What Has Been Happening with MFNH and the CRA?
As you know, the Margaret Fuller Neighborhood House has decided to upgrade its facility -- it's been decades since the site saw major work. This project will create the program spaces that MFNH's program participants and our local community deserve.
MFNH contacted the CRA two years ago to discuss a development partnership. The CRA has a mission to carry out projects that focus on social equity. We also bring real estate development knowledge and have the staffing capacity to help MFNH move the project forward.
Together, MFNH and the CRA identified project goals:
• Build a new, above ground facility for the after school youth program
• Build a new, larger food pantry
• Provide larger, improved space for the community advancement program
• Make program spaces ADA (physically) accessible
• Ensure all of MFNH's spaces are comfortable and welcoming for staff and community members
• Build modest scale, affordable ownership housing on the rear of the lot
Last year, Studio G architects completed a feasibility study for the project. The study analyzed the current condition of the buildings, made recommendations about the historic house's restoration needs, and considered how we might fit the different components onto the site.
During 2021, the MFNH completed a strategic plan that helped clarify their space needs. Between its food pantry, after school program and community advancement program, MFH serves well over 7,000 households a year. It's important that their program space is as solid as their work.
What Are You Doing Now?
The CRA and MFNH are putting together the right team as we enter into the design phase. This will include the owner's project manager who brings construction and public procurement expertise, our real estate development and finance consultant, and our architect.
Once the team is in place, we will start to work on project design.
I heard that Margaret Fuller Neighborhood House already sold its land to the CRA. Is that true?
This is not true. The CRA and MFNH only have a non binding agreement. It states an intention to transfer the land to the CRA for an affordable ownership housing development. However, there is no legal contract in place. No land will be transferred or sold until the CRA and MFNH both feel that the project plan meets our shared goals and will serve the community.
How Can I Stay Informed and Give Input?
The CRA and MFNH have collected a lot of community input over the last two years at community meetings, via a community survey, and during Port Pride Days.
We will continue to be interested in your feedback as plans move forward!
These emails will go out every few months. We will also be holding community meetings to share early designs in the first half of 2022. Anyone receiving this email will be notified of those meetings.
You can also stay informed on the CRA's MFNH project webpage: