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City OKs converting empty building to medical, housing space

Posted by Matt Rocheleau  November 17, 2010 12:38 PM

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461walnutave.jpg

(Courtesy: JPNDC)

A design sketch for the planned conversion of 461 Walnut Ave.

The city approved a $10.1-million development plan for a vacant, three-story Walnut Avenue building to return to using its first floor as a homeless respite-care facility and convert upper floors into housing for medically vulnerable and disabled people who were homeless.

The building at 461 Walnut Ave. operated for 15 years as a 90-bed medical respite facility for homeless and disabled people until 2008, when the Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program moved its headquarters to a new space in the South End, according to a city release.

The building will be substantially renovated to provide and operate a 20-bed respite care facility for homeless people on the first floor, city officials said. That facility will be owned and operated by BHCHP.

Approximately 30 studio rental units intended for medically vulnerable and disabled formerly homeless individuals and a one-bedroom manager’s unit will be built on the second and third floors, said the redevelopment authority which approved the project Tuesday evening. That space will be owned and managed by the Pine Street Inn.

The BHCHP and Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Development Corporation will lead the development efforts.

Six projects in Boston, totaling over $297-million in public and private investment and over 1,000 construction job opportunities, were approved by redevelopment authority board members Tuesday.

E-mail Matt Rocheleau at mjrochele@gmail.com.

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