From Blight to Bright: Modern, Energy-Efficient Apartment Complex Replaces Deteriorated School in Roxbury

The Tribune-Democrat

An etched stone sign still reads “Public School” at the corner of Roxbury Avenue and Sell Street.

But now that sign serves as a gateway to a modern apartment building.

Featuring 43 units, Roxbury Place is the first new development of its size within the city in decades – and also the most energy-efficient housing project, planners said.

For income-eligible residents ages 55 and older, there is no other housing option like Roxbury Place in the region, according to officials with its owner and operator, the Buckeye Community Hope Foundation.

“The idea was to provide all of the modern conveniences they will need here … inside a space that’s so efficient that their energy bill will be as close to zero as possible – if not zero,” said Dave Topian, who serves as vice president of construction for the Ohio-based nonprofit.

Roxbury Place is expected to begin housing tenants by March, and more than 20 applications had already been approved, Buckeye Community Hope Foundation officials said in early February.

‘Passive’ place

Buckeye has developed energy-efficient properties before, but Roxbury Place is the first built on rigorous U.S. “passive house” standards, Topian said.

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