Construction on Charlesview Apartment Complex Progresses

The first phase of the construction of the new Charlesview apartment complex in Allston-Brighton is 70 percent complete, according to The Community Builders, Inc., one of the projects co-developers.

The relocation of the 208 families from the old Charlesview apartments to the new apartment complex will begin in mid-June and continue through early September, according to TCB Project Manager James Madden.

In a 2007 land swap, Harvard traded a six-acre plot near the Brighton Mills shopping center where the new Charlesview complex will stand for the current Charlesview site, which sits adjacent to the Harvard Business School.

Phase one of the Charlesview development includes the construction of 240 rental units to replace those in old Charlesview as well as the creation of business units, a community center, a public park, and an underground parking lot.

After the completion of phase one, TCB plans to build 20 houses which they hope to complete in the late fall and early winter.

Throughout the process, Stephanie Anderson Garnett, the director of communications for TCB, emphasized TCB’s commitment to delivering on a “promise made by Harvard and TCB” for a complex which contains “a mix of incomes.”

According to Madden, residents of the old Charlesview site were at first hesitant to leave, but are now more optimistic about the shift.

“People are jazzed to move,” he said.

Mariano Beecher, Housing Opportunities Unlimited relocation coordinator, echoed Madden’s statement.

“The majority of residents have a generally positive attitude [of] the move,” Beecher said. “This is an opportunity to move into units that are not dilapidated and falling apart at the seams.”

Housing Opportunities Unlimited, the firm hired by TCB to handle the relocation of the residents, has held 20 community meetings in the last six months to address community concerns on the move, Beecher said.

Beecher also said that HOU is offering Charlesview residents a number of benefits, including covering the cost of the move.

Charlesview residents expressed mixed feelings about the relocation.

“We like it here,” Maria A. Osorio said. “I don’t know the new place.”

Raisa Shapiro, another Charlesview resident, said that while she was excited about the new apartments, she was not looking forward to the move.

“I’m 71 and I have to go someplace,” she said. “But of course it will be much, much better than here. For once we’ll be out of leaks and mice and rats.”

—Staff writer Marco J. Barber Grossi can be reached at mbarbergrossi@college.harvard.edu. Follow him @marco_jbg.

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