Historic Boston and TACC Named to Develop Upham's Corner Comfort in Dorchester
BOSTON, MA The Boston Department of Neighborhood Development has designated the redevelopment of the historic Upham's Corner Comfort in Dorchester to the partnership of Historic Boston Inc. and The American City Coalition.
Historic Boston Inc. and The American City Coalition are working with Noah Hicks, founder of Dorchester's Bowdoin Bike School, to repurpose the existing Comfort Station into The Bike Kitchen, a full-service bicycle shop and cafÃ©, creating a sustainable future for this neglected and important historic structure.
"The Comfort Station is an important part of Upham's Corner's history," said Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh. "We are thrilled to see it returned to use, and look forward to the continued revitalization of this important neighborhood."
The joint proposal for the Comfort Station reflects the objectives of both nonprofit organizations to strengthen the Upham's Corner business district through their combined expertise in real estate development, historic preservation, and economic development.
Kathy Kottaridis, Executive Director of Historic Boston Inc., said, "Our project brings back an important but at-risk building and demonstrates that HBI's model of preservation-based development can create economic opportunity for entrepreneurs like Noah Hicks."
"This project continues the positive economic development in Upham's Corner," said Neil McCullagh, Executive Director of The American City Coalition. "TACC is thrilled to support this early, close partnership between developer and tenant because we know the renovation and use of this building will have a catalytic impact on this neighborhood."
The proposal, chosen from among four contenders by the Department for Neighborhood Development, would restore the 1922 Comfort Station, empty since 1977, not only preserving it but also maintaining its connection with the history of public transportation at this Dorchester crossroad. It would reactivate the building with a new business, The Bike Kitchen, a bike repair shop and cafÃ©, which will fill a need in the neighborhood and generate new jobs and training opportunities.
Historic Boston Inc. will be the real estate developer and long-term owner of the property. HBI will structure the project's financing and oversee all phases of design, engineering, and construction. The project is expected to require use of the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Tax Credit, which HBI will seek from the Massachusetts Historical Commission.
The American City Coalition is a minority partner whose technical assistance to the project includes; ongoing business support services to the prospective tenant for the redeveloped Comfort Station, financial support for pre-development costs including architectural and planning project support that includes site design, structural assessment, and cost estimation, coordinating community outreach and presentation of the project to the Upham's Corner community, and providing ongoing support for pre-development and fundraising for the capital and operational costs.
Entrepreneur Noah Hicks, owner of Bowdoin Street Bikes, will be the tenant and will operate it as a combination full-service bike shop and cafÃ©. The architect for the development is Utile, Inc. Architecture + Planning.