On Monday, June 9th the Somerville Community Corporation commemorated the completion of Saint Polycarp Village Phase III with a ribbon cutting ceremony. Guest speakers included Congressman Michael Capuano, Mayor Joseph Curtatone, Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development Undersecretary Aaron Gornstein, and HUD Regional Administrator Barbara Fields, among other notable local leaders and Village residents (see video)
The Saint Polycarp Village site was formerly owned by the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston and was used by the St. Polycarp Parish until 2002. SCC purchased the 3.5 acre property in March 2006 to revitalize this neglected and underutilized parcel of land at a key entrance point into Somerville (click on the video link at the end of this article to see images from the groundbreaking and time-capsule ceremonies). Now complete, the site creates a vibrant smart growth community with 84 affordable rental units, commercial space, a church, a transitional home for single mothers and their children, and open space.
The Saint Polycarp Village Phase III is the final of 3 phases of new construction on the site. This project includes 31 affordable apartments in an elevator building around a courtyard. Eight units are affordable to very low income families with project-based Section 8 subsidies, including two apartments reserve for homeless households and three for people with disabilities. The majority of families will complete their
move-in by the end of June, and 53 families are already living in the Phase I and II buildings.
New residents are quick to express their appreciation for the high-quality, affordable housing. Maria Salmeron, a Phase 3 resident and featured speaker for Monday’s ceremony says, “Thanks to SCC for building apartments for low-income families. This has allowed me to stay in the community as it develops and be part of the community where my kids are in school.”
All three phases of the village have a strong focus on open space, green construction and environmentally-friendly features, such as energy conservation and air purification systems, and a rain garden to collect storm water naturally on site. Phase I has a LEED Silver award, Phase II is LEED Silver certifiable, Phase III is both Energy Star Version 3 and LEED Platinum, the highest green honor awarded o new developments.
The buildings are designed for smart growth, and are located in, transit friendly, walkable neighborhood of Winter Hill, reducing the need for car trips and giving people more opportunity to get exercise by walking.
“SCC has developed a substantial track record now in sustainable development. We are particularly grateful to Davis Square Architects, New Ecology and our General Contractor, Dellbrook Construction, for working so diligently with us in furthering our sustainable development goals”, said Scott Hayman,SCC’s Director of Real Estate.
Saint Polycarp Village Apartments received financing through the City of Somerville, the Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD), MassHousing, Community Economic Development Assistance Corporation (CEDAC), Massachusetts Housing Partnership (MHP), First Sterling Financial, Bank of New York Mellon Bank of America, Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC), Enterprise Foundation, US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).