Marcella Street

Highland Park, Boston, MA

Architects / Zephyr Architects
Sustainable Consultant / Envienergy Studio
Landscape / CRJA-IBI Group
Developer / Jefrey Dubard

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Our proposal is to build 12 homes configured in a balanced plan on Packages 2a and 2b. of the 12 homes, four are to be sold below 80% of median income, four below 100% of median income and four at market value. We have the flexibility to add an additional two units based on need. The proposed plan ranges from two bedroom flats to four bedroom townhouses. Each home, and indeed the entire proposal is LEED Platinum and Energy Positive. The team assembled to design and deliver the development is uniquely qualified to create a spectacular community that will be an invaluable asset to the Highland Park neighborhood, and also establish a new design standard for affordable and sustainable residential developments in Boston.

There are three main areas of focus that shape our development plan. Our proposal currently shows 12 blended units, but we have the flexibility to grow to 14 by adding two more affordable units.

First and foremost, we are proud to add eight affordable housing units to the market, each featuring the same high aesthetic, material, and sustainable standards as the four market-rate units in our proposal. This combination of two, three and four bedroom homes is weighted heavily toward duplex/townhome style living. Access to home ownership is one of the most important metrics in maintaining a diverse and integrated city. As a developer, growing this base with homes of the highest quality is central to my career vision.

Our development also takes a comprehensive approach to sustainability. We welcome both the social and sustainable requirements of the RFP in our architecture, a task relished by Zephyr Architects, a Legacy LEED AP firm with a deep concern for social equity. Carol R. Johnson Landscape Architects, themselves an internationally acclaimed design studio, focused their efforts to provide deeply rooted sustainability on the site. Envienergy Studio pushed the team well beyond the LEED Platinum threshhold, ensuring an Energy Positive future for the project. We have taken great care to align our narratives, design buildings and a site that are perfectly integrated, and bring beautiful, dignified designs to Highland Park, all in the service of increasing access to home ownership. Finally, inclusion of and connection to the neighborhood is absolutely essential to the success of Package 2. We specifically chose to submit a proposal for Package 2 because it provides two amazing opportunities for community development. First, a seamless pedestrian connection is offered by way of the western hillside stair. This neighborhood corridor joins a proposed open community space on Beech Glen Street to Marcella Street below, and features public art and education terraces. The proposed stair will provide greater access through the neighborhood and a much needed direct corridor to public transportation at Jackson Square. On the Thwing Street lot, a community pavilion mated with flexible terraced open space gives residents of the area a place to meet, mingle, and attend functions. Each will be left open and landscaped for community access and use.

The development plan we propose for Package 2 will not only enrich the current community of Highland Park, but offer the connectivity that will be necessary for the expansion of Lower Highland going forward. The future of Highland Park is bright. We believe our proposal contributes to the positive growth of the neighborhood, and ensures that it remains accessible and affordable for homeowners.
We are establishing a new development company–The New Urban Collaborative– to address the ideals driving this project, and utilize our experience here on the next opportunity. The same team members mentioned herein will address concerns of sustainability, affordability, and market rate housing–so desperately needed in Boston, and positively contribute our collected experience to the design and build process. Unlike other traditional developer models utilizing design-bid-build processes, we will be comprehensive and inclusive, staying involved at all phases of the projects we are fortunate to work on. We will not be the status quo, driven by money, designed by spreadsheets, and built without soul. Rather, we will deliver elegant, equitable, sustainable housing with a new attitude.