HRI, Cambridge-based non-profit affordable housing developer logo
image of the historic building at 1627 Mass Ave, Cambridge


1627 Mass Ave


4 Mellen Street

Project location

Cambridge, MA

Project phase

Community review

front yard of historic Saunders Mansion - 1627 Mass Avenue buildingfront yard of historic Saunders Mansion - 1627 Mass Avenue building

Providing needed affordable housing in Cambridge

HRI acquired 1627 Mass Ave in 2022, and is excited to embark on transforming the property into much needed 100% affordable housing under the Affordable Housing Overlay (AHO). The proposed development will renovate the existing historic structure in conjunction with the Cambridge Historical Commission to create several new apartments. HRI is also planning on adding more affordable apartments in a new construction building that will be Passive House certified. The location of the building is ideal for many reasons, including proximity to transit (via the MBTA red line), Harvard Square, and numerous other neighborhood amenities.
large residential building render

How we Got Here

HRI (Homeowners Rehab Inc.) works to preserve and develop affordable housing across the City of Cambridge through the acquisition of existing buildings and the construction of new buildings, both of which include extensive energy retrofits, green construction, historic renovation, and infill construction on properties in our portfolio.

The site includes a vacant building, formerly used by Lesley University as their Admissions Office until Fall 2021, and a large parking lot adjacent to Mellen Street.

Public Benefits

Affordable Housing

This development will add many more high-quality apartments to the Baldwin neighborhood for individuals and families with low and moderate incomes.

Historic Preservation

This project will preserve the historic character of 1627 Mass Ave as a landmark within the City of Cambridge and former home of Cambridge mayor Charles H. Saunders.

Pedestrian Streetscape

1627 Mass Ave will include improvements to the sidewalk to activate Mass Ave and enhance the pedestrian experience.

side view of 1627 Mass Avenue yardside view of 1627 Mass Avenue yard

What's Happening Next

HRI will have its second meeting with the City of Cambridge Planning Board on Tuesday, December 5th. Over the summer, HRI met with the Cambridge Planning Board for the first of two advisory design review meetings as part of the Affordable Housing Overlay. HRI also hosted a Meet & Greet with neighbors at the Saunders Mansion. The project team is looking forward to sharing our updated design in December, which incorporates feedback from neighbors, the City, and the Planning Board.

Please check the Timeline for upcoming events. We invite you to Subscribe for email updates and add your feedback or ask questions in our Feedback section.
icon architecture logo
Wingate Companies logo


Want to stay informed?

Get project updates directly in your inbox.

Add your ideas!

Share your feedback directly with the project team.

Leave Feedback