The future of Brighton Mills and Mattapan's Olmsted Green

On Tuesday, June 10 the Allston/Brighton North Neighbors Forum is meeting at 6:30 at the Gardner School to discuss our plan for the redevelopment of the Brighton Mills Shopping Center and other nearby properties. We believe that our plan is a superior alternative to the Charlesview plan that was proposed earlier this year for a portion of the Brighton Mills site, and we hope you will join us on Tuesday.

Six miles south of Brighton Mills, a new mixed-income community is being built that is another possible model for what development in our neighborhood might be. It is called Olmsted Green and it is featured in this story in today's New York Times.

Olmstead Green is a 523 unit, mixed-use, mixed-income development on 42 acres of the former Boston State Hospital in Mattapan. It includes 287 market-rate units (a mix of condos and apartments), 83 units of affordable senior housing, and 153 units of affordable and work-force rental housing. It is the result of a partnership between the Lena Park CDC and the New Boston Fund and has been lauded by Mayor Menino and Governor Patrick.

Most units are 2 or 3 story townhomes with 2 or 3 bedrooms. Condos will be priced from $278,000 to $550,000.

The Times describes Olmsted Green as "a truly mixed-income, sustainable development where there is no discernible difference between market rate and affordable units".

Amenities include a health and fitness facility, a job-training and education center, child care, youth and senior programs, an urban farm, and free shuttles to nearby public transportation stops.

Olmstead Green was designed by ICON Architecture, the firm recently hired by Harvard University to work on the areas where Harvard's future campus will meet the Allston and Brighton community.

There are differences but also many similarities between the ABNNF plan and Olmsted Green. Both are examples of new, integrated neighborhoods that can fit well into existing Boston communities.

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