RFP for Redevelopment of West End Branch Library Garners Eight Responses to Date

Eight submissions to date have met the criteria for the city’s Request for Proposals (RFP) for the proposed redevelopment of the West End Branch Library, according to the Mayor’s Office of Housing.

​MOH released its RFP on April 3 for the redevelopment of the site of  the library, which opened in the 1960s, into a mixed-use development that would include a new ground-floor space for the library itself, along with multiple floors of primarily income-restricted, affordable housing above it. The deadline for submissions is July 15.

​The first proposal comes from Beacon Communities, a private Boston real-estate development firm, in partnership with Caribbean Integration Community Development, a Mattapan-based nonprofit housing and community development organization. It includes plans for a 20,000 square-feet of “core and shell space” for the library branch on the development’s ground floors, as well as 84 one-bedroom rental units for income and age-restricted seniors above it.

​In a second proposal, Evergreen Urban Edge JV LLC comprising two local firms – Evergreen Redevelopment LLC and Urban Edge Housing Corporation, Inc. – is proposing a 10-story building for the site, including 17,800 square feet of shell space for a new library branch; 85 units of mixed-use housing (a mix of studios, one-, two-, and three-bedroom units); and eight off-street parking spaces for use by the adjacent Otis House Museum. 

​Another proposal comes from Pennrose LLC, which includes a 25,000 square-foot new library space with a two-story entry pavilion on Cambridge Street and 121 income-restricted rental units (a mix of studios, one-, two-, and three-bedroom units).

​In a fourth proposal, the Planning Office of Urban Affairs, Inc. – a housing developer associated with the Archdiocese of Boston – together with CSI Support & Development Services – a nonprofit specializing in building affordable housing for low-income seniors – have submitted a plan for a new 18,000-19,500 square foot, two-story library branch, along with 97 units of “affordable senior and family-centric rental housing with a range of unit sizes, deep income targeting, and rental subsidy to serve Bostonians to all stages of life, regardless of their income.” The housing mix would include one-, two-, and three-bedroom units.

​A fifth proposal comes from the national nonprofit Preservation of Affordable Housing, Inc. in partnership with Case Capital, LLC and includes a 17,500-18,000 square-foot envelope for a two-story branch library and 12 stories of affordable housing above it, which would includes119 units (a mix of studios and one-, two-, and three-bedrooms).

​In a sixth proposal, The Community Builders, Inc., a Boston nonprofit, together with a Boston architectural firm, JGE Development, has submitted a plan for a 10-story building containing 87 new affordable apartments above a two-story branch library.

​A seventh proposal comes from the Michaels Organization, a national real-estate developer, and includes plans for a 10-story building with a maximum height of 155 feet, which would contain 87 units of affordable housing (a mix of studios and one-, two-, and three-bedrooms), as well as a new, 20,865 square-foot, two-story branch library.

​In the eighth proposal, Trinity Financial is partnering with Norfolk Design & Construction of Dedham on plans to deliver a 21-story building, including 180 mixed-use housing units,  as well as a two-level, 18,500 square-foot branch library.

​All of the proposals can be accessed online at https://bit.ly/westendproposals.

​Meanwhile, MOH will be sponsoring two separate meetings to discuss the eight proposals on Tuesdays, July 18 and 25, respectively. Four development teams will make their individual presentations at each meeting.

​“We hope to see as many as possible at both meetings, but there is no requirement to attend both,” Joe Backer, senior development officer for MOH, wrote in an email. “Each meeting will be recorded and posted online for anyone to access. There will be an open comment period following the applicant presentations.”

​Visit https://bit.ly/westendpresentations to register for the meetings.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.