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Somerville's Maxwell's Green to offer affordable housing

Posted by Matt Byrne  June 27, 2011 02:25 PM

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Matt Byrne

Workers are seen today preparing the Maxwell's Green site  for construction of the 199-unit project.

A portion of the units at the Maxwell's Green development project at the former Max Pak site in Somerville will be priced as affordable housing, the developer said today.

Of the 199 units slated for the site, 24 will be set aside for lower-income residents who qualify for federal income-based housing subsidies.

"We have worked to make Maxwell's Green the best it can be for the community," said Damian Szary, of Gate Residential, in a statement. "We have worked to make Maxwell's Green the best it can be for the community, and we're proud that the dynamic lifestyle it offers will be accessible to people at different income levels."

Zoning ordinance in Somerville requires that 12.5 percent of the development go toward affordable living, a rule that applies to developments of eight units or more.

The site will feature a mix of studio, one, two, and three-bedroom apartments, as well as other amenities for residents such as a yoga studio and weight room.

Plans were initially presented for the site back in 2008, which spurred a lengthy community involvement process that has driven decisions about the size, look, and features at the site.

The $52.5 million project, financed by Davis Square Partners, is tied closely to the anticipated extension of the Green Line through Somerville, which is expected to bring demand for more housing in the Magoun Square area near the development. A handful of town homes are already underway and near completion at an adjacent sliver of the Max Pak site.

In addition to the affordable units, the structure will include energy-saving construction practices, materials, and systems that will make it a LEED-certified development, which requires the structure to meet a host of guidelines set forth by the federal government.

About 24,000 square feet of the 5.4-acre site will be green space, according to the developer, a product of the input process that led designers to place parking facilities underground. Garages will host spaces for car share services, in addition to electric car charging stations.

The project has not been all roses, however, and brought labor disputes over a prior agreement between the city and builders stipulating how many local and union laborers would be employed at the site.

"Extensive community input and planning went into Maxwell's Green," said Ted Tobin, of K.S.S. Realty Partners, which owns the site and developed the project. "We're excited that residents throughout the area will have an opportunity to experience the variety of modern amentities available at these residences."

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