The Boston based Chinatown Community Land Trust (CCLT) has been a perennial pro bono client of Proskauer. CCLT seeks to promote efforts to stabilize the future of Boston’s Chinatown in light of the recent influx of gentrification and development that has sharply limited affordable housing and diluted the traditional culture in one of Boston’s minority communities. The relationship between Proskauer and CCLT was initiated by a referral from Lawyers Clearinghouse concerning the efforts of the Mass Pike Tower Tenants Association to purchase the Mass Pike Towers low income housing complex from the current owner, with plans to subsequently transfer ownership of the complex to CCLT to ensure its continued use as a low-income housing facility. Since then, Proskauer and CCLT have been engaged in furthering CCLT’s goals of promoting community ownership of land and local investment in Boston’s Chinatown community.
Recently, Proskauer assisted with CCLT’s first purchase of land in Boston, a big step forward in its continued efforts to help the residents of Chinatown. CCLT partnered with other Massachusetts non-profit organizations, Community Labor United (CLU) and its affiliate organization New England United for Justice (NEU4J), to acquire a tract of land in Boston from Oxbow Partners. Upon completion of the acquisition, CLU and NEU4J plan to work with Oxbow to develop the land to provide a community benefit as a means of public access to the TechBoston Academy, a Boston public school. CCLT, with its expertise as a community land trust and owner of the property, will assist with the logistical aspects of holding a privately owned property that is being used for public purposes.
This transaction is a landmark for CCLT, as its first real property acquisition. CCLT plans to build on the momentum of this project and seek further opportunities to secure community land ownership and low income housing in Chinatown.