Story: Indigo Block

The Sponsor

Dorchester Bay Economic Development Corporation (DBEDC), A 501(c)3 organization, was founded in 1979 by local civic associations to address the problems of economic disinvestment, unemployment, crime, community tensions and the shortage of quality affordable housing undermining Boston's Dorchester neighborhoods. Working closely with neighborhoods, residents, businesses and partners, DBEDC accesses resources to develop and preserve home ownership and rental housing across income levels; create and sustain economic development opportunities for businesses and individuals; and build community through organizing, civic engagement, and leadership development.

Since 1979, DBEDC has developed and rehabilitated close to 1,100 units of affordable housing, including both affordable homeownership and rental housing. DBEDC has also successfully developed commercial properties totaling over 200,000 square feet. DBEDC aims to accelerate revitalization in Boston’s lowest-income neighborhoods in a way that lifts current residents economically instead of allowing them to be left behind or priced out. DBEDC is a long-time partner of Boston LISC.

The Project

Broadstreet committed $6.5 million of LISC’s New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC) allocation, with the Northern Trust Company as the investor, to construct a 20,000 SF light industrial and office building on a vacant parcel of land in Dorchester, MA. Anchor tenant East Meets West, the special events division of New England catering company Rebecca’s Café, will relocate its operations to 8,000 SF of the building. The remaining space will be leased to up to five tenants, which DBEDC will assist in hiring efforts in order to fill at least 50% of all jobs with residents of Dorchester, Roxbury, and Mattapan, Boston’s lowest-income neighborhoods.

The commercial building, which is adjacent to the Uphams Corner commuter rail stop, is part of a larger project that involves the construction of 9 for-sale condominium units and 80 affordable rental units for low-income and middle-income households, as well as a green space and other public amenities.

Impact Statistics

  • $6.5 M Broadstreet NMTC Allocation
  • 117 Projected Permanent Jobs Created

The Impact

DBEDC aims to counteract local gentrification pressures through a transit-oriented development that targets low-income residents for both housing and job placement. East Meets West is committed to hiring locals and low-income people facing significant barriers to employment, offering flexible positions with living wages, training opportunities, and career ladders in hospitality. In the remainder of the building, DBEDC will require tenants leasing Indigo Block office space to make best faith efforts to hire locally with the goal to fill at least half of all positions with residents of the three lowest-income neighborhoods in Boston: Dorchester (the site of the project), and nearby Mattapan and Roxbury. These neighborhoods face intense displacement pressures and have the lowest life expectancies, least access to credit, and lowest homeownership rates in the city of Boston.