Behind The Scenes
Creating Equitable Development: Blue Hill Avenue Action Plan B3 and B4 Development Proposals
After almost a year of organizing, gathering community input, and strategizing, the Blue Hill Avenue Action Plan is well under way. In December of 2021, the Public Facilities Department (PFD) and the Mayor’s Office of Housing designated eight out of thirty lots, stretching from Franklin Field to Morton Street on Blue Hill Avenue, to development. In the ten months since, Studio Luz Architects has assisted on this B1 Sites project with Developer Dariela Villon-Maga of DVM Consulting.
In late September, with the onboarding of developers Juan Barahona of SMJ Development and Adler Bernadin and Duane Boyce of Norfolk Design & Construction, Studio Luz Architects participated in the latest phase of B3 and B4 Requests for Proposals, including community feedback driven through the Mayor’s Office of Housing (MOH) during a virtual presentation. As the office leading affordable housing and related services in Boston, MOH seeks to implement and adhere to policies that will create racial equity in housing in the City of Boston and the Greater Boston region. Studio Luz, SMJ Development, and Norfolk Design & Construction presented three joint proposals for three sites. Brought together by Principal Architect Hansy Better Barraza, this collaboration aligns with MOH’s dedication to tapping developers of color with strong community values to transform the vacant parcels of land on Blue Hill Avenue with local businesses and amenities in mind.
Our vision for the three sites connects homeownership units and artist live/work spaces with educational spaces for the trade related construction field, community gathering areas, and commercial retail spaces to support the local businesses. Flexible public spaces provide places to network professionally and foster community.After presenting our proposals to over 100 participants in the virtual conference in late September, all designs were open to community feedback through mid-October. Now closed for final review, the MOH will make final decisions and move into the city planning phase, with collaboration from the Office of Economic Development, BPDA, and Blue Hill Avenue Transportation Action Plan.
See more from our proposal below and stay tuned for more information regarding the future of the Blue Hill Avenue Action Plan.