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Madison Park cuts ribbon on renovated mixed-income building

Nine Williams development brings new housing, retail to former Tropical bldg

Madison Park cuts ribbon on renovated mixed-income building
Madison Park Development Corporation CEO Jeanne Pinado speaks during the ribbon cutting for the Nine Williams Street building. (Photo: Dominique Rouge)

The Madison Park Development Corporation (MPDC) held a ribbon cutting ceremony on Feb. 8 at its new Nine Williams building, a renovation of a historical site on Melnea Cass Boulevard in Roxbury.

The four-floor building contains 21 affordably-priced appartments, nine market-rate rentals and three ground-floor commercial spaces.

The project is the second phase of Madison Park’s Parcel 10, which relocated and expanded Tropical Foods, a third-generation family-owned local grocery store. Nine Williams now occupies Tropical Foods’ former location.

Jeanne Pinado, the CEO of MPDC, introduced speakers that represented both the agencies that financed the projects and the people that live in Roxbury.

A cross-agency financing effort

Three agencies primarily financed the building of Nine Williams, with the help of two banks. MassDevelopment, an economic development and financial planning agency, issued a $9.5 million tax-exempt bond that Eastern Bank purchased. Redstone Equity Partners contributed $6.5 million of federal low-income housing tax credits, with the help of TD Bank Capital Group. MassWorks and state Brownfields funds provided $1.5 and $1.1 million dollar grants, respectively.

The renovation cost nearly $20 million dollars and employed members of the Roxbury community. Pinado stated that MPDC hired 64 percent minority construction workers for the project, and gave 38 percent of its construction contracts to minority-owned businesses.

Remembering the past

Kim Janey, the Boston City Councilor for the 7th district, which includes Roxbury, stated the importance of development corporations engaging community members.

“I want to congratulate [MPDC] on those numbers,” she said. “It’s important that we do a much better job at making sure that our people are being put to work.”

She recalled vibrant stores and businesses in the Roxbury of her youth, observing that businesses provide a community with more than just jobs.

“Right now we’re in a transition period,” she said. “I’m grateful that you’ve stepped up and you’re part of this renaissance.”

Future developments

The nine market-rate rental apartments in Nine Williams have been filled, and MPDC says it is processing 1,500 applications for its 21 affordable-housing units.

Pinado says she hopes to share an update on the two un-leased commercial spaces in the coming months.

The third commercial space has been leased to the Clubhouse Network, a non-profit after-school program that hopes to engage children in the community. The center will provide free, STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and math) activities in the Nine Williams building.

Phase Three of the Parcel 10 development will construct an office building on the corner of Melnea Cass Blvd. and Washington Avenue. Pinado stated that MPDC’s leasing agent, the real estate agency NAI Hunneman, currently has the space on the market.