WinnDevelopment has been selected by the Boston Housing Authority (BHA) to redevelop the first and one of the largest public housing developments in New England.

Gilbert Winn (Photo: Ken Richardson)
Gilbert Winn (Photo: Ken Richardson)

Built in the 1930s, the Mary Ellen McCormack property consists of 1,016 deeply subsidized apartments and row houses.

The $1.6 billion redevelopment effort will demolish the 27 three-story brick buildings in four phases over multiple years. The current proposal calls for rebuilding the site with approximately 3,000 new units, including replacing all existing subsidized units and creating workforce (middle-income) as well as market-rate apartments and homeownership condominiums. In addition, all units, regardless of affordability level, will be of identical quality and integrated evenly among the newly constructed buildings.

The WinnDevelopment plan was one of five proposals that BHA received for the South Boston redevelopment. A selection committee comprised of residents of the Mary Ellen McCormack development and BHA staff reviewed plans and interviewed all teams that submitted proposals. The WinnDevelopment team received high points for its demonstrated model for strong resident partnerships and robust resident services, according to BHA leaders.

“Mary Ellen is a community that is near and dear to me; in fact I call it home,” said BHA administrator Bill McGonagle, who grew up in the development. “Preserving housing developments by creating partnerships with developers who understand the value of community is key to maintaining our housing stock in this city. I am pleased with the selection of Winn and look forward to working with the residents and the development team.”

WinnDevelopment announced that the AFL-CIO Housing Investment Trust will serve as the financing partner for the project, creating access to the capital needed to rebuild the 27-acre site into a vibrant mixed-income community.

“We are grateful for the chance to partner with the McCormack residents, the BHA, and the city of Boston to redevelop this community into a first-class, mixed-income neighborhood,” said WinnCompanies CEO Gilbert Winn. “We recognize the property is old and therefore requires a major redevelopment effort. Our goal then, is to move through the formal approval process as quickly as possible while paying close attention to resident and community input.”

Joining WinnDevelopment, which will lead the development team, and WinnResidential, which will oversee property management and resident services, are:

· Architect: The Architectural Team;

· Landscape Architect: Copley Wolff Design Group;

· Transportation, Permitting & Civil Engineer: Vanasse Hangen Brustlin;

· Sustainability & Green Design: New Ecology;

· Project Management Consultant: Pinck & Co.;

· Marketing Consultant: The Concord Group; and

· Legal: DLA Piper (permitting), Murtha Cullina (transactional), Nixon Peabody (HUD), and Squire Patton Boggs (bond counsel).

Editor's Note: An earlier version of the story incorrectly reported that the Mary Ellen McCormack redevelopment is taking part in the Rental Assistance Demonstration program.