The new Chestnut Hollow apartment building was once the Hamilton House Nursing Home, which served Needham seniors for over 40 years. The nursing home closed in late 1999, and when it was put on the market, two problems soon became apparent. One involved the size of the building and the uniqueness of the site. The second was the town’s zoning laws governing the building’s legally allowed uses. These two problems posed quite a challenge for a potential buyer because together they made the building almost functionally obsolete.

The Former Hamilton House Nursing Home

Then, in the fall of 2000, thanks to an extraordinary community effort, the Needham Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) granted the variances necessary for the building’s extensive renovation, top-floor addition, and transformation into an independent living, rental community. Because of support from the town and the ZBA, the newly created 28 apartments are helping to fill a critical need for rental housing in Needham.

The Needham Housing Authority (NHA) assisted in obtaining the Zoning Board’s approval, and six of the apartments have been designated as affordable rentals for the people served by the NHA. At Chestnut Hollow, we are looking forward to a long-term relationship with the Needham Housing Authority.

We are committed to providing comfortable, safe, and convenient housing for long-term Needham residents who wish to remain in town and for any others who are looking to move to a state-of-the-art apartment in one of Boston’s finest suburbs.



During the last 25 years, Jeffrey Roche has been filling vital housing needs for inner city communities in Boston. As an experienced developer and manager of small, multi-family residences, Jeff has taken several properties that were among Boston’s worst and turned them into some of the area’s most desirable. By doing this, he has also enabled many people to become homeowners for the very first time. In recognition of his efforts, Jeff was once given The Businessman’s Award from the Dorchester Board of Trade. This award is presented annually to local businesses that “made a significant contribution in building, renovation, job development, or otherwise to the business climate of Dorchester.”

With the renovation and transformation of the Hamilton House Nursing Home in Needham into the Chestnut Hollow apartments, Jeff continues his long track record of successfully revitalizing deteriorated or obsolete buildings and creating much needed, new rental housing.

On a personal note, Jeff was born and raised in Boston and is a U.S. Army Vietnam Veteran. When he married his wife, Donna, they settled in Needham where they have lived for the last 27 years with their six children.

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