chaglang wrote:So the city has been sitting on the obligation to pay for improvements for 20 years?
Correct. More or less.
As you'll recall, the city's housing program went into federal receivership because of the city led SNAFU related
to redeveloping this area. To exit receivership, A judge determined what the city's obligations were to comply with their original contract. Completing certain improvements in the area were part of the agreement. Because the original funds were already spent, new money has to be used. So the city can either pay the FEDS and get nothing more in the area or build the improvements and get something. I assume, failure to do either risks falling back into receivership.
This project, I believe, is part of that implementation (along with other things that have already happened in the area). It may also be the last part of the original project.
From the cited article (written in 2013):
The city invested $11 million in federal housing dollars to acquire the property and several million city dollars in new streets and other infrastructure. But in 2004, Beacon Hill became infamous for two Tracy Avenue bungalows that soaked up as much as $600,000 in federal funds.
The city canceled the contract with its housing agency at the time and the redevelopment ground to a halt while a federal receiver and city officials tried to straighten out the financial mess. The economic downturn didn’t help –– a few new Beacon Hill townhomes failed to sell and eventually went rental.
The receivership lasted eight years, but finally ended this spring and city economic development agencies regained control of all the property.