Doña Betsaida Gutiérrez Cooperative is nearly complete
Officials will welcome families into 36 new apartments this month after receiving more than 1,500 applications
Anyone living near Hyde Square shouldn't be surprised if they see a few new neighbors this autumn.
Within the month, local developers said they will open the doors to 36 apartments at the Doña Betsaida Gutiérrez Cooperative now standing at the corner of Centre and Creighton Streets.
"We're wrapping up construction at the Gutiérrez building," said Brian Goldson, a contractor of the Boston-based New Atlantic Development. "We are on target to finish in a couple weeks. All that's left of the landscaping is the final grading."
The cooperative occupies the southwest corner of the former 3.2 acre Blessed Sacrament church campus, and is named after community activist Doña Betsaida Gutiérrez.
A ribbon cutting ceremony to officially unveil the cooperative has tentatively been scheduled for Oct. 30, said Sally Swenson of the Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Development Corporation. Swenson said she hoped attendees would include mayor Thomas Menino and the governor.
At the ceremony, officials will have the chance to acknowledge the $9.75 million in federal stimulus funds that helped developers begin construction last spring. In March of 2009, the JPNDC and New Atlantic Development applied for grants and were awarded the money through the 2009 federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
"Being able to welcome the 36 families who will be moving in is exactly what this neighborhood's residents, and Doña Betsaida herself, fought for and envisioned when we set out to keep Blessed Sacrament in community hands," said Swenson.
Only low-income renters are eligible to live in the apartments, and tenants will pay monthly rent equivalent to between 30 and 60 percent of their income, according to the JPNDC.
The low rent, as well as the attractive location of the apartments in Hyde Square and plans for a community courtyard in adjacent space, has assured the JPNDC that the cooperative will open without any vacancies.
More than 1,500 applications have been filed by apartment-seekers with Peabody Properties, the Braintree-based housing management firm in charge of selecting renters, for just the 36 units.
A representative from Peabody Properties said they expected the selection lottery to be completed by mid-October, and Goldson said he expected most future residents would finish moving into the building by the end of November.
Along with the new apartments, the first floor of the cooperative will also house retail stores. Goldson and Swenson said the JPNDC is in talks with possible business tenants, but have not yet signed any retailers to the space.
The Gutiérrez cooperative will be the fourth building overall that developers have opened at the Hyde Square site, following the opening of an adjacent 16-unit residential building called Creighton Commons last December, said Goldson.