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Redevelopment of
Linden & Chambers Streets

Project location

138-188 Linden Street & 5 Chambers Street, Needham, MA 02492

Project phase

Community review

Project Overview

Preserving & Expanding Affordable Senior & Disabled Housing in Needham



The existing Linden Street & Chambers Street development has been home to nearly 1,000 seniors and disabled residents since the 1960s. These 152 deeply-affordable studio apartments, however, are more than 60 years old, worn out, cramped, and in need of replacement.

The Linden-Chambers Redevelopment Project represents a historic opportunity for the Town of Needham to meet the overwhelming demand for safe, well-designed, and affordable housing for seniors and disabled residents. The Needham Housing Authority (NHA) is planning to preserve the existing 152 units and build 95 new units at the site to meet this demand. All units will be affordable.

Existing Site

Phase 1A & 1B: Linden Street

Construction will be split into two phases. Phase 1 will replace the 18 one-story buildings along Linden Street with a 4-story elevator building with 136 units. Construction of the new building will be divided into two sub-phases. Phase 1A will have 76 units, of which 4 units will be two-bedrooms and 72 will be one-bedrooms. Phase 1A will also include community and management spaces. Phase 1B will have 60 units, of which 4 units will be two-bedrooms and 56 will be one-bedrooms. Construction on Phase 1A is slated to begin in Q2 of 2025 at the earliest, and is anticipated for completion in Q4 of 2026. Shortly thereafter, construction on Phase 1B will begin. Completion of Phase 1B is anticipated for Q4 2027. 

Phase 2: Chambers Street

Phase 2 is anticipated to replace the existing 5 two-story Chambers Street buildings in a 4-story elevator building with 111 one-bedroom units. A construction start date for Phase 2 is yet to be determined, and will only begin after Phase 1B is completed.

Schematic Design

Zoning & Local CPA Funding

The entire project encompassing Phase 1A, 1B, and 2 with a total of 247 affordable units requires zoning approval at the Spring 2024 Town Meeting which begins on May 6, 2024. There will be four warrant articles related to zoning and local Community Preservation Act (CPA) funding.

  • Article 18: Amendment to the Zoning By-Law to create a new Affordable Housing District with use and dimensional standards that facilitate the proposed project.

  • Article 19: Map article that applies the Affordable Housing District to the Linden and Chambers Streets site.

  • Article 22: Article to appropriate $5.5 million of CPA funding for Phase 1 to redevelop the Linden Street site.

  • Article 41: Non-zoning article to correct language in existing deed and title documents for the site to enable the proposed use for elderly and disabled affordable housing.

These articles can be found on the May 2024 Annual Town Meeting website.

This video hosted by the Needham Housing Coalition provides an overview of the four warrant articles.

Benefits to Needham

Preserves & Increases Affordable Housing

The Redevelopment of Linden & Chambers Streets will preserve 152 existing housing units for low-income elderly and disabled residents, and add another 95 new units to the site. Phases 1A and 1B at Linden Street will preserve 72 units and add 64 new units. Phase 2 at Chambers Street is anticipated to preserve 80 units and add 31 units. All units will be affordable. The project implements goals within the Town of Needham 2022 Housing Plan.

Provides Accessibility

The current Linden & Chambers buildings pose accessibility challenges due to a lack of elevators. The new buildings will include elevators and other enhanced accessibility features, enabling a higher quality of life for elderly and disabled residents to age in place.

Improves Quality of Life

The new 1-bedroom units at Linden & Chambers will be 33% larger than the existing studio units, with storage space and contemporary kitchen and bathroom design. All units will have centralized air conditioning and heating to provide better indoor environmental quality, as well as fire, life and safety features that meet contemporary residential design standards.

Transit-Oriented

The Linden & Chambers site is located in a transit rich neighborhood. It is a half-mile from the MBTA 59 bus route that connects Needham to Newtown and Watertown, and a half-mile from the MBTA Needham Commuter Rail line that provides access to Boston. Nearby services include medical facilities, public amenities, grocery stores, and pharmacies, as well as The Center at the Heights which provides aging services. The project's location and affordability provides an unparalleled opportunity for low-income elderly and disabled residents to live in proximity to these services in Needham.

More Open Space & Protected Wetlands

The Linden & Chambers site is located adjacent to wetlands and in a flood-prone area. The proposed project will reduce encroachment into the wetlands buffer area by roughly 50%-75% compared to the existing buildings, and will collect on-site stormwater so as not to increase nearby flooding. Open space will increase by approximately 50% compared to the existing site layout. A community garden and nature path will provide residents with opportunities to connect with green space on site.

Climate Resilience

The new buildings at Linden & Chambers will meet Enterprise Green Communities standards, the highest environmental building standard for affordable housing. They will also meet Passive House standards in accordance with the Town of Needham's adoption of the Stretch Energy Code and opt-in Specialized Energy code in Fall 2023. This project is anticipated to be the first large residential apartment construction project to meet the forthcoming Needham Climate Action Plan goals for the Town.

Project Team

Needham Housing Authority

Property Owner, Property Manager & Project Sponsor

NHA Logo

Cambridge Housing Authority

Development Consultant



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Bargmann, Hendrie + Archetype

Architect



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Location

Needham Housing Authority

21 Highland Circle, Suite 10 Needham, MA 02494; Phone: (781) 444-3011; Fax: (781) 444-1089; Email: L-CProject@needhamhousing.org

NHA Website

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