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Improvements and expansion for Chinatown senior facility

Posted by Jeremy C. Fox  August 3, 2011 05:10 PM

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Construction will soon begin on a Chinatown senior facility to more than double its space, improve energy efficiency, and provide on-site medical care.

On Thursday, Mayor Thomas M. Menino will join the Greater Boston Chinese Golden Age Center and Rogerson Communities for a groundbreaking ceremony to celebrate the upcoming improvements to the Hong Lok House, a housing development for low-income seniors in Chinatown.

The project will replace 28 existing units described by the Boston Redevelopment Authority as “substandard and outdated” with 75 new energy-efficient and handicap-accessible units.

“We’re proud that it will preserve affordable housing for the elderly community, offering residents convenient access and a sustainable place that they are proud to call home,” said Jessica Shumaker, a BRA spokeswoman.

It will also significantly improve the streetscape on Essex Street, maintaining the front façade of Hong Lok’s current space at 25–31 Essex St. while repairing a dilapidated structure at 15–17 Essex and reinstating a historic façade preserved from a former structure at 11–13 Essex. Currently, the structure at 15–17 Essex is bookended by rusted girders that appear to support the deteriorated building.

The city and the Boston Redevelopment Authority contributed about $10 million toward the $33 million project that will provide both new apartments and community space for Chinatown seniors. Other funding sources include $5.2 million from the state, $10 million leveraged from private funding, and $4.2 in in other private donations and foundation support.

Work on the project is expected to generate 50–75 construction jobs and is scheduled to be completed in September 2014.

Email Jeremy C. Fox at jeremycfox@gmail.com.

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