(Image courtesy Beacon Communities)
Representatives from both groups were before the South Boston community Tuesday night, to discuss the process and where they currently are in the redevelopment.
The first phase of the redevelopment is nearing completion and residents should be able to begin moving into their new units in December.
Phase I of the project which will be completed in spring 2012, involved the construction of 116 housing units in mid-rise residential buildings, along with four groups of townhouses which will hold close to 34 one- to five-bedroom units.
Phase I of the redevelopment also included the construction of a 10,000 square-foot community center.
Phase II of the project which will add 169 new apartment units will be built in several phases with the demolition of the existing structures beginning in early fall 2012.
The Phase II portion of the redevelopment will also include the construction of two elevator buildings with one- to two-bedroom units.
Many residents at the meeting were excited to see the Phase I portion of the project nearing completion and the chance for them to move back into their homes, some still had concerns relating to the loss of trees and the safety of residents.
“Safety is our biggest problem. We have people throwing stuff at our doors and windows to see if we are still home. People are squatting in the vacant apartments. We’ve got people in the area we’ve never seen before,” said Old Colony resident Robert Kennedy.
Other residents confirmed Kennedy’s story and said something needs to be done to keep residents safe from people who may be using the currently vacant apartments.
Others at the meeting were also concerned about the loss of trees during the project.
“These trees really do have value to our community,” said Old Colony resident Abigail Martinez.
Darcy Jameson, the development director for Beacon Communities, said they are working with the community and arborists to make sure they can protect the trees.
“Our team knows every tree like an old friend. Our arborists have a plan on how they will address the health problems in the trees,” said Jameson.
Residents were also curious about when the whole project, which involves four phases, would be completed.
Currently the project only has funding for the first two phases but Pamela Goodman, president of Beacon Communities said they will keep looking for more funding.
“We will continue to seek funds for future phases…but there isn’t really any local or state funding available at the moment for the next phases,” said Goodman.
Over the entire project the number of units will drop from 840 to close to 650 units with the majority being one, two and three bedrooms units.
The project will also work to change roadways to better integrate the development in the neighborhood, create more accessible open space for residents and reduce density.
Once the two phase have been completed Beacon Communities will than take over the management of the two portions of the property from the Boston Housing Authority.