senior management at WinnResidential.

“We are very pleased about this new partnership which combines Urban Edge’s community team with WinnResidential’s reach and capacity,” commented Urban Edge President Mossik Hacobian. His enthusiasm was echoed by Urban Edge CEO Chrystal Kornegay: “For 34 years, Urban Edge has been committed to providing safe, stable, and healthy homes for our community residents and our new relationship with WinnResidential is the next step in fulfilling this mission. They bring years of professionalism, dedication, and experience to this new partnership with Urban Edge and the neighborhood residents, and I am sure this will have a positive impact on the community, on Urban Edge, and on WinnResidential!”

WinnResidential helps create, market, manage, and maintain a wide spectrum of apartment communities in urban, suburban, and rural America. WinnResidential employs over 1,700 people and manages in excess of 70,000 apartments and condominiums in more than 20 states and in excess of 800,000 square feet of commercial space. WinnResidential managers are responsible for the implementation of budgets, staffing, annual audits, and the collection and distribution of revenue of over 200 million dollars per year. For those properties with an affordable housing component, WinnResidential has designed and implemented sophisticated techniques and procedures for reliable compliance with housing restrictions. WinnResidential regularly provides on-time reporting to the governmental authorities that administer these programs. WinnResidential is recognized for its superior record in minority hiring and in doing business with minority-owned enterprises. Winn’s “Communities of Quality” are recognized as among the finest multifamily properties in America.

Urban Edge is a non-profit community development corporation (CDC) founded in 1974 to help develop and sustain stable, healthy and diverse communities. Urban Edge has worked to stabilize neighborhoods and prevent displacement of low-income residents through the development and preservation of 1,360 units of resident-controlled affordable housing. Governed by a 30-member resident Board that includes a strong contingent of tenants of its multi-family housing, Urban Edge is responsible for a real estate portfolio of affordable housing and community and retail facilities with a replacement value of over $200 million.