Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Putnam Housing Development Public Meeting

Just received a notice from Homeowners Rehab (HRI) about the new housing development proposed for the southern corner of Putnam and Sidney, known as the "625 Putnam" project. HRI has acquired two vacant, semi-adjacent parcels in southeast Cambridgeport (see project location map, below). For the project, HRI is teaming with ICON Architecture -- the same team that developed Auburn Court on Brookline Street, pictured at left (image courtesy ICON).

HRI seeks to develop rental housing financed through Low Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTC), and other subsidies, allowing them to offer the units to households with low and moderate incomes. In affordable housing-ese, they'll likely have units with renters below 50 or 60 percent of AMI, with a handful below 30 percent. In plain English, this means a typical renter will be a 4-person household earning less than $50,000 a year, or a two-person household earning less than $40,000 per year.

The meeting details, and some project background from the first public meeting:

Date: Tuesday July 21st, 2009
Time: 6:30 p.m.
Location: Morse School Auditorium

The project is being planned as two different buildings. One will front onto Sidney, conceived as "contextual" in massing and design (read: lower height, clapboard). A quick glance at the Cambridge Zoning Map shows that this building falls in a residential "C-1" district, meaning (among other things) it is permitted to be multifamily housing up to 35' in height. The other will front onto a relatively industrial block of Putnam. ICON, in the first public meeting, discussed their thoughts about making this building slightly larger and more contemporary, owing to the transitional context of that block, from residential to industrial/MIT. Of note, this project lines one of the primary points of access to the planned Cambridgeport stop of the Urban Ring.

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