Beacon, BHA Excited to Begin Partnership for Lenox Redevelopment

The Boston Housing Authority (BHA) and Beacon Communities will begin the review process on Jan. 8 for their full redevelopment of 285 units of public housing in 12 buildings at the Lenox Apartments in the South End.

Interim BHA Director Kate Bennett said the Authority has entered into a long-term ground lease with Beacon to redevelop the properties – much as it did at neighboring Camden Apartments a few years ago.

“We have the protections in the agreement that we need, and it will be 100 percent affordable as it is now,” she said.

The project will not be a mixed-income approach to renovating the development as has been the case in some of the BHA’s renovations, but rather a one-to-one replacement of the units by renovating the buildings. While the BHA will retain long-term ownership of the property, the buildings will be owned by Beacon under the terms of the ground lease.

“They have partnered with us already at Old Colony and Camden previously,” said Bennett. “The bottom line for us is we’re excited it’s moving forward. We’ve been able to complete the first phase at Camden next door and we’re excited to get going at Lenox.”

Dara Kovel, of Beacon Communities, said they have set a goal to work with the BHA, Mass Housing and their investor to start work on the rehabilitation of Lenox in 2020.

“Beacon is thrilled to partner again with the Boston Housing Authority to implement this extensive renovation of the historic Lenox Apartments,” she said. “This transformation will improve this critical affordable housing resource in Boston for 285 families for many decades to come.”

The partnership was officially announced by former, late BHA Director Bill McGonagle last summer on site at Lenox.

The first review meeting held by the Boston Planning and Development Agency (BPDA) will be on Jan. 8, at 6:30 p.m., in the Mandela Homes, 1855 Washington St.

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