A Brick and Mortar Q & A with Mayra I. Negrón-Roche, IBA’s Chief Operating Officer

A Brick and Mortar Q & A with Mayra I. Negrón-Roche, IBA’s Chief Operating Officer

Mayra is excited to share an update on the transformational investments being made to redevelop the 146 housing units on West Newton and Rutland Street, the expansion and renovation of the IBA’s Preschool facility and more. 2022 isn’t over, and it has already been a busy year of improvements at Villa Victoria!

First, share with us the progress on West Newton Rutland Apartments renovation

Somethings are worth the wait! The City designated IBA as developer for this project in 2015 and renovations began in 2019, just before Covid hit, disrupting our timeline. Today, IBA has completed renovations on 44 studio apartments, 58 one-bedroom apartments, 22 two-bedroom apartments, 11 three-bedroom apartments, 12 four-bedroom apartments and 1 five-bedroom apartment, spread across 28 buildings. We could not be more pleased with the results and look to welcoming residents into the Villa Victoria community in early 2023.

To date we have invested over $73.5 Million in transforming these units inside and out--electrical, HVAC, plumbing, doors, windows, masonry and carpentry work, roofing repairs, new interior and exterior doors, kitchen, bathroom, flooring, painting and so much more.

Some fun facts I like to share: We fully renovated 71 kitchens, replaced 31 existing countertops with new granite, used 4,150 gallons of paint, 143 heat pump energy efficiency, 28 building sprinkler system, 31,000 feet of new electrical wire and refinished hardwood flooring a total of 135,550 square feet!

Lastly and most importantly, I want to say, the scope of this project represents much more than just a buildings and units, it is IBA’s mission in action. Over 218 individuals, families, including children will have stable housing and programs to support their economic mobility.

What is happening with IBA’s Preschool Renovation at 100 West Dedham, why are you excited about it?

This project was a lot of fun and very impactful! We learned a lot about creating learning spaces to help students engage in their learning, create community and allow for flexibility in the learning to facilitate more varied and higher-quality programming.

We are renovating and expanding our services to expand our program to include infants and toddlers in addition to preschool. We are creating 6 new classrooms designed for bilingual learning and increasing capacity from 47 students to 77. All spaces are fully accessible and right-sized for students, and full of natural light. We added a new commercial kitchen to address food insecurity in our student population and increased classroom security.

In my role at IBA I love numbers, so when you ask why I’m excited, numbers come to mind. 86% of parents in Boston find it “nearly impossible to pay for child care” (Boston Herald, October 2019); as a result, “thousands of eligible children sit on waitlists for subsidized childcare” (City of Boston, July 2022). This project addressed that need for the Villa Victoria community and the entire South End community. I’m excite about more than doubling our impact with expanded enrollment to 77!

Are there other updates you would like to share?

Yes! Over the last few months we upgraded our community security cameras system across our property, working together with Maloney Properties, Longwood Security and the Boston Police Department to keep our entire community a safe and enjoyable place for all residents.