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Bartlett Place projects move forward

Morgan C. Mullings
Staff reporter covering state and local politics. Report for America Corps Member. VIEW BIO
Bartlett Place projects move forward
Bartlett Place map showing planned and completed buildings. SCREENSHOT FROM BPDA WEBSITE

Three buildings on the Bartlett Place lot in Nubian Square are moving toward approval, scheduled to start construction in late 2021. The project review committee for the 10-building site held a meeting Nov. 30 to review plans from Nelson Group and Shanti Acquisition that will provide a total of 126 homeownership units.

Lots F2 and F4

Lots F2 and F4 are along Lambert Ave at Bartlett Street, will be led by Solomon Chowdhury of Shanti Acquisition, chosen by Nuestra Comunidad and Windale Developers, who designed the plans for the Lots F2, F4 and C.

At the meeting, Chowdhury emphasized the economic importance of adding home ownership units.

“One of our challenges in Nubian Square is, there is not enough foot traffic to support the businesses in Nubian Square,” Chowdhury said. “And we believe that creating homeownership opportunity through different development[s], providing that foot traffic in the square, not only will support our business but it will support the whole neighborhood.”

His group plans to turn Lot F2 into Northampton Station Condominiums with 28 homeownership units, 24 of them priced at market rate. Lot F4 will be Dover Street Condominiums, with 37 homeownership units, 32 of them at market rate.

He also said his firm is dedicated to hiring local contractors and employees for this project.

Dorothea Jones, a member of the PRC, had concerns about the number of affordable units. She claims that the PRC has never had a chance to fully discuss and vote on plans, only hearing about them after they have been made.

“If there’s such a limited amount of affordable units for home ownership for people that are living in the community, something is not right,” Jones said.

A few contractors and members of the real estate community showed up in support of Chowdhury, but the PRC did not hear from many residents at this public meeting.

Lot C

This lot, which sits in the center of the property along Bartlett Street, will be developed by Nelson Group. Led by Nelson de Oliveira, the group has specialized in financial investment and project management and has developed 800 housing units in Boston.

“We rent a lot of low-income housing … And in everything that we do, we try to do our best,” de Oliveira said during the committee meeting.

The Bartlett Lot C project has not been named yet, but it will also consist of homeownership units. Twenty out of the 61 planned will be affordable, at 80% and 100% of the area median income. The plan includes four live/work spaces for artists to rent as well. The other 41 units will be market rate. Construction on this lot is scheduled to start late 2021. De Oliveira’s partner, contractor Abdul Barrie, was involved in two other lots on the Bartlett property.

“There’s still not enough housing for people in the city so, I thought I’ve got to get involved, not just on the construction side, [but] also on the development side, to help facilitate more housing in the city for our neighbors,” Barrie said.

As a follow-up to this meeting, members of the PRC requested a breakdown of the hiring process of each developer, to understand how they vet workers and include Boston-based contractors.

Of the 10 buildings planned for the Bartlett Place lot, two are completed, two are in progress, two have been approved, and four stand at the end of the review process.