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Boston Starts New Chapter For West End Library, Picking Team For Housing Redevelopment

Preservation of Affordable Housing and Caste Capital were chosen to redevelop the West End library.

Boston has awarded a team rights to redevelop a library with affordable housing in the West End.

Preservation of Affordable Housing and Caste Capital were given a tentative designation to redevelop the West End library to include 119 income-restricted housing units, Mayor Michelle Wu's administration announced Wednesday. The development would also replace the existing library with a new two-story branch. 

The Boston Public Facilities Commission awarded the tentative designation. 

“The response to the RFP was significant, with many talented development teams submitting high-quality proposals,” Boston Chief of Housing Sheila Dillon said in a statement. “We look forward to working with POAH, Caste Capital, and the community to shape this development proposal.”

The 12-story development would have units ranging from studios to three-bedrooms. Of the 119 units, 40 units would be set aside for those earning up to 30% of the area median income, with 79 units affordable to those earning up to 80% AMI. Twenty of the most deeply affordable units would be created through a Boston Housing Authority subsidy. 

The new library is planned to be 70% larger than the existing branch and will undergo a programming study to see what new offerings it can include, such as a new community room, a teen room, an outdoor space and a learning lab. 

The city released its request for proposals in April, envisioning a mixed-use development up to 10 stories with the new library on the first floor. The city has been discussing the future of the library branch since the fall of 2021.

Seven other teams responded to the RFP, including Beacon Communities and Caribbean Integration Community Development, Trinity Financial and Norfolk Design & Construction, and Pennrose.