1974: The highway is defeated! The proposed 8-lane “Southwest Expressway” would have slashed through Boston neighborhoods from Roxbury to I-95 in Dedham.
A coalition of neighborhood activists, historic preservationists, urban environmentalists, and mass transit advocates came together to defeat the initiative. Unfortunately, hundreds of homes and businesses had already been taken by eminent domain and bulldozed, creating a vast and blighted corridor.
1975: A Jamaica Plain activist testifies about redlining (basically, denial of mortgages in non-White neighborhoods) before the US Senate. Similar research and mobilization across the country result in the landmark 1977 Community Reinvestment Act and new requirements for bank accountability.
1976: Under the auspices of ESAC, activists who had fought the highway and redlining led an 18-month planning process involving 150 residents to answer the question “what do we want for our community?”
1977: JPNDC is incorporated!
1978: Through one of its first programs, Tradewinds, JPNDC works with young people to renovate 57 homes along the Southwest Corridor.
1980: The three-year-old JPNDC faces financial crisis, resolved when federal grants are approved to renovate the Brewery and develop the Angela Westover House.
1983: JPNDC buys the Haffenreffer Brewery, 16 historic buildings constructed between 1870 and the early 1900s. The brewery ceased operations in 1965.
Damaged by fire and nearly 20 years of neglect, the 5-acre site is redeveloped in phases over the next 25 years.
JPNDC’s first housing project, the Angela Westover House, also opens in 1983 as congregate housing for 11 frail seniors. Project architect Jan Wampler receives a design award from the American Institute of Architects.
1985: JPNDC spearheads the JP Community Planning Coalition, which brings together a Hispanic Caucus and 18 groups to create guidelines for future development.
The Brewery gains its anchor tenant: the once-microbrewery Boston Beer Company, brewer of Samuel Adams Boston Lager.
1989-1990: Tenants and City Life/Vida Urbana organize to protect the building at Forest Hills St. and Glen Road from drug dealers and condo conversion; the JPNDC buys the property and develops it as the Forest Glen Cooperative.
1991: Following several gang-related killings, JPNDC begins its pivotal work in the primarily Latino and African-American Hyde/Jackson neighborhood.
Over the next decade it creates dozens of new homes, a community garden, and a supermarket and health center.
1993: Designed with deep neighborhood engagement, JPNDC’s 43-unit Hyde Square Cooperative replaces vacant lots where homes had been destroyed by arson. The coop wins an award for Excellence in Design from the Boston Society of Architects.
1996: The Jackson Square Stop & Shop and a new state-of-the-art home for the Martha Eliot Health Center are developed by a unique partnership among JPNDC, Bromley-Heath Tenant Management Corporation and a private developer. The project creates a food oasis as the first major supermarket to open in Boston’s inner city in more than 15 years.
1997: JPNDC takes a transformative step beyond its roots in housing and The Brewery, piloting three new programs focused on human development: jobs, childcare, and small business.
25 years later, in 2022, these programs together serve more than 800 families from across Boston.
1998: The 45-unit Nate Smith House opens for low-income seniors on the corner of Paul Gore and Lamartine Streets. Tenants and neighbors had fought the site’s previous owner for over a decade; conditions were so bad that he had been sentenced to house arrest in his own building.
JPNDC and City Life launch the “Campaign of Conscience” to combat the displacement of low-income residents.
1999: JPNDC purchases Pondview Apartments, where 60 families had been at high risk of displacement.
2000: JPNDC joins with Fenway CDC and four employers to launch the Boston Health Care and Research Training Institute. Over the next seven years, the Institute helps more than 800 entry-level workers access training and career ladders in health care.
Living Cities recognizes JPNDC’s Hyde/Jackson Square efforts as a national model for neighborhood revitalization.
2001: JPNDC, City Life and Hyde Square Task Force increase voter turnout by 80% in Hyde, Jackson and Egleston Squares.
2003: Named after neighborhood activist Kay Gallagher, the 34-unit Catherine Gallagher Cooperative transforms Heath Street. The coop is part of a total of 80 affordable homes developed by JPNDC and Back of the Hill CDC over four years. Gallagher and many others had organized for years to repair the damage inflicted by arson and the expansion of Longwood institutions.
The JPNDC is one of three organizations across the country highlighted by the Rockefeller Foundation for innovative workforce development initiatives.
2004: JPNDC and sister CDC Urban Edge sign an historic commitment to work together to redevelop Jackson Square, which has acres of land left vacant when homes and businesses were destroyed for highway construction. Jackson Square Partners eventually includes The Community Builders and Hyde Square Task Force.
Over the next 18 years, the partners develop 1,005 homes within a half-mile radius of the Jackson Square MBTA Station, 903 of them affordable to people earning below 80% of Area Median Income.
2005: Shocked and saddened by the Boston Archdiocese’s decision to close Hyde Square’s Blessed Sacrament Church and sell it on the private market, community residents and organizations mobilize to ensure the campus is redeveloped for community benefit. In September 2005, JPNDC and partner New Atlantic Development purchase the campus and begin a community planning process.
Over the next six years, 80 new affordable homes — for families, first-time homebuyers, and formerly homeless individuals — are developed at the site.
2006: Many of the design elements of the 56-unit Julia Martin House, which opens on the Bromley-Heath campus (now Mildred Hailey Apartments). stem from a unique collaboration between the architect and local seniors.
The Brewery opens its Amory Street side with the start-up of Mike’s Fitness, Ula Café, Tony Williams Dance Center and other local businesses.
2008: The global financial crisis derails redevelopment of Blessed Sacrament and 270 Centre. Federal stimulus funds eventually get the projects back on track.
2009: After 26 years, the JPNDC completes redevelopment of all 16 buildings and 150,000 square feet of The Brewery. 50 businesses occupy the five-acre complex, employing 500 people—twice the goal set by JPNDC when it purchased the abandoned site.
2010: JPNDC and Boston Health Care for the Homeless team up to transform a former nursing home into permanent housing and medical facilities for men and women who had experienced homelessness.
36 families move into the new Doña Betsaida Gutiérrez Cooperative, at Blessed Sacrament. 1,500 households had applied for the units.
2011: With the opening of the Sister Virginia Mulhern House in a former convent (permanent housing for 28 formerly homeless men and women), JPNDC completes the development of 80 affordable homes on the Blessed Sacrament campus. The building is name for beloved activist, counselor, and advocate for the families of Hyde Square.
After the Hyde Square Latino supermarket Hi-Lo closes, 100% of former employees who come to JPNDC for job assistance find new employment or enroll in education. Even during the Great Recession, JPNDC is able to help workers obtain jobs with an average wage of 50% over minimum wage.
2014: As Washington Street and Egleston Square become the next frontiers of gentrification, JPNDC joins with Egleston Square Main Streets and City Life/Vida Urbana to support Latino-owned businesses facing displacement.
Community members speaking out for affordable housing have a powerful impact, resulting in the City of Boston’s decision to convey a long-vacant Heath Street parcel to JPNDC for affordable housing construction. The 47-unit Hattie Kelton Apartments is completed in 2020.
2012: With its new Family Prosperity Services, JPNDC begins offering bilingual financial education and coaching to help immigrants and others take control over their finances and build their income, credit, and assets.
2013: JPNDC’s Small Business Program passes the $10 million mark in financing secured for local entrepreneurs.
At the Mildred Hailey Apartments (then Bromley-Heath), JPNDC begins intensive work to organize board elections and train new tenant leaders.
2015: Nearly 200 children are served by JPNDC’s Family Childcare Program, which invests heavily in its home-based providers’ development as professional educators. In 2022, the number is nearly 500.
With income from the new Community Investment Tax Credit, JPNDC expands its Family Prosperity Services to serve 50% more people and add new classes and individualized coaching.
2016: JPNDC completes the Francis Grady Apartments and Stacy Kirkpatrick House, 30 permanent homes for formerly homeless individuals and a medical respite facility operated by Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program.
2017: JPNDC completes its first official project within the Jackson Square Redevelopment Initiative, the 39-unit 75 Amory Ave. Apartments.
2018: Boston Children’s Hospital awards JPNDC two grants addressing major “social determinants of health” — non-medical factors that influence health outcomes as much as health care access. The grants strengthen high-quality early education (helping low-income children of color enter school at the same level as their high-income peers) and empower low-income parents to build credit, pursue training, and take other steps to benefit their families.
2019: JPNDC steps up its work to support small contractors of color to gain their fair share of Boston’s booming construction sector, breaking down barriers and building networks. Over two years, clients with construction-related businesses obtain $7.5 million in new contracts.
Our new 2019-2023 plan calls for JPNDC’s commitment to five main priorities:
- Embracing a Citywide Role in Housing and Economic Prosperity
- Deepening our Strategic Commitment to Jamaica Plain
- Expanding our Work to Foster Economic Prosperity and Wealth Building
- Investing in Community Organizing to Build Racial, Economic, and Social Equity
- Promoting Racial Equity in All Aspects of our Work.
2020: JPNDC quickly pivots to remote services during the global COVID-19 pandemic, focusing on helping small businesses survive and families to stay safe. Over the next two years, technical assistance results in $4.3 million for small business clients as well as new digital skills for the changing economy. 94 percent of clients are able to stay open or reopen.
As smoothly as possible during the pandemic, JPNDC completes the new 47-unit Hattie Kelton Apartments in Jackson Square.
2021: JPNDC pushes forward a dramatic expansion of its affordable housing development, including
- Renovation and affordability preservation of the Pitts Apartments, 201 units in 21 buildings in Roxbury and Dorchester. Many of the structures are historically significant. The project prevents massive displacement, as most of the apartments were at risk of conversion to market rate.
- Construction of 25 Amory Street (44 units) and Call Carolina (8 condos for first-time buyers)
- Public approval secured for three new projects: 3371 Washington Street (39 senior apartments plus El Embajador Restaurant), Cheney Street Apartments (48 senior apartments in Grove Hall), and the Mildred Hailey Apartments (253 preserved and 420 new, with partners TCB and Urban Edge)
2022: JS LOVS (Lifting Our Voices for Safety) is the campaign of 14 community leaders, representing 13 buildings and more than 1800 families in Jackson Square. JPNDC community organizers provide leadership training and support for the activists, who are driven by the need to protect their children and community from violence. The campaign is part of a larger initiative, funded by Boston Children’s Hospital, to improve wellbeing in Jackson Square.
JPNDC’s Family Childcare Program grows to include 51 educators – the most ever. The program sees rising demand as the result of the pandemic and closure of many childcare centers.