Mixed-Income Housing Project for Veterans Proposed in Brighton

All units in Brighton Marine would be leased with a preference for veterans.

The Brighton Marine Health Center is proposing to build a new apartment complex off of Commonwealth Avenue in Brighton that could offer much-needed housing to more than 100 Boston-area veterans.

Brighton Marine is planning to demolish four buildings on its 8-acre campus on Warren Street and to construct in their place a new six-story residential building with underground parking. In addition, they will convert an existing building into one residential unit with ground-floor amenity space, and add new landscaping and more surface parking. Its main hospital will remain open and as is.

Of the approximately 101 units to be built, 80 or so are expected to be mixed-income units with various levels of affordability, split between one- and two-bedroom apartments, offering options for individuals, couples, and families. All units would be leased with a preference for veterans.

Brighton Marine’s mission is to support the health needs of uniformed services, retirees, and their dependents. The non-profit organization was created 30 years ago after the federal government announced plans to shut down the public hospital that has existed on the site since the 1930s. As health care services have evolved and adapted over the years in the U.S., so too have the needs of veterans. Providing housing for veterans is the logical next step.

The project is not guaranteed approval by the city. Current zoning for the area doesn’t allow for buildings as tall as what Brighton Marine is proposing (approximately 55-feet based on the architect’s renderings). But, the health center is focused on providing housing for veterans, and not for undergraduate college students, so that should help it gather neighborhood support and smooth its way through the approval process. Plus, with the development of residential housing, the project will be added to the city’s property tax rolls. No one can complain about that.

The public comment period for the project ends on August 11, at which point Brighton Marine will move forward to the next step of receiving approvals from all of the city, state, and federal agencies that must sign-off on the proposal before construction can commence.

Brighton Marine is hoping to begin construction next fall with completion sometime in mid-2017.