Boost for Codman Sq.: New building will feature housing units

Under construction: Levedo building near Codman SquareUnder construction: Levedo building near Codman Square

More affordable housing is coming to Codman Square: In the works since 2007, the Codman Square Neighborhood Development Corporation started construction earlier this year on the 36,781 square-foot Levedo Building, which will include 24 affordable rental units and commercial sites.

The address is 245 Talbot Ave., on the corner of Mallard Ave. Construction, which was begun in late January, is expected to be finished by January 2011, with full occupancy by the following April.
Matt Henzy, the project manager, said the Levedo, which is being built on a lot formerly occupied by an automotive business, will aid in the renewal of the neighborhood’s commercial sector. The building will also have solar panels, he added.

Henzy and others familiar with the neighborhood say that affordable housing is desperately needed. “We don’t have vacancy problems,” he said of the NDC’s other properties.

Demand for affordable housing is “always off the charts,” he said.

Levedo projectLevedo projectThe project also includes a transit-orientated focus, because of the new Talbot Ave. commuter rail station, part of the nine-mile Fairmount Line, being built nearby. Construction on the station is expected to start this summer, according to the MBTA. “Our focus of doing real estate development near the new stations is in play here,” Henzy told the Reporter.

Founded in 1981, the organization has developed more than 700 units of affordable housing and over 40,000 square feet of commercial space. “That’s what we typically would do and now we would try to do it near the commuter rail stations,” Henzy said.

Added state Rep. Marty Walsh, whose office wrote a letter of support when the project started up in 2007: “There’s always a need for more affordable housing.” Help with housing is the second-most requested service of his State House office, he said.

Others have also written letters of support for the project, including City Councillor Charles Yancey and community activist Cynthia Loesch.

Financial support is coming from a variety of public and private sources: the city of Boston, the state’s housing stabilization fund, the Mass Housing Partnership, low income housing tax credits from Bank of America and Enterprise Community Investment, Inc., the Massachusetts Development Authority, and Neighborworks America.

The marketing and management of the building will be handled by Winn Residential.

“CSNDC is pleased to add The Levedo Building to our legacy of well designed, well-built, and well-managed mixed income rental and homeownership housing in our service area,” Gail Latimore, the NDC’s executive director, said in a statement that thanked the financial supporters and partners of the project. “With Levedo and moving forward we will continue to enhance the quality of life for all residents of Codman Square and to foster the stabilization of the community.”