The following appeared in the Boston Herald. Click here to access the original source.
Chris Villani, Thursday, August 17, 2017
NEW BEGINNINGS: State officials joined executives from the Cruz Companies to christen the renovation of the Wayne at Columbia housing development yesterday. From left are Daniel Cruz Jr., HUD Secretary Jay Ash, state Sen. Linda Dorcena Forry, Barbara Cruz, Mayor Martin J. Walsh and Cruz Companies President John Cruz III.
Mayor Martin J. Walsh helped cut the ribbon on the newly renovated Wayne at Columbia housing development yesterday, preserving 83 units of affordable housing at the Mattapan site.
Walsh praised Cruz Companies, the region’s oldest and largest minority-owned construction and real estate development firm, for its work on the project. Of the 238 workers who contributed to the development, 80 percent were persons of color and 65 percent were Boston residents, Walsh said, adding that 72 percent of the contractors were people of color.
“This project really represents what we are about as a city in being a fully inclusive project,” Walsh said. “And the cherry on top of this project is there are units of housing being preserved and that’s the beauty of all this.”
Cruz Companies President and CEO John B. Cruz III called it a “tremendous day” and stressed the important role immigrant workers played in finishing the $33 million rehabilitation.
“Most of the subcontractors, the masons, the lumber, the drywall, were immigrants,” Cruz said. “Whether they came from the Haitian community, Jamaican, any Caribbean island, or Ireland. That’s what makes Boston great, our immigrant population working together.”
Dozens of people joined the gathering at the Blue Hill Avenue site, including police officials, state Sen. Linda Dorcena Forry and City Councilor and mayoral candidate Tito Jackson. State Secretary of Housing and Economic Development Jay Ash called projects like Wayne at Columbia “imperative to continued economic development in the commonwealth.”