An architectural model of the new Charlesview complex was on display at the groundbreaking ceremony at Brighton Mills May 16. The new facility will provide working families in Allston-Brighton with home-ownership opportunities while bringing new life to the neighborhood.

Stephanie Mitchell/Harvard Staff Photographer

Campus & Community

Working toward a new Charlesview

3 min read

Harvard-backed project to create homes, jobs

The development of quality homes for the residents of the 40-year-old, 213-unit Charlesview Apartment complex at Barry’s Corner took a big step forward when officials from the city of Boston, Harvard University, and the state broke ground on a new building at Brighton Mills on May 16. The new facility will also provide working families in Allston-Brighton with home-ownership opportunities while bringing new life to the neighborhood.

“In Boston, we build housing for all of our people; that’s what Charlesview is all about,” said Mayor Thomas M. Menino.

“It will provide beautiful new homes for families, revitalize and enliven a section of our city, and add much-needed jobs,” he continued, noting that it will create 300 construction jobs — all union.

The new Charlesview received financial and regulatory support from partners in the public, private, and nonprofit sectors, including the city of Boston, the state Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Charlesview Inc., The Community Builders (TCB), the AFL-CIO Housing Investment Trust, and Harvard.

“Anything this complex, with this many moving parts and transactions, has a million reasons for never happening and yet we’re here today to celebrate that it is,” said Pat Clancy, president and CEO of The Community Builders, Charlesview’s development partner. He emphasized the mayor’s leadership in making sure the project moved forward and noted the role of all partners, including Harvard.

“The thing that sets Boston apart is its support of housing for everyone,” said Christine Heenan, Harvard’s vice president of public affairs and communications, who highlighted the University’s ongoing support of affordable housing through Harvard 20/20/2000 low-interest loans. “Boston in so many ways is America’s first great city, Harvard is in so many ways an educational institution that likes to set the standard, and this project in a short time will also set the standard for green, well-developed, community-sensitive housing for all families.”

The new Charlesview will be constructed on nearly 9 acres of Harvard-owned land in the Brighton Mills Shopping Center, just a few blocks up Western Avenue from the current Charlesview, which the University made available in a mutually beneficial land exchange for the current 4.5-acre site. It will be built in two phases. Phase 1 includes 260 units of affordable housing and home-ownership opportunities, as well as a half-acre park, 14,000 square feet of retail, and a community center. Phase 2 will include 80 home-ownership units.