Along Cheeves Street to the northeast, a parking garage fronts the freight rail, serving as a sound buffer to shield the housing from the noise adjacent tracks. The garage will accommodate residential parking needs as well as providing commercial parking for the arts center and larger area. Wrapping the garage on three sides with retail and housing allows active ground-level active uses, such as residential stoops and a double-height retail arcade anchored by a café space—to enliven the streets.
The family housing comprises 157 affordable rental units. The building plan loosely describes a spiral, curving around to create sheltered space for a series of courtyards. The main entrance portal, a towering open-air arch, leads to a chain of seven “islands” connected by bridges. Devised by Fletcher Studio Landscape Architecture, each island has its own character and use. Mirroring the public active edge, inside the development the housing maintains a semi-public active edge, with stoops that open onto landscaped pathways and island courtyards. A large community room, glassed in on either side, looks onto the pool deck and the common courtyard.
The low-energy building will use several complementary sustainable strategies—including solar domestic hot water, high-efficiency boilers, and rooftop photo-voltaic arrays—to achieve LEED for Homes Platinum certification.