As Newton moves forward on a proposal to transform the West Newton armory into affordable housing, the city is seeking public comment on the latest step in the process.
Newton’s Planning and Development Department released a draft request for proposals to solicit potential plans from developers, according to Mayor Ruthanne Fuller.
The public is welcome to submit comments on the draft to firstname.lastname@example.org by June 1. “Our plan is to release the final RFP in mid-June with a submission deadline by affordable housing developers in mid-September,” Fuller said in a statement.
The 30,000-square-foot armory building, erected more than 100 years ago, is located on about three quarters of an acre at 1135-1137 Washington St.
Earlier this year, the city purchased the armory for $1 from the state with the goal of converting it entirely into affordable housing, according to the draft request for proposals.
Fuller proposed the armory housing project in 2019, and last year a city panel recommended pursuing the effort. Under the city’s plan, the property would be leased to a developer to convert and manage the development as affordable housing.
According to the city’s draft request for proposals, the affordable housing would be limited to households earning no more than 80 percent of the area median income, which is $119,000 for a family of four, according to the city.
“Going beyond legal mandates, proposals for rental housing [that] target households at the deepest level of affordability will be highly preferred,” the city said in the draft document.
Proposals that make an effort to respect the historic building would be considered “highly advantageous,” according to the draft document.
“Proposals should also clearly relay how the design provides for a highly-livable and comfortable environment for the intended residents,” according to the draft document.
A copy of the armory RFP is available on the city’s website.
John Hilliard can be reached at email@example.com.