Mildred C. Hailey Apartments

Jamaica Plain, MA
Affordable, transit-oriented Passive House housing redevelopment in five acts

Between the late 1930s and early1950s, the Heath Street and Bromley Park developments were constructed in Jamaica Plain (JP) to provide critical, safety-net housing for JP families. It was the first public housing development in the U.S. to be managed by a tenant organization, the Bromley-Heath Tenant Management Corporation (TMC). In 2015 Bromley-Heath was renamed the Mildred C. Hailey Apartments (MCHA) in honor of the long-time leader of the TMC, who passed away in 2014. Federal investment in public housing has declined consistently since the 1980s, leaving much of the MCHA in a dangerous state of disrepair.

Now, a five-phased project endeavors to engage the community to master plan the development for resiliency. The ambitious multi-phase project is creating new much-needed affordable and middle-income housing with a focus on providing high-performance buildings in a transit-oriented location. The 690 new apartments will include a one-to-one replacement of the existing 253 public housing units, 7,000 sf of new community space will provide a prominent gathering space for residents, and 8,000 sf of ground-floor retail/commercial space will create new amenities. The project includes 300 parking spaces, as well as bicycle storage space and racks to support alternative modes of transportation.

The project is being designed to Passive House standards.


As part of the planning process, the project team has worked closely with the residents, the surrounding community and city and state agencies. This form of collaboration is both rewarding and time consuming. The design team will be challenged to meet the needs of the residents, within the constraints of the budget, timeline, and local regulation, while achieving a high degree of energy efficiency, durability, and resiliency. Many MCHA tenants will be temporarily relocated during construction – a logistical puzzle that adds complexity.


Petersen is collaborating closely with the design team, the City, and other stakeholders to ensure a smooth process. In addition, the project has been broken into five phases to maximize the ability to move tenants to other units on-site during construction.


The project is currently in design. We look forward to sharing post-occupancy results as the project as the project phases are completed over a 10-year period.

Project Details


Centre Street Partners LLC – a partnership between local nonprofits The Community Builders, Inc., the Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Development Corporation, and Urban Edge


PCA, Inc.


10 years

Services Provided by Petersen Engineering

MEP/FP Services, Passive House modeling and consulting

Petersen Team Members
Chuck Dudas, PE, Peter Wingate, EIT, Keirstan Field, EIT, Michael Trickett, PE, Will Evangelakos