The site of the former St. Therese church in Everett will soon see new life as a mixed-use development focused on the housing and health care needs of local seniors.
The Neighborhood Developers recently began constructing 77 affordable rental apartments for adults aged 62 and up at Broadway and Gledhill Avenue. The new building will include a ground-floor health care center for the tenants and other seniors that East Boston Neighborhood Health Center will operate through a partnership with TND.
The $33 million project also involves erecting six adjacent three-bedroom townhouses to be sold at affordable prices with no age restrictions, according to Rafael Mares, executive director of Chelsea-based TND.
The project, which has been warmly received by city officials, marks the first undertaken in Everett by the nonprofit, which owns and manages 461 rental apartments in Chelsea and Revere, many of which it developed.
“Everett is a neighboring community to Chelsea and Revere and has similar demographics,” Mares said. “There is a practical need in Everett for affordable housing for seniors so people can age in place in the community. So we felt compelled to offer our help and play whatever role we could in Everett.”
He said TND included a health care center in the project to enhance its goal of creating a place that could fully support people in their older years. Because it serves a similar region, East Boston Neighborhood Health Center was the “perfect partner” in that effort.
“We are excited about this and hope it can be a future model in our region and beyond,” Mares said of combining affordable senior housing and health care on one site.
East Boston Neighborhood Health Center maintains facilities in Boston, Revere, and Winthrop, including four community health centers, and three centers that operate under Program of All-inclusive Care for the Elderly, or PACE, a federal program which provides comprehensive care for older people with complex medical conditions, according to Greg Wilmot, East Boston’s senior vice president and chief operating officer.
The future Everett health center will serve PACE as well as regular primary care patients. But Wilmot said the focus will be employing PACE to provide medical and home health care services to tenants and other seniors that can help them remain independent.
“We know well that when seniors are able to stay in their communities, they are going to have better health outcomes,” he said, “and this partnership is going to give us a great opportunity to do that for the Everett community.”
St. Therese parish closed in 2004. TND purchased most of the site from the Archdiocese of Boston in 2018 after acquiring the remaining portion from another owner in 2017. The project is being financed with the help of federal and state low-income housing tax credits.
The church and other buildings have all been demolished. But Maras said TND is taking care to honor the history of the parish, including naming the development “St. Therese” and installing an interpretive exhibit about the church in a small park that it is renovating.
The rental units must be affordable to people earning up to 60 percent of area median income; with a portion affordable to those earning up to 30 percent of the median. Tenants above the 30 percent median will pay about $1,296 for a one-bedroom, and $1,550 for a two-bedroom. Other rents will be income-based. Townhouse prices will likely range from $235,000-$390,000.
The future apartment building will enjoy such common amenities as a large community room and a fitness center, along with activities that could range from cooking classes to potlucks and holiday celebrations. TND staff will also assist them in accessing services.
The project is set for completion in May 2022.
John Laidler can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.