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BOSTON-A group of local developers are planning a $200 million mixed use project that would bring 430 homes and more than 60,000 sf of retail space to one of Boston’s neighborhoods. Under an a plan being worked out between a private developer and a team of community groups, the project would revamp the look of Jackson Square on the border of Roxbury and Jamaica Plain.

“This is the largest, transit-oriented development in a neighborhood and I believe it will be a model both locally and nationally,” Bart Mitchell, whose firm, Mitchell Properties, has signed on to work with a contingent of non-profit developers, tells GlobeSt.com. Mitchell joined forces with Roxbury’s Urban Edge, the Jamaica Plain Development Corp. and the Hyde Square Task Force earlier this month, shortly before the city was to select a developer for the project.

The coalition plans to revamp a string of city and state-owned properties, including a highway department road salt depot, and turn it into 430 apartment, townhouses and condominiums along with retail space, an indoor skating rink, a community center and areas of open space. A large portion of the rental units will be reserved for lower income tenants, but there would also be a mix of market-rate condo units ranging from $300,000 to $400,000.

Richard Thal, executive director of the Jamaica Plain Development tells GlobeSt.com that the project will invigorate a community that has long been overlooked. “Jackson Square, the gateway to Roxbury and Jamaica Plain, has been a wasteland for years so this is really an important milestone,” says Thal. “It will create a whole new neighborhood right in the middle of Jackson Square.”

Mitchell says the development, which will be set on six acres spanning Columbus Avenue and Centre Street near Jackson Square’s Orange Line subway station, is expected to begin in 2007 with the project slated for completion within five years. The total project will encompass buildings ranging from two-stories up to 11-stories, he says.

Although the design of the project has not yet been finalized, Mitchell says the development groups intend to merge concepts from each proposal into a master plan that will encompass all of the mixed-use elements. The site was earmarked by the state about 30 years ago as the location of Interstate 95. Plans to extend that highway through the city were dropped after community groups protested that it would displace many of the area’s poorer residents.

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