Mayor Janey celebrates grand opening of new mixed-income housing on East Boston waterfront


East Boston News

Development delivers 22 deeply affordable rental units and 30 homeownership units for mixed-income residents

BOSTON – Monday, July 12, 2021 – Mayor Kim Janey today joined the Boston Housing Authority (BHA), WinnCompanies and MassHousing to celebrate the opening of a new mixed income community on the East Boston waterfront. The $30 million Harborwalk development replaced 20 units of aging Boston Housing Authority public housing at Clippership Apartments with 22 deeply affordable modern apartment homes at Harbor125 Apartments and Harborwalk Residences, also featuring 30 condominiums available for sale to middle-income and market-rate households.

East Boston Housing 125 HarborWalk WinnCompanies
Photo credit: WinnCompanies

“The Clippership Apartments, housing 22 rental units, will be welcoming back many families who were living here before the development plans were fully realized. Now those families are returning to newly constructed high quality modern living spaces,” said Mayor Janey. “I am proud to be a part of powerful investment in the people and the community of East Boston.”

Original public housing households who previously lived at the Clippership property have returned to new modern apartments. Of the 30 new condominiums, 14 will be sold to middle-income homebuyers at subsidized prices. The remaining 16 condos are being sold to buyers at market rates.

“These new homes will be an essential part of the East Boston neighborhood, securing Clippership’s affordable housing promise for the future,” said BHA Administrator Kate Bennett. “This new development ensures that low income families can continue to have access to the East Boston waterfront and enjoy a better quality of life in new modern homes.”

Mayor Janey in East Boston
July 12, 2021- Mayor Kim Janey helps cut ribbon at Harbor 125 Apartments in East Boston. (Mayor’s Office Photo by Isabel Leon)

Located one block from the MBTA Blue Line station at Maverick, the one-acre property offers a stunning view of downtown and pedestrian access to the Harborwalk. The new two-building development includes ground-level retail space, a management office, a bicycle storage room, and a community room available to East Boston civic groups.

“This project is a great example of a public-private partnership to preserve and expand public housing while also creating new ownership opportunities for working households who otherwise would be priced out of the market,” said Gilbert Winn, CEO of WinnCompanies. “It’s very satisfying to replace 20 units of aging public housing with 52 modern homes available at the entire range of incomes.”

Financing sources included Inclusionary Development Program funding facilitated by the Boston Planning and Development Agency and contributed by Lendlease, Inc., in connection with the company’s Clippership Wharf apartment and condominium project located next door.

The Harborwalk project is part of the BHA’s continuing effort to preserve, expand and modernize public housing in the City of Boston. The agency kicked off the development process in April 2016 and holds the ground lease for the rental site. WinnCompanies owns Harbor125 Apartments and developed Harborwalk Residences with a deed restriction requiring the 14 middle income home ownership condos to remain affordable.

“By transforming the former Clippership Apartments into a dynamic, new mixed-income development, this project is preserving much-needed affordable rental housing and creating new homeownership opportunities for first-time homebuyers,” said MassHousing Executive Director Chrystal Kornegay. “We congratulate WinnCompanies and the Boston Housing Authority for reaching this milestone. MassHousing is pleased to be a partner in this important work.”

The 22 rental apartments at Harbor125 include one one-bedroom unit, six two-bedroom units, 10 three-bedroom units and five four-bedroom units. The apartments are supported by federal Section 8 project-based vouchers administered by the BHA.

Of the 14 condos to be sold through a lottery process, five one-bedroom units are for households earning at or below 80% of Area Median Income ($85,700); five one-bedroom units are for households earning at or below 120% AMI ($142,800); one two-bedroom unit is for a household earning at or below 80% of AMI; and one two-bedroom unit and two three-bedroom condos are set aside for households earning at or below 120% of AMI.

MassHousing, the independent, quasi-public agency that provides financing for affordable housing in Massachusetts, provided a $6.6 million permanent mortgage and $3.6 million in bridge loan financing for the development of Harbor125 Apartments and $1 million from the agency’s Workforce Housing Initiative to subsidize the cost of the 14 workforce condos at Harborwalk Residences.

Additional funding was provided by Bank of America and the Federal Home Loan Bank of Atlanta through the competitive Affordable Housing Program. BlueHub Capital provided subordinate construction and permanent financing to both projects.

Boston Housing Authority provides quality affordable housing for low-income families and individuals through the public housing and Section 8 rental assistance programs. We foster vital communities that are essential to our city’s economic diversity and way of life. As the largest housing provider in Boston, we bring stability, opportunity, and peace of mind not only to the thousands of low-income families we support, but to the city as a whole.

WinnCompanies is an award-winning, national owner, developer and manager of high-impact affordable, middle income, mixed-income and market rate housing communities. Founded in Boston in 1971 and supported by 3,670 team members in 23 states and the District of Columbia, WinnCompanies is one of the nation’s leading multi-family housing managers with 101,000 units under management. It is the leading manager of affordable housing in the United States and privatized U.S. military housing. The company owns 111 apartment communities in 11 states and the District of Columbia.