The project is still in the design stage, but Horizons for Homeless Children may become an anchor tenant in a proposed new Roxbury office building exclusively for nonprofits and social service organizations.
“What I’d love to see in the building are organizations that specifically serve the needs of homeless and lower-income families,” says Kate Barrand, CEO of Horizons, which runs early education programs and builds play spaces in shelters.
With that one-stop shopping, she adds, “they could drop their child off in our center and then go upstairs to access” job training, financial literacy, mentoring, and similar services.
The project is the brainchild of Jeff Goodman, owner of WaterMark Development, a small Boston construction company he runs with his son out of the old White Rock bottling plant at 1705 Columbus Ave.
On three adjacent parcels (a parking lot, an auto repair shop, and a decrepit structure), Goodman wants to construct a five-story, 115,000-square-foot building and lease it only to social sector tenants. “A lot of nonprofits are getting pushed out of downtown or South End locations,” Goodman says, “so we think there’s a real need for a nonprofit space.”
Rents would be market rate, so there may be no financial advantage to leasing there. But Goodman says the building would have nice synergy with the nearby cluster of nonprofits on Amory Street in Jamaica Plain, including AIDS Action Committee, Bikes Not Bombs, City Life/Vida Urbana, and Ethos.
Horizons is already on board. Currently headquartered in WaterMark’s existing building, it has agreed to move to the new one as a codevelopment partner that would own its portion of the space.
If permits are approved, Goodman expects the building, which would be near the Jackson Square MBTA station on the Orange Line, to open by mid-2019.
Kraft donates $10 million to Jewish philanthropy
Robert Kraft’s family name will soon show up on a downtown building to reflect the $10 million that he gave to its owner, Combined Jewish Philanthropies, to jump-start a $15.6 million renovation project.
The New England Patriots owner quietly gave the money to the nonprofit last year. CJP president Barry Shrage says he had hoped to keep the donation a secret until the renovations were done.
“There were a lot of questions being asked so we figured it was time to lay it out,” Shrage says.
The nine-story, 55,000-square-foot building, at 126 High St., will be called the Kraft Family Building at Combined Jewish Philanthropies. The boardroom will be named after Kraft’s late wife, Myra, and there will be space dedicated to education that will honor Kraft’s late father, Harry.
Kraft and Shrage developed a friendship soon after Shrage took CJP’s top job nearly 30 years ago.
Myra Kraft became a board member at CJP, and she had a stint as board chair.
Shrage says he turned to Kraft for help about 18 months ago after it became clear the offices needed to be updated.
Shrage says he hopes the work will be done by the fall, in time for a grand opening celebration in late September. Yes, that’s football season.
Shrage, of course, will work around Kraft’s busy schedule to help ensure he can attend.
A very awkward moment on the ‘Today Show’
And speaking of the Patriots, there was only one way to describe last week’s on-air exchange between NBC Boston’s morning anchors and “Today Show” cohost Matt Lauer: awkward!
During its debut week, NBC Boston, the newest television station in town, has been presenting gifts with a New England theme to the staff of the “Today Show.”
On Wednesday, Nick Emmons and Melody Mendez gave Lauer a Tom Brady jersey.
“We know it’s something you will wear proudly,” Mendez said.
“This one hurts a little,” he said. “I’m appreciative. I’m never one to look a gift horse in the mouth . . . I am a lifelong Giants fan, though.”
Lauer didn’t stop there.
He went on to say that, in return, perhaps he should send NBC Boston the New York Giants’ last two Super Bowl rings.
Katie Couric, who was filling in for “Today Show” cohost Savannah Guthrie, had to remind Lauer to be sensitive.
“You know you have a Boston audience watching this, Matt,” she said. “You should know your audience.”
Only then did Lauer reluctantly give No. 12 his due. “I am not a New England hater when it comes to the Patriots,” Lauer clarified.
“I think Tom Brady is an extraordinary, extraordinary quarterback.”
Women’s institute’s new chief shifts the focus
When it was founded 20 years ago, the Commonwealth Institute’s mission to advance women-led businesses focused on women in traditional corporate leadership roles.
With the hiring of Elizabeth L. Hailer as executive director, the nonprofit is now looking to shed the business suit and court a new generation of female entrepreneurs in startups and biotech.
This is familiar territory for Hailer, who led a case study several years ago on social media’s growing influence on marketing and generating business leads.
Her appointment makes Hailer only the second executive director in the organization’s history.
As founder of Hailer Marketing Associates with more than 30 years’ experience in business development, Hailer was selected over 45 other candidates in a four-month search to replace Aileen Gorman, who stepped down last month after nearly two decades.
Pam Reeve, who chairs the nonprofit organization’s board of directors, said in a statement that Hailer’s “devotion to advancing women in business made Elizabeth the right person to take on the leadership of The Commonwealth Institute. . . . [As] we position TCI for the next two decades.”
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