News : New Green Housing Development Replaces Decayed Public Housing

Feb 18, 2015

Originally published on Portsmouth Patch and Fosters.com

By Ken Johnson

PORTSMOUTH, N.H. – A decayed public housing development has been replaced by a new affordable green town house and apartment complex thanks to Petersen Engineering; a Portsmouth-based engineering firm that specializes in energy efficient mechanical engineering.

Built in 1951, Fairfax Gardens was a 150 unit public housing development in Taunton, Massachusetts that had fallen into disrepair. The development was cramped, not accessible nor energy-efficient. The units were overrun with mold and pests, and their finishes were severely deteriorated. According to an evaluation prepared by The UMass Dartmouth Urban Initiative, drug sales and use were also a large problem at Fairfax Gardens. Shortly after this evaluation, under a HOPE VI Revitalization Grant, the complex was demolished and, along with undeveloped land Parcel 6-A a mile away, was rebuilt into a green affordable housing complex.

“When you look at what this property used to be and what it has become, it’s nothing short of a total transformation. The residents deserve to have a place that is safe, energy efficient and high performing – that’s the kind of building we specialize in and we are very proud to have contributed to this project,” says James Petersen, principle engineer and founder of Petersen Engineering. The $71 million new development, consists of 160 mixed-income units, with 88 new townhouses at Bristol Gardens built on the old Fairfax Gardens site and 72 new apartment units and townhouses at Lenox Green built on Parcel 6-A. The new development has 20 buildings in total, including a community center and a maintenance building.

Read the full story on Patch here or Fosters.com here.