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WinnCompanies Presses Ahead On Southie Housing Project

A portion of the 27-acre Mary Ellen McCormack housing complex

A $1.6B proposal to transform a South Boston housing project into a mixed-income neighborhood is quickly advancing. 

The Boston Housing Authority announced Aug. 10 it had chosen WinnCompanies from a group of competing developers to redevelop the 27-acre Mary Ellen McCormack complex in South Boston, the Boston Globe reports. The BHA has looked to partner with private developers to update older facilities and then allow the firm to construct market-rate units on the remaining land. Corcoran Jennison Associates and SunCal are planning a similar project with their One Charlestown development at a Bunker Hill housing project. 

Winn’s proposal calls for replacing the 1,016 subsidized housing units with 3,139 units that will also include middle-income and market-rate housing. The market-rate buildings would be at least 10 stories high along the Southeast Expressway. The roughly 2,000 residents who live in the complex would be relocated during construction and have the right to return when the redevelopment is complete.

Winn announced Wednesday the AFL-CIO Housing Investment Trust will be the financing partner on the redevelopment. The AFL-CIO HIT is a $6B investment fund that has invested nearly $400M in 12 Boston developments in the last eight years. Stephen Coyle, its CEO, is a former director of the Boston Redevelopment Authority

“These investments represented over $1B in total development investment and spurred $1.5B in total economic impact in Boston’s neighborhoods,” AFL-CIO HIT Chief Operating Officer Ted Chandler said in a statement. “The redevelopment of the Mary Ellen McCormack community will create similar opportunities.”