Expanding Successful Affordable Housing in the City of Cambridge
The Walden Square Phase II development proposes to construct 96 units of new family affordable housing on the property of Walden Square Apartments. Owned and managed by Boston-based WinnCompanies, the community of Walden Square has provided 240 units of quality affordable housing for residents of the City of Cambridge for more than two decades.
Under a revised plan unveiled for the community on Feb. 23, 2022, WinnDevelopment proposes to construct two new smaller apartment buildings on the property, instead of the single large building originally proposed, and to create 41 new parking spaces, almost doubling the 21 parking spaces originally proposed. The revised proposal also significantly enhances the green, open space available for the Walden Square community; traffic circulation inside the property; and, pedestrian and bicycle circulation in and around the property.
With Walden Square Apartments facing a waitlist of more than 970 households, the revised plan remains focused on the meeting the community’s most urgent need, specifically new 100% affordable housing for working families in larger apartments, along with new apartment homes for individuals with sensory and mobility impairments.
The company’s initial proposal under the city’s Affordable Housing Overlay (AHO) ordinance was designed to deliver badly needed affordable housing as quickly and as cost efficiently as possible given the current market’s astronomical construction costs. The revised proposal will likely be more expensive, and it remains to be seen whether there will be sufficient funding to make it financially feasible.
Feedback received from Cambridge city officials and residents played a critical role in re-imagining the revised Walden Square II development proposal. Following the initial community meeting on the revised plan, a second session is expected to be scheduled in March. WinnDevelopment expects to submit the final design review package to the Cambridge Planning Board this spring.