Housing Authority to rehab Mazza in Brookline
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A renovated Mazza Pavilion will be more comfortable for residents and better complement the Brookline business district, an architectural consultant told the city housing authority yesterday.
The authority board approved a $4.7 million renovation of Mazza, a 30-unit home for senior citizens vacated in fall 2008 because of water and mold problems.
The work on Mazza will take about a year, officials said.
Ken Doyno, principal with design consultant Rothschild Doyno Collaborative, said a reconfiguration of space will make the units 15 to 20 percent bigger. He said the units will receive new drywall, carpeting and fixtures.
"These are going to be effectively brand new units," he said.
Other plans include a canopied entrance and outdoor seating area to better tie the 25-year-old building to the business district. Vertical accents to the exterior will give the building a slimmer look, Mr. Doyno said.
Residents relocated because of the water and mold will have the right to return to the building before new occupants are considered.
The authority may tap into federal stimulus money to fund part or all of the project.
In all, the authority received $27 million in stimulus money in the past year and earmarked it for improvements to properties in various communities. In addition to the Mazza project, the board yesterday approved a $176,500 elevator improvement project at Gualtieri Manor that also may tap stimulus funds.
Authority executive director A. Fulton Meachem Jr. said stimulus money has supported the equivalent of 143 full-time positions, with 29.5 percent of contracted work supplied by minority- and woman-owned businesses.
The board unanimously approved a new five-year contract for Mr. Meachem, who has been on the job four years. The deal increases his salary 10 percent, to about $170,000, and leaves open the possibility of additional raises in future years.
The Rev. Ricky Burgess, a city councilman and authority chairman, said a study of housing chiefs in comparable cities showed that Mr. Meachem has been underpaid. He praised Mr. Meachem, saying he "has a heart for this work" and built a momentum that the board doesn't want to slip away.
"He is committed to moving us forward," Rev. Burgess said.
First Published February 26, 2010 12:00 am