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Financing secured for first phase of Tropical Foods development in Roxbury

Posted by Patrick Rosso  January 6, 2014 12:30 PM

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(Image courtesy BRA)


A rendering of the planned Tropical Foods building.

Financing has been secured for the first phase of the Tropical Foods development in Roxbury, according to the city of Boston.

The project is led by Madison Tropical LLC, a partnership between the Madison Park Development Corporation and Tropical Foods. The $44 million project, once completed, will create a new home along Melnea Cass Boulevard for Tropical Foods, ground-floor retail space, 173 parking spaces, office space, and 30 residential units.

It will be located in a vacant 2.1-acre parcel owned by the Boston Redevelopment Authority and the state Department of Transportation, bounded by Melnea Cass, Washington Street, and Shawmut Avenue. The grocery store’s current home at 2101 Washington will also be rehabbed and converted into housing as part of the project.

The first phase of the project, estimated to cost nearly $15 million, will construct the new Tropical Foods on the corner of Shawmut Avenue and Melnea Cass.

Close to $3.6 million in New Market Tax Credits, provided by Bank of America, will be used for the first phase of the project, in addition to $1.4 million in MassWorks infrastructure program funding, provided by the Commonwealth’s Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development. A separate $788,000 grant from the US Federal Office of Community Services, will also be used for the first phase.

"By targeting investments that leverage private funds, we are working to support business and community development well into the future,” Greg Bialecki, secretary of the Commonwealth’s office of Housing and Economic Development, said in a statement. "I look forward to continuing our work with the city and private investors to spur additional growth."

Once the new location for Tropical Foods has been completed, a five-story building will be constructed adjacent to it on the corner of Melnea Cass and Washington Street. The new building will house an estimated 14,600-square-feet of retail and office space.

The final phase of the project will rehab Tropical Foods’ existing space on Washington Street and convert it into 30 residential units with space available for ground floor retail. Twelve of the new units will be affordable.

The outgoing Mayor Thomas M. Menino said the announcement is an exciting step forward for the project.

“I am so proud to see this important project moving forward in the heart of Roxbury,” Menino said in a statement. “Tropical Foods' expansion will be the next step in the continued revitalization of Dudley Square and will give our residents better access to a wider variety of fresh food.”

The parcel was awarded to the development team after a public process that included a number of submissions, the Boston Globe reported.

The project was approved by the BRA’s Board in June.

To read more about the design process of the project, via Boston.com, click here.

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Email Patrick D. Rosso, patrick.d.rosso@gmail.com. Follow him @PDRosso, or friend him on Facebook.

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