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Lawrence Proposal Wins Housing Competition

A four-parcel, scattered-site proposal to provide affordable rental housing in Lawrence, Massachusetts was the winner of the 14th annual Affordable Housing Development Competition.

The AlmaViva team received the first place award in the 2014 competition.

The awards were announced April 30 at an awards ceremony at the Boston Society of Architects/AIA.

Proposed by a student team from Boston University, Harvard University, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, in collaboration with the nonprofit Lawrence Community Works, AlmaViva provides 33 rental units, mostly two- and three-bedroom apartments for very low-income and extremely low-income families. The new construction and historic rehabilitation will restore the streetscape along the neighborhood's traditional commercial corridor. A neighborhood education center, bike shop and cycling advocacy center, and an early childhood day care center will help meet community needs.

Architectural rendering of the AlmaViva proposal

Receiving the second place award was XIN-50, a mixed-use, mixed-income development with 220 rental units, including 40 percent set aside as affordable, in Boston's Chinatown. Proposed by a student team from Harvard University and Northeastern University, in collaboration with the nonprofit Asian Community Development Corporation, Xin-50 provides a blend of studio and one-, two-, and three-bedroom units. The ground floor includes 24,000 square feet of commercial space to be leased to an existing Asian grocery store and community anchor.

The Xin-50 team received the second place award in the 2014 competition.

Winning third place was Jackson Spring, a proposal to provide a mix of affordable and market-rate housing near an MBTA station in the Jamaica Plain-Roxbury section of Boston. The development includes 168 units, with 114 mixed-income rental residential units and 54 mixed-income ownership units. The 13,500 square feet of ground-floor commercial space includes a café and market. The proposal was developed by a student team from Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, in collaboration with the nonprofit The Community Builders, Inc.

The Jackson Spring team received the third place award in the 2014 competition.

Sponsored by the Federal Home Loan Bank of Boston; Kevin P. Martin & Associates, P.C.; Boston Society of Architects/AIA; ICON architecture, inc.; and Citizens' Housing and Planning Association, the competition pairs teams of talented graduate students with affordable-housing organizations to develop innovative and comprehensive development proposals addressing the needs of these organizations.

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