Developer, officials celebrate groundbreaking of new project at historic YWCA building

by Liz Hughes

City and state officials celebrated the groundbreaking of a new project expected to bring more than 200 units of affordable housing to Boston’s historic YWCA building.

Located at 140 Clarendon St., the project will redevelop the former YWCA building into 210 units of affordable housing, including units dedicated to formerly homeless individuals. 

The initial letter of intent for the project was filed last December. The Boston Planning & Development Agency approved the project in March, and the building permit was granted in October. 

“Housing stability must be the foundation of our recovery,” Boston Mayor Michelle Wu said. “Today’s groundbreaking shows what’s possible when we collaborate across different sectors and levels of government to create much-needed affordable housing in our neighborhoods. This project will provide much-needed housing and services for residents experiencing homelessness.”

The renovation will include rehabbing approximately 50,000 square feet of existing hotel and residential uses into affordable units, health and wellness amenities and building management staff offices. The ground floor commercial uses will remain unchanged and continue to house the Lyric Stage of Boston and the Snowden International School. 

Once complete, the development will include 210 affordable apartments, 111 of which will be reserved for individuals currently experiencing homelessness and 99 for residents with income significantly below the area median income. The Pine Street Inn will provide support services for the housing set aside for formerly homeless individuals. 

Pine Street Inn president and executive director Lyndia Downie said the organization is thrilled to partner with Beacon Communities to provide permanent housing for more than 100 individuals experiencing homelessness. 

“This partnership is a huge step forward in our efforts to provide every person with a safe, stable place to live, ensure they receive the services they need and ultimately end homelessness in Boston,” she said. 

The building’s rehabilitation will follow the Secretary of the Interior Standards for Historic Preservation. Construction is expected to be completed in 2024. 

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