Cruz Development Corporation continues plans to construct $34 million mixed-use development in Roxbury
By McKenzie & Associates, P.C.

An architect’s rendering of Cruz Development’s Michael E. Haynes Arms building, a $34 million mixed-use, mixed-income development with 60,000 square feet of housing and first-floor commercial space which will be the future headquarters of the Cruz Companies, a third generation, minority-owned firm.

Boston, MA (March 13, 2020) – McKenzie and Associates, P.C. client, Cruz Development Corporation, continues its development of the Michael E. Haynes Arms building, a $34 million mixed-use, mixed-income development with 60,000 square feet of housing and commercial space. McKenzie & Associates served as Cruz’s zoning counsel, as well as its counsel for the public portion of the Project’s financing.


Situated between Dudley Square and Grove Hall, the Haynes Arms building will bring commercial activity, economic vitality, and middle-income housing to the neighborhood. The Project site combines property owned by the City’s Department of Neighborhood Development (DND) (and for which Cruz has been tentatively designated to developer by DND), an abutting property located at 2-10 Clifford Street (for which Cruz has an option to purchase), and 276 Warren Street (owned by Cruz). The resulting parcel enables Cruz to implement a development program that meets the specific housing goals of the City and that will greatly enhance the neighborhood and streetscape.

 

The Project was subject to Article 80 Large Project Review by the Boston Planning & Development Agency (BPDA). Attorney Joseph D. Feaster, Jr. argued before the City of Boston Board of Appeal to obtain the Zoning Code variances required to combine the lots and develop the Project site. Attorney Timothy A.M. Fraser prepared the Zoning Opinion required by the Project lenders.

The development project is named for the late Michael E. Haynes, the legendary community leader, minister, and former state house representative who lived adjacent to the site. The proposed building will be four-stories and will include two levels of parking for a total of 72 spaces. The Residential portion includes 55 affordable and work-force housing units which will be reserved for individuals and families earning between 0 and 120% of the area median income. The Unit mix includes three studios, 11 one-bedrooms, 36 two-bedrooms, and five three-bedrooms.

The Commercial space on the first floor will be the future headquarters of the Cruz Companies, a third generation, minority-owned firm founded by John B. Cruz, Jr.  Cruz has operated in the Roxbury neighborhood since its founding in 1948, and the new space will unite all four Cruz entities—development, construction, management, and relocation—under the same roof.

The development project is named for the late Michael E. Haynes, pictured at left with Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

The project financing includes a $22 million construction and permanent loan from Rockland Trust Bank, $18.8 million of state and federal tax credits syndicated by Stratford Capital, $4.3 million in funding from the Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development, $2 million in funding from the City of Boston, and $1.6 million in funding from MassHousing Work Force Funding. Attorneys Denzil D. McKenzie and Fahelle Bonheur served as Cruz’s counsel for the public portion of the Project’s financing.

McKenzie & Associates provides representation to clients before state and local administrative bodies such as the Zoning Board of Appeal, Boston Planning & Development Agency, Inspectional Services Department, the Licensing Board, the Alcoholic Beverages Control Commission, the Cannabis Control Commission, and the Consumer Affairs Division. Click the links to learn more about the

Zoning & Licensing and Real Estate & Development transactions we have handled.

BACK TO TOP

Madison Park Development Corporation develops 20-unit affordable housing and retail/commercial development in Dudley Square
By McKenzie & Associates, P.C.

An architect's rendering of Madison Park Development Corporation's proposed development at 75 - 81 Dudley Street, Roxbury (Boston) MA.

Boston, MA (February 5, 2020) – McKenzie and Associates, P.C. served as Zoning counsel to Madison Park Development Corporation in connection with its proposed development Project at 75 - 81 Dudley Street, Roxbury (Boston) MA, a four-story affordable condominium development with ground floor commercial space. Madison Park was selected to develop the property by the City of Boston Department of Neighborhood Development (DND) as the final part of the Dudley Square Initiative, which was conducted in partnership with the Boston Planning & Development Agency (BPDA).


The Project is expected to provide affordable ownership opportunities for residents of the Roxbury neighborhood and surrounding areas. In addition, the first-floor commercial space aims to provide affordable retail, commercial, or incubator space for local businesses. Building amenities include a first-floor lounge space and bike storage room, and units include a mix of one, two, and three-bedrooms ranging between 640 and 1085 square feet.

The Project site includes two adjacent parcels of land: one, a vacant lot owned by the City of Boston and the other, 2451 Washington Street, a residential project also currently being developed by Madison Park. When complete, 75 - 81 Dudley Street will fill in the “missing tooth” and complete the streetscape along Guild Row and Dudley Street, as envisioned by the City and the Plan Dudley process.


The location and landscape of the two combined lots creates a uniquely sized and shaped development parcel. Further complicating matters, the two lots lie in different Zoning Districts, each with a different set of dimensional and other restrictions. Attorney  Timothy A.M. Fraser argued before the City of Boston Board of Appeal to obtain the fourteen (14) Zoning Code variances required to combine the lots

 

The 75 - 81 Dudley Street Project site includes two parcels of land, and is adjacent to Madison Park’s 2451 Washington Street residential development. When complete, 75 - 81 Dudley Street will complete the streetscape along Guild Row.

and make use of the unique Project site. With support from the Mayor’s Office of Neighborhood Services, members of the City Council, DND and BPDA staff, as well as abutters and neighbors, the Board unanimously granted the variances.

McKenzie & Associates provides representation to clients before state and local administrative bodies such as the Zoning Board of Appeal, Boston Planning & Development Agency, Inspectional Services Department, the Licensing Board, the Alcoholic Beverages Control Commission, the Cannabis Control Commission, and the Consumer Affairs Division. Click the links to learn more about the

Zoning & Licensing and Real Estate & Development transactions we have handled.

BACK TO TOP

 
New England’s Oldest African-American Owned Law Firm Celebrates 35th Year in Business
By McKenzie & Associates, P.C.

The firm’s founder and Managing Director, Denzil D. McKenzie, began his legal career as an Assistant Attorney General for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and now has over 40 years of experience in the practice of law in the areas of business litigation, probate administration, bankruptcy, tax appeals, and business law.

In January 1988, Attorney Wilbur P. Edwards, Jr. joined the firm and a year later the firm was renamed McKenzie & Edwards, P.C. “Denzil and I were able to provide a full complement of services for our clients by bringing our different skills and experiences to bear on their legal needs,” said Edwards, now a retired Associate Justice of the Housing Court. With the addition of Attorney Edwards, the firm expanded its real estate practice and added public finance to its practice areas, representing such clients as the Massachusetts Housing Finance Agency, the Massachusetts Community Development Finance Corporation, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority, and the Massachusetts Turnpike Authority.


In Summer 1995, the firm relocated from Kendall Square in Cambridge to One Bulfinch Place in Government Center, in order to better service the needs of its growing client base across Boston. As the firm’s probate and litigation practices continued to grow, this location also offered its attorneys more convenient access to the 

Suffolk County Superior Court, Suffolk County Probate & Family Court, and the Suffolk Registry of Deeds, as well as the Massachusetts Land Court, the U.S. Bankruptcy Court, and U.S. District Court of Massachusetts. The firm added zoning and permitting to its practice areas in 1998, when Attorney Joseph D. Feaster, Jr. joined the Firm as counsel.


In 2001, Attorney Edwards was confirmed as an Associate Justice of the Housing Court and the firm was renamed McKenzie & Associates P.C. The firm continued to serve its client base that included real estate developers, banks, public agencies, and small businesses, as well as some of the largest minority businesses in the U.S. and their owners and families. Now from its current location at 183 State Street in Boston’s Financial District, the firm continues to serve the legal needs of individuals, families and their businesses, government agencies, and non-profit & private corporations throughout Boston, New England,

Boston, MA (Sep. 19, 2019) – The Boston law firm of McKenzie & Associates P.C. celebrated its 35th year in business with a reception for clients and friends at the Museum of African American History on Beacon Hill. Founded in 1984, McKenzie & Associates is New England’s oldest African-American owned law firm.

The firm was started on March 6, 1984 by Attorney Denzil D. McKenzie for the express purpose of providing legal services to the City’s African-American and immigrant communities. “At the time, there were several well-established law firms of color servicing these markets,” said McKenzie, a graduate of Boston University School of Law who began his legal career as an Assistant Attorney General for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. “But we believed that the particular needs of this community’s small businesses, their owners, and their families were still being underserved.” 

McKenzie & Associates, P.C.’s 183 State Street offices, located in the heart of Boston’s Financial District.

BACK TO TOP

the United States, and the world. Its practice areas include: Business Litigation; Finance, Bankruptcy & Creditors Rights; Corporate Counseling & Transactions; Estate Planning & Probate; Real Estate & Development; Zoning & Licensing; and Faith-based Organizations & Non-profit.

 

Being African-American owned, the firm also takes seriously its responsibility to cultivate the next generation of minority lawyers. “McKenzie & Associates has mentored, trained, and provided opportunities for many young lawyers to practice in the City of Boston and to serve communities of color,” said Linda M. Davidson of The Davidson Law Practice, who has co-counseled with the firm over the years.


Attorneys of color who practiced law at McKenzie & Associates have continued on in the practice of law, have run for public office, have served as counsel to corporations and state and federal agencies, and three of the firm’s former attorneys have been appointed as judges. In addition, 19 of the firm’s legal assistants have gone on to earn their law degrees and are now practicing attorneys.


In recognizing the firm’s hands-on role in the development of minority lawyers, its founder acknowledges that the firm will one day be led by a younger generation. “The longevity of institutions like ours depends on a number of factors,” said McKenzie. “But an important one is the continued support from our own community, as we continue our mission to support them.”

 
Long Bay Commercial Properties develops 25-story mixed-use development in Dudley Square
By McKenzie & Associates, P.C.

Boston, MA (Aug. 1, 2019) McKenzie and Associates, P.C. client, Long Bay Commercial Properties, continues its plans to build a 25-story building, known as the “Rio Grande,” in Dudley Square, Roxbury. Long Bay leads a team of African American real estate professionals in developing the Project. Located on a parcel of land owned by Long Bay between Roxbury Street, Washington Street, Marvin Street and Shawmut Avenue, the Project is widely considered to be one of the most ambitious development endeavors Roxbury has seen in its recent history.

The proposed Rio Grande Tower will have 241 rental units, with a substantial portion being sold at market rental rates, and adding more income diversity to the Dudley Square neighborhood. Adjacent to the Dudley Square MBTA Station, the Project is considered a “transit-oriented development.” In addition to modern apartment housing and amenities for residents, the development would also include a restaurant, retail spaces, and a public atrium. The limestone façade of the historic Roxbury Savings Bank building currently located on the site, will be retained and incorporated into the design of the new Tower.

The Project is highly anticipated as it is not only expected to aid in revitalizing the area, but will allow Dudley Square to compete commercially with surrounding towns and other areas of Boston. The Project continues to undergo the development process, and is currently in design review with the Boston Planning and Development Agency (BPDA). 

McKenzie & Associates represents of some of the most active and reputable minority owned developers of inner-city properties in the Boston area. We advise developers on all aspects of financing, refinancing, land acquisition, sale, zoning, community processes, construction, and sale to property owners. Click here to learn about some of the transactions we have handled.

McKenzie and Associates, P.C. client, Long Bay Commercial Properties, continues its plans to build the 25-story “Rio Grande” apartment and commercial development in Dudley Square.

BACK TO TOP

 
 
Cruz Development Corporation develops 150-unit mixed-use development in Dudley Square
By McKenzie & Associates, P.C.

Boston, MA (June 6, 2019) – McKenzie and Associates, P.C. client, Cruz Development Corporation, was recently selected by the City of Boson to build a mixed-use development on 135 Dudley Street. Cruz Development, one of the oldest and most successful minority developers in the City, was chosen over 5 other developers for this lot.

The proposed development will consist of two buildings, totaling 150 housing units. One of these buildings will be 6 stories with 50 units of affordable rental housing, with units affordable to families earning 30 to 50 percent of the Area Median Income. The second building will be 8 stories, consisting of 100 condo units. Ownership of the condo units will be split such that 50 units will be available for purchase by families earning 70 to 80 percent of Area Median Income. The other 50 units will be sold at market rate. The development will also include 8,476 square feet of commercial space as well as 270 parking spaces.

In addition to the building development, Cruz Development’s proposal includes a partnership with Youth Build Boston. This nonprofit seeks to help the underserved youth communities in Boston by helping them to enter building trades.

The Project Review Committee’s decision to choose Cruz Development was based not only on the company’s decades of experience developing affordable housing throughout Boston, but also for their commitment to inclusion and providing job opportunities for the residents of the area—over the past 5 years, 85% of Cruz Development’s payroll was paid directly to minority workers, and 78% of the cost of its projects were paid to minority business enterprises (MBEs).

McKenzie & Associates represents of some of the most active and reputable minority owned developers of inner-city properties in the Boston area. We advise developers on all aspects of financing, refinancing, land acquisition, sale, zoning, community processes, construction, and sale to property owners. Click here to learn about some of the transactions we have handled.

An architect’s rendering of Cruz Development’s proposed Project at 135 Dudley Street, a mixed-use development. consisting of two buildings totaling 150 housing units, and including parking and commercial space.

BACK TO TOP

 
Attorney Joseph D. Feaster, Jr., Of Counsel to McKenzie & Associates, P.C., testifies before the Boston City Council’s Committee on Government Operations
By McKenzie & Associates, P.C.

Boston, MA (May 2, 2019) – On May 2, 2019, Attorney Joseph D. Feaster, Jr. testified before the Boston City Council’s Committee on Government Operations for a hearing regarding equity in the City of Boston Procurement and Purchasing. The hearing was held at Boston City Hall to discuss the results of the Office of Economic Development’s recent report regarding the City’s procurement process.​

 

Many departments within the City of Boston contract out for services from private vendors through the procurement process, and City departments obtain products from private vendors through the Purchasing Department’s processes. In December 2017, Mayor Martin J. Walsh signed an ordinance into law which included changes to the City’s request for proposal (RFP) process, as well as requirements for: quarterly reporting on total dollars expended on procurement contracts to date; the number and type of contracts entered into to; and the number and value of contracts awarded to businesses owned by women, people of color, and Boston residents. Attorney Feaster was invited to testify on his perception of the City’s progress in eliminating the disparity in City contracts given to minority and women business enterprises.

“There is a disparity that still persists in the awarding of City contracts to minority and women business enterprises,” said Attorney Feaster, who is also President of Feaster Enterprises, a strategic planning, organizational development, and community outreach consulting firm. “The City’s focus on eliminating this disparity is a step in the right direction, but there is still more work to be done.”  Feaster opined, “If government doesn’t put certain requirements in place, it’s just not going to happen for minority, women and small businesses.”

The hearing was sponsored by City Councilors Michelle Wu and Kim Janey, chaired by Councilor Michael Flaherty, and attended by Councilors Baker, Edwards and Flynn.  In addition to Attorney Feaster, the hearing included public testimony from representatives from the City’s Economic Development cabinet, the Black Economic Counsel of Massachusetts (BECMA), other interested parties, and members of the public.

Attorney Joseph D. Feaster, Jr. testifies before the Boston City Council’s Committee of Government Operations on May 3, 2019 at Boston City Hall.

BACK TO TOP

Attorney Timothy A.M. Fraser prepared the Zoning Opinion required by... Attorney Timothy A.M. Fraser argued before the Board of Appeal to obtain the fourteen (14) Zoning Code variances required to...

McKenzie & Associates, P.C.  | 183 State Street, Suite 6, Boston, MA 02109  | Tel: (617) 723-0400  | Fax: (617) 723-7234  | business@mckenzielawpc.com