Amory Residences wins "Affordable Project of the Year" Award

For several years, Boston's suburbs have bloomed with revitalization efforts. But one industrial site on the border of Roxbury and Jamaica Plains, Mass., is only now getting a much-needed second look. At the center of it all: Amory Residences, a 64-unit affordable rental housing community built on the site of a former towing lot and car wash. The property, designed by Somerville, Mass.- based Mostue & Associates Architects, marks the first redevelopment efforts and sets the stage for the rebirth of a nearby vacant warehouse and large empty parcel of land.

Because of Amory's unique position as the first facelift, the community and city closely monitored the building's construction to ensure the project set a strong example for future development both in terms of aesthetic appeal and functionality. The intense process included 12-plus meetings with community groups and nearly 20 sessions with the city. Groups pushed for a pedestrian-friendly building with meaningful public spaces, functioning traffic flow and strong street presence.

The end product, developed by Housing Investments and Urban Edge, did just that: The units, available to residents who earn up to 60 percent of the area's median income, are scattered among three architecturally distinct buildings that recall the varying characters of the neighborhood. Close to one-third of the homes resemble town homes with private entrances and stoops. Short colorful hallways on the building's upper floors give a personal touch to the more traditionally designed units.