Saint Polycarp Village Apartments Somerville, MA


Saint Polycarp Village Apartments are located on a highly visible corner site in Somerville. Image copyright Ed Wonsek, and courtesy of Davis Square Architects

Balconies overlook a pergola and landscaped open space. Image courtesy of Davis Square Architects, Inc.



Saint Polycarp Village Apartments, in the City of Somerville just north of Boston, includes 24 affordable, green housing units, ground-floor retail space, and landscaped outdoor space. The development also includes two historic stone buildings that were part of the former Roman Catholic Saint Polycarp Parish, but have been adaptively reused for new institutional uses. The local community development corporation Somerville Community Corporation (SCC) purchased the site from the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston; SCC’s first step was to solicit input from neighbors about their vision for development of the property. A bus stop is located kitty-corner from Saint Polycarp Village Apartments, and residents can walk to nearby retail and services. The project has several green features, including solar photovoltaic panels, triple-paned windows, and a roof covered with flowering succulent plants. The living roof was planted by local students and teachers in cooperation with the developer and architect. At the ribbon-cutting ceremony in 2009, Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development Undersecretary Tina Brooks noted, “Not many communities embrace affordable housing the way you do… and you are doing it in the context of a community perspective.”